In Romans 16 Paul list twenty five names from verses one to sixteen. Paul mentions their names and how he knows them. He tells the Roman church to greet them in the Lord. All of the people on Paul’s list were different. Some were Jews while others were Gentiles, some were male or female, and others were slave or free. Even though all of these people were different they were unified in the Gospel. Paul knew them through his many journeys for the Lord and He spent time with them during good and bad times. After Paul listed these names he encouraged the Roman church to fellowship with one another so they would not be broken down by false teachers or sin. Christians should fellowship together so they are not destroyed by sin. Having a family, a Christian family, helps people hold their faith while being there for others.
Paul is telling the Roman church to get to know them, help one another when you need help, and laugh when you need laughter. Romans 16: 17-20 says this,
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heardabout your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
This greeting that Paul is talking about leads to fellowship for difficult and happy times. Throughout the Old Testament there was a flood, plagues, a wandering in the wilderness and exile after exile. Why did these things happen? Because the people did not fellowship through God’s grace. As God connects us to others He connects us to Himself. 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” When Jesus went back to Heaven He left the Holy Spirit to guide us and if you believe in Him that Spirit lives within you. What does this mean? We must fellowship with one another so that we can lean on each other. The world is a terrible place with hardships and battles. People will come at us in every direction to break down our faith.
In Rome they had an army named the phalanx. This army had the sharpest swords, sturdiest helmets and the strongest shields on them to protect them but they had something else as well. They were unified in their stepping. They knew when to turn together, when to stop, and when to put their right foot down. Their military action was 100 men or more marching as one. No one could pass them or break their bond. This was a unified army. How can we be like this? By having a firm foundation of the Word of God and fellowshipping with one another. In Philippians 1:27 Paul writes about this unification. We should walk as one in Christ.
Children’s and Preschool Minister