Romans 16:1-27- Paul’s Final Words to the Romans
Explanation- In our final chapter, Paul begins by listing off a number of believers who are dwelling in Rome whom Paul desires the believers to greet. Many of these are names that are not mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament, but they were all relationships that Paul had built on his journeys.
He also gives a warning to watch out for those who cause divisions in the body and place unnecessary obstacles in the way of the doctrine that Paul was teaching. He calls believers to avoid individuals like these. They do not serve Christ but instead serve their own lusts. Though their speech may be eloquent and filled with flattery, their intention is to deceive the hearts of those without wisdom. The obedience of this Church was known to all, so they would face much opposition. Yet, Paul rejoices over these believers and desires that they would wise in terms of righteousness and innocent as to what is evil and reminds them that God will soon crush the deceiver under their feet.
In his final doxology, Paul encourages the Romans in the faith. His desire is that they remain strong and faithful to the Gospel that they have received. He offers high praise to God for all that He has done in revealing the truth of the Gospel to the world, and ends the epistle with a hearty ‘Amen.’
Application- One thing that is encouraging about Paul was his great desire for fellowship and companionship. Throughout this chapter, he lists off numerous names of those who have either accompanied him or encouraged him on his journeys. Many of these were Paul’s own converts. Nevertheless, he loved them dearly. Paul, although indwelled and equipped by the Holy Spirit in a mighty way, was not above having close friends and companions in the Lord. In many of his writings, he expresses his deep longings for certain individuals and Churches. This should be an example to those of us who often seek to be ‘lone wolf’ Christians. If even the apostle Paul surrounded himself with other believers, then we should also seek to be surrounded by the body of Christ. In this is security and the guarantee of continual sanctification and accountability. Let us never become so high-minded that we believe ourselves to be above the need of our brethren in Christ.