A Working Community (Romans 15:14-16:27)John Parker, 25th June 2017
Part of the Sermon series, preached at a Fordham Sunday Service service
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15:15 I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me
15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
15:17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God.
15:18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done-
15:19 by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
15:20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation.
15:21 Rather, as it is written: "Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand."
15:22 This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.
15:23 But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you,
15:24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.
15:25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there.
15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
15:27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.
15:28 So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this fruit, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way.
15:29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.
15:30 I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.
15:31 Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there,
15:32 so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.
15:33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea.
16:2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.
16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.
16:4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.
16:5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.
16:6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you.
16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
16:8 Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord.
16:9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.
16:10 Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.
16:11 Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
16:12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.
16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.
16:14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them.
16:15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them.
16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
16:17 I urge you, brothers, 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.
16:18 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.
16:19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
16:21 Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.
16:22 I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.
16:23 Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings. Erastus, who is the city's director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.
16:25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,
16:26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him--
16:27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.