Romans 16

* The apostle recommends Phebe to the church at Rome, and greets

several friends there. (1-16) Cautions the church against such

as made divisions. (17-20) Christian salutations. (21-24) The

epistle concludes with ascribing glory to God. (25-27)

1-16 Paul recommends Phebe to the Christians at Rome. It

becomes Christians to help one another in their affairs,

especially strangers; we know not what help we may need

ourselves. Paul asks help for one that had been helpful to many;

he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Though the care

of all the churches came upon him daily, yet he could remember

many persons, and send salutations to each, with particular

characters of them, and express concern for them. Lest any

should feel themselves hurt, as if Paul had forgotten them, he

sends his remembrances to the rest, as brethren and saints,

though not named. He adds, in the close, a general salutation to

them all, in the name of the churches of Christ.
17-20 How earnest, how endearing are these exhortations!

Whatever differs from the sound doctrine of the Scriptures,

opens a door to divisions and offences. If truth be forsaken,

unity and peace will not last long. Many call Christ, Master and

Lord, who are far from serving him. But they serve their carnal,

sensual, worldly interests. They corrupt the head by deceiving

the heart; perverting the judgments by winding themselves into

the affections. We have great need to keep our hearts with all

diligence. It has been the common policy of seducers to set upon

those who are softened by convictions. A pliable temper is good

when under good guidance, otherwise it may be easily led astray.

Be so wise as not to be deceived, yet so simple as not to be

deceivers. The blessing the apostle expects from God, is victory

over Satan. This includes all designs and devices of Satan

against souls, to defile, disturb, and destroy them; all his

attempts to keep us from the peace of heaven here, and the

possession of heaven hereafter. When Satan seems to prevail, and

we are ready to give up all as lost, then will the God of peace

interpose in our behalf. Hold out therefore, faith and patience,

yet a little while. If the grace of Christ be with us, who can

prevail against us?
21-24 The apostle adds affectionate remembrances from persons

with him, known to the Roman Christians. It is a great comfort

to see the holiness and usefulness of our kindred. Not many

mighty, not many noble are called, but some are. It is lawful

for believers to bear civil offices; and it were to be wished

that all offices in Christian states, and in the church, were

bestowed upon prudent and steady Christians.
25-27 That which establishes souls, is, the plain preaching of

Jesus Christ. Our redemption and salvation by our Lord Jesus

Christ, are, without controversy, a great mystery of godliness.

And yet, blessed be God, there is as much of this mystery made

plain as will bring us to heaven, if we do not wilfully neglect

so great salvation. Life and immortality are brought to light by

the gospel, and the Sun of Righteousness is risen on the world.

The Scriptures of the prophets, what they left in writing, is

not only made plain in itself, but by it this mystery is made

known to all nations. Christ is salvation to all nations. And

the gospel is revealed, not to be talked of and disputed about,

but to be submitted to. The obedience of faith is that obedience

which is paid to the word of faith, and which comes by the grace

of faith. All the glory that passes from fallen man to God, so

as to be accepted of him, must go through the Lord Jesus, in

whom alone our persons and doings are, or can be, pleasing to

God. Of his righteousness we must make mention, even of his

only; who, as he is the Mediator of all our prayers, so he is,

and will be, to eternity, the Mediator of all our praises.

Remembering that we are called to the obedience of faith, and

that every degree of wisdom is from the only wise God, we

should, by word and deed, render glory to him through Jesus

Christ; that so the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ may be with

us for ever.

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