Romans 16:17–23 (ESV)
Final Instructions and Greetings
appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites,
and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. 20 The
God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and
Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.
22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.
who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.
Paul warns against those who cause divisions and promises God
will overcome them. Those who advocate a false Gospel are to be avoided entirely. As “living sacrifices” to God (12:1), we are to be actively engaged in good and uninvolved with evil. As promised in Gn 3:15, God will bring about the final culmination
of our salvation by crushing the power of Satan, sin, death, and hell forever (cf Rv 20:10, 14).
I pray: Heavenly Father, guard and protect Your Church from all who would
corrupt Your precious Gospel. As we await the final consummation of our salvation, may our obedience to Your will be “known to all” around us. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO:
Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1943.
Romans 16:1–16 (ESV)
16 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever
she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers
in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. 5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet
my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well
known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet
Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. 11 Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. 12 Greet
those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. 14 Greet
Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet
one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
Paul greets 26 people by name. Many of these believers have labored long and hard for Christ with Paul. They
serve as examples and role models for us. Christ unites Jew and Gentile, male and female. He breaks through all other human bonds in His Church. He also establishes a committed and dear relationship among believers.
I pray: Thank You, Father, for people who bless our relationship with Christ. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1943.
Romans 15:22–33 (ESV)
Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome
22 This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed
for many years to come to you, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 At present, however,
I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased
to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 28 When therefore I have completed this and have
delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. 29 I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that
I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 May
the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Paul lays out his current travel plans. Our desires to serve God may be hindered if we are not willing to accept gifts from others. Christ
empowered Paul’s mission work and gave it the fullness of His blessing (v 29). He will give us joy, refreshment, and peace as well.
I pray: Thank You, God, for
spiritual blessings of peace and joy, as well as for the encouragement given to me by my brothers and sisters in Christ. I praise You also for the material blessings You have entrusted to me. Guide me to use them wisely and to share with those in need. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The
Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1941.
Romans 15:14–21 (ESV)
Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. 15 But
on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering
of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except
what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around
to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but
as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”
Paul lays out the practice and scope of his mission work. Apart from God’s intervention through
servants such as Paul, we would not have seen, heard, or understood God’s grace. Christ’s servants are to respond to His calling and use their gifts in dedicated service as Paul did. Anything we do is simply “what Christ has accomplished
through” us (v 18). It is all by grace and is sanctified and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
I pray: Lord, I praise You that the message of Your grace has reached
me and that I have come to believe it by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Use me and the gifts You have given to me as an acceptable offering to You. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1940.
Romans 15:8–13 (ESV)
Christ the Hope of Jews and Gentiles
8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in
order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and sing to your name.”
10 And again it is said,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
11 And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol him.”
12 And again Isaiah says,
“The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
The OT looked ahead to a day when Jews and Gentiles would worship God together. This day has come in Christ. Gentiles in particular should remember their hopeless existence apart from Christ (cf Eph 2:11–12). According to His
prophetic promises, God has raised up Jesus. In Him, Jews and Gentiles are united to “glorify God for His mercy” (v 9).
I pray: Thank You, God, for Your Word
and for Jesus, who embodies and fulfills it. By Your Holy Spirit, fill me with hope and “joy and peace in believing” (v 13). Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht,
The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House,