THANK GOD FOR FRIENDS
Somewhere in each of the letters God inspired him to
write, you'll find it. Paul will name the names of friends,
of fellow workers.
For instance, in his letter to the Philippians, a deeply
personal letter, he quickly bares the joy of his heart as
he recalls their fellowship. In the salutation he states: "I
thank my God upon every remembrance of you." Think of the
names in his heart as he dictates. His letter of joy: Lydia,
the first convert, won to Christ in a riverside prayer meeting
who later opened her heart and her home to Paul and his com-
panions. There was that slave girl, restored to sanity and
and saved from her bondage. A Philippian jailer who in a
pre-dawn light had asked his all important question: "What
must I do to be saved?" When he found Christ he tenderly
ministered to the bleeding and battered bodies of Paul and
And now in this Roman letter: so deeply doctrinal, so
profoundly practical he closes with such intimately personal
In this sixteenth and last chapter, he commends someone
who is coming to Rome. He greets his friends in Rome and
he sends greetings from his friends who are with him in Corinth.
Verses l-and 2 are a commendation of Phoebe, who is
probably going to deliver this letter to the Roman church.
Her commendation rests upon her life in Christ. Paul calls
her "our sister," denoting spiritual kinship as a sister
in the Lord. She is also called a "servant of the church in
Cenchrea." Verse two declares that she had been a "succourer
of many." The word literally means a "good friend." Usually
this word was used of a wealthy person who helped others with
Now in verses 3-16 twenty-six individuals are named.
J. B. Lightfoot, a renowned Biblical scholar has made a
classic study of these names. This is most significant
scripture because it gives an unusual look at the first century
church. Listed are "fellow countrymen" of Paul, Jewish peo ...
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