Romans 16 (NIV)
16 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me. 3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 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. 6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among[d] the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 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. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the other brothers and sisters with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the churches of Christ send greetings.
17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, 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. 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. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you, but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 21 Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my fellow Jews. 22 I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord. 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. 24 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen.25 Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
What does it mean to you that in these final chapters, God is described as the “God of Hope”?
The God of hope means that He has fulfilled all the promises of the past through His Son Jesus Christ, we can place our hope and trust in God who delivers.
I see in this scripture how Paul lovingly took the time to remember, by name, so many of those who had been instrumental in helping him spread the message of the gospel. He also was asking for help and protection for those who were continuing to spread the gospel in his absence. Lord this is an awesome way of reminding me that you call everyone by name and you provide for my protection as I seek to walk in your way. I ask that you continue to help me see clearly anything that would not be of you. How easy it is to be attracted to an easy message, but your grace is the greatest gift, worth more than flattery or empty promise. Help me to be your obedient servant, wise to evil, and always seeking what is good and pure. I want to rejoice in your promises every day and seek your peace and strength. What an awesome God we serve!