Two-thirds of the last chapter of Romans consists of greetings:
"Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus." "Likewise greet the church that is in their house." "Greet Mary, who bestowed much labor on us." "Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen." "Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord." "Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved." "Salute Trypena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord." "Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nercus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them."
And so the list runs, including both men and women impartially. Let one but read that blessed list, realizing that it shows not only the largeness and heartiness of Paul's sympathy, but also the special care which the Holy Spirit has for each individual member of the household of faith, singling them out by name, and there will be no questioning as to why such things were written.
A Significant Omission. But one thing is very significant, and that is the fact that there is no mention of Peter, who is claimed to have been "the first Bishop of Rome." We may sometimes learn as much by what the Bible does not say as by what it does say. From what is not said in this place we may learn that so far from being Bishop of Rome, Peter was not in Rome at all when Paul wrote, and that if he was ever in Rome it was after the Epistle to the Romans was written, and long after the church was established and flourishing there.
It is most certain that in saluting the members of the church by name Paul would not have omitted the name of the chief person in it, whose hospitality he had once shared in Jerusalem for fifteen days. Of course there is abundance of the most positive evidence that neither the church of Christ nor the church of Rome was founded upon Peter; but if there were no other, this testimony of the sixteenth chapter of Romans would be sufficient to settle the matter.
In Conclusion Romans 16:24-27
24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: 27 to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
What a Magnificent Conclusion! It reaches from eternity to eternity. The gospel of God is the thing of the ages. It was kept secret in the mind of God from times eternal. Christ "was foreordained before the foundation of the world." 1 Pet. 1:19, 20. But now the mystery is "made manifest." Not simply is it made manifest by the preaching of the apostles, but "according to the commandment of the everlasting God," "by the scriptures of the prophets" it is "made known to all nations, for the obedience of faith."
The gospel plan originated in the mind of God in the eternity of the past. Patriarchs, prophets and apostles have worked in unison in making it manifest; and "in the ages to come" it will be both the science and the song of the redeemed "of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues," who shall gather with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God, and will say, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
Faith in a lie will not have a sanctifying influence upon the life or character. No Error is truth, or can be made truth by repetition, or by faith in it. Sincerity will never save a soul from the consequences of believing an error. Without sincerity there is no true religion, but sincerity in a false religion will never save a man. I May be perfectly sincere in following a wrong road, but that will not make it the right road, or bring me to the place I wish to reach. The Lord does not want us to have a blind credulity, and call that the faith that sanctifies. The Truth is the principle that sanctifies, and therefore it becomes us to know what is truth. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual. We must prove all things, but hold fast only that which is good, that which bears the divine credentials, which lays before us the true motives and principles which should prompt us to action. Selected Messages Bk2, pg. 56
Designed By White Fox Studios