Friday, July 3, 2020

Friday - Romans 16 - Phebe the Deacon, & other Notable Christians



HE words "deacon," "servant," & "minister" are all the same (as they are used in the New Testament). This chapter begins with a mention of a faithful Christian servant (Romans 16:1), Phebe. Paul called her a deacon. She was the letter carrier who evidently delivered the book of Romans from Paul to the church in Rome. She is the first notable name (among many) in Romans 16. She was a deacon of the church at Cenchreae. Whether she held an office like the 7 men selected in Acts 6 or not, or how her ministry might or might not have been comparable to the deacons of 1st Timothy 3:8-13, I'm not sure. The point is that she was an influential & competent Christian leader. Paul clearly respected her & appreciated her service to the Lord. The remainder of this letter is a lengthy personal greeting from Paul (& several others, including Tertius; Paul's secretary) to other Christians like Phebe.


Paul mentions a key husband and wife team here as well: Priscilla & Aquila. Interestingly, the wife is named first. In fact, he includes a fair number of females in his greeting. This should remind us that in Christ there is no difference. Ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, pre-salvation reputation: whatever the case, we are all products of God's grace. The ground around the foot of the cross is level (Galatians 3:28). This is one of the traits of the church that should help develop wonderful unity among all who are a part of our membership. There is no spiritual hierarchy in the church. Sure, there are certain offices, callings, & responsibilities that make for an obvious line of leadership. But when it comes to wisdom, value & spirituality, any believer can be used mightily by the Spirit.

No comments:

Post a Comment