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Generosity. It’s why we are here. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. We give because God gave. We are grateful for the life that has been given to us. So we give back to our families, our community and our world.
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Every Thursday, from 10/07/2021 to 12/16/2021, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Romans 16 is the final passage in Paul's long letter to the Christians in Rome. Though Paul has not yet been to Rome at the time of this writing, he knows many of the believers there personally or by reputation. He takes the time to identify and commend many who had served faithfully, partnered with him in ministry, and had invested in the lives of others. Paul loves these people dearly and wants to enfold them in his arms. They were mature and dedicated believers who he wants to commend and salute. Most of these people lived in societies that condemned them and even persecuted them. Yet they persevered through all kinds of trials in service to God. The extent of these greetings shows what a far-reaching ministry Paul had. All of these were his personal friends or acquaintances and many had served with him in proclaiming the gospel. He begins these greetings by commending the lady who will deliver this letter to them. Phoebe is a servant of the church a Cenchreae, a town not far from Corinth. She is described as a patron or benefactor to Paul and many others. Paul then mentions Prisca—or Priscilla—and Aquila, a married couple Paul has spent much time with both in their secular work of making tents and in the ministry. Aquila was forced to leave Rome when Jews were banned from the city. Apparently, the pair returned after the ban was lifted, perhaps accompanied by a man named Epaenetus, described as the first convert to Christ in the region where Priscilla and Aquila ministered. Paul then greets people we know little or nothing about outside of this list, though some seem to have been slaves, members of royal households, close friends, and groups that met together in several different house churches in Rome. Paul sends greetings from those who are with him in Corinth, including his longtime partner and student in ministry Timothy. Of the six others he mentions, several show up elsewhere in the New Testament and were known to be companions and fellow workers with Paul. Paul seems to have always worked with a team and never as a solitary minister of the gospel. He goes out of his way to acknowledge, commend, and affirm the efforts of many who had led, served, and loved so sacrificially for many years.