Though Paul has never been to Rome himself, he must have felt so familiar with the city because of so many friends who loved and cared for himself. Read your journal over the week/ Rom 16 and see ‘What the Lord has spoken to you’ and ‘How you’ve responded to His voice’ as well;
- What could we observe paul’s character from the way he had so many friends indebted to where he has never been himself?
- What could we observe the way God blessed Paul through the saints as he served the Gentiles for the gospel and His kingdom?
- What could we observe the way early Christians served and cared with each other?
- What could we observe the importance of ‘a holy kiss’ in the community of believers?
- What is an application you still need to carry out in life?
Paul was encouraging the saints to greet one another with a holy kiss. For he has witnessed the pagan practice of kiss with unholy motive with each other. But he promoted ‘a holy kiss’ among Christian and urged in several epistles for a holy kiss;
- What could we observe the way the Lord instructed for our relationships with one another? See also 1 Cor 16:20 All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
- What could we observe from the way Paul prayed for the saints in Thessalonica? See also 1 Thess 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- What would help us to exchange a holy kiss with each other in Christ? See also 2 Cor 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your efforts for daily transformation these days?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might experience transformation yourself?
Simon was a man from Cyrene who happened to be where they took the Lord Jesus on the way to Golgotha. When they saw that the Lord Jesus was not strong enough to carry out His cross, they forced Simon to carry it for the Lord. Rufus was his son who Paul asked them to greet and his mother was the one who was like a mother to Paul;
- What could we observe the way Simon’s encounter with the Lord Jesus on the road to Golgotha impacted Simon’s whole family? See also Mk 15:21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.
- What could we observe the way Paul honored Rufus’ mother? See also 1 Tim 5:1-2 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
- What could we observe the way Paul is promoting Christ-centered relationships in the community? See also Gal 6:9-10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your relationships with people God has brought into your life?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might be a blessing to the people around?
Paul had been following the Lord Jesus and lived a trial and persecution-filled life for almost three decades. But he must have not too lonely in his quest for the Mission for the Gentiles. Some risked their lives for him, some have gone to prison with him, and some became a mother to him;
- What could we observe the kinds of life Paul lived since he got called to be the apostle for the Gentiles? See also 2 Cor 11:23-25 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.
24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
- What could we observe the way he got motivated to live the kind of life he did? See also Phil 3:8-10 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
- But what kinds of people God has placed around him in the course of his ministry as an apostle? See also Pr 3:3-4 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
- What is the Lord speaking to you about your suffering for the sake of His kingdom?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might also make an impact on the life of people?
Priscilla and Aquila had Paul moved in with them while they were new to Corinth adjusting and starting up a business. Paul is testifying that they risked their lives for Paul while he was with them. They also picked up the values of discipling Paul was doing. They also pursued relationships they establish while in Rome. Open up a church in their home in Rome;
- What could we observe the way they embraced and cared for Paul, a lonely missionary? See also Act 18:2-3 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
- What could we observe the way they changed the way they live because of their time with Paul? See also Act 18:18-19 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
- What could we observe the way they minister to those in need from their home? See also Act 16:14-15 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about the way you care for long term relationships with the people around?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might make a long term impact on the life of people?
Priscilla and Aquila, who had Paul in their house making tent together in Corinth, got kick out from Rome before they went to Corinth. Now they are back to Rome had hs a church meeting in their house! Paul is saying that they have risked their lives for him;
- What could we observe the way they became fellow workers for the gospel of Paul? See also Act 18:1-4 1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,
3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
- What could we observe the way they had sacrificed their business for the sake of the ministry of the gospel? See also Act 18:18-19 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
- What could we observe the impact Paul had made while they worked in a tent-making together? See also Act 18:24-26 24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.
25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.
26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about the ministry/church in your house?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might be the fellow workers for the gospel?
Phoebe was the woman who served the saints in the church of Cenchurea, and Paul is also grateful to her for the blessing he received from her and is commending her to the church in Rome. Paul does remind them to serve each other in the Lord;
- What could we observe the way the Lord Jesus wants the saints to serve each other? See also Jn 13:4-5 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
- What does it mean to wash the feet with each other in reality among the saints? See also 1 Jn 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
- Who is Paul recommending to recognize in the churches? See also 1 Tim 5:9-10 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your service for the saints?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might also wash the feet of the saints as well?
He who is strong in faith needs to accept those who are weak about his action on a disputable matter as Christ didn’t please Himself, but became a servant of the Jews. Review your journal over the week or Rom 15 and see ‘What the Lord has spoken to you’ and ‘How you’ve responded to His voice ’as well;
- What is a disputable matter the Lord has spoken to you that you need to be flexible before brothers?
- Who is someone the Lord has led into your path that you need to accept?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your sacrificial life for the benefit of the people around for the glory of the Lord?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your attitude toward poor people around?
- What is an application you still need to live out in life?
Paul is planning to visit Rome on his way to Spain after his work of sharing a financial gift to the Jewish believers in Judea. He is praying that his visit might be a joyous time and that it might be a time of refreshing for them all together;
- What could we observe the way God sees the act of kindness for the need people? See also Pr 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.
- What could we observe the expectation Paul had as he went out to help those in need? See also Rom 1:12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
- What could we observe God’s way to enrich people’s lives? See also Pr 11:24-25 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly but comes to poverty.
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your sharing for the needy people around?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might get refreshed in return?
Apostle Paul was proud of his call as an apostle for the Gentiles and tried hard to preach the gospel in where the gospel has not been proclaimed before by anyone else. And he is insisting on not building upon the foundation laid by someone else;
- What could we observe the way God had called him to go to the Gentiles even before he knew the Lord Jesus? See also Act 9:15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
- What could we observe the way Paul has described the scope of his ministry in people’s lives? See also1 Cor 3:10-11 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
- What could we observe the way Paul gloried in God’s call for himself? See also Ps 16:5-6 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about His call for you?
- How do you want to respond to His call that you might also glory in your service for Him?