Sep. 18. Concluding Remarks to Roman Christians

Rom. 15:14-16:27

As Paul concluded the main emphasis of his letter it was his prayer that the Romans would be filled with joy and hope from God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul expressed confidence in the Romans that they had the strength to encourage and admonish one another. They had received the signs and wonders earlier that were necessary to establish their faith. Like people everywhere, they needed to be reminded of the basic principles of obedience and Christian living.

As he began to conclude his letter, Paul pointed out his policy of not preaching or building on foundations where others had established churches. In the case of the Roman church, he felt a strong desire to impart some spiritual gifts on them also. He reminded them again that as an apostle to the Gentiles, he most definitely wanted to visit them.

Since Paul had completed most of the work in the areas where he had established churches, he was prepared to go by Rome as he traveled to Spain. Spain was the next mission field that he had determined to work. He planned to make that trip after delivering the contribution from Asia, Macedonia and Achaia to the church in Jerusalem.

Paul expected confrontations with the Jews in Jerusalem and asked the Romans to pray for him as he made his journey from Corinth to Jerusalem and ultimately to Rome and Spain.

As was his custom, Paul closed his letter by greeting various special individuals in the Roman church. He also sent greetings from other Christians who were with him at the time.

Phoebe received specific mention because she was the courier of this letter. She also would probably need assistance with her business matters while in Rome.

Priscilla and Aquila had been very prominent in Paul’s work. They had assisted him on his first visit to Corinth; had accompanied him to Ephesus; risked their own lives for him and had taught Apollos more completely regarding the baptism of Christ. At the time of Paul’s Roman letter, they had returned to Rome and had a congregation of the church meeting in their house.

Many of the people that Paul greeted had been converted by him. Some had been converted before he had become a Christian. Probably some of these Christians had been converted on Pentecost. Whatever their background, they had all been involved in Paul’s previous works.

It was the custom to greet one another with a kiss. It still is in some cultures today. Paul admonished the Romans to use a holy kiss—a warm affection for brothers and sisters in Christ. In our society, one would greet another with a holy handshake—a warm affectionate greeting.

Paul had used a large portion of the body of his letter to point out the errors and dangers of keeping portions of the Law of Moses in their worship. As he is closing the letter, he gave the Romans another reminder and warning against following the Judaizing teachers. Those people were to be identified and avoided.

In addition to the greetings of Paul to various Christians in Rome, several of the people with him in Corinth sent greetings to the church. Timothy was the most notable of those mentioned. Tertius, the penman who wrote the letter for Paul also sent his personal greetings.

Paul ended his letter with an invocation, “To God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”