SOAP Study - August 6, 2020

    08.06.20 | by Frank Haynes


     Romans 16:1-16

    16 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God’s people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me.

    Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. In fact, they once risked their lives for me. I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches. Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home.

    Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the first person from the province of Asia to become a follower of Christ. Give my greetings to Mary, who has worked so hard for your benefit. Greet Andronicus and Junia,[a] my fellow Jews,[b] who were in prison with me. They are highly respected among the apostles and became followers of Christ before I did. Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.

    10 Greet Apelles, a good man whom Christ approves. And give my greetings to the believers from the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew.[c] Greet the Lord’s people from the household of Narcissus. 12 Give my greetings to Tryphena and Tryphosa, the Lord’s workers, and to dear Persis, who has worked so hard for the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be his very own; and also his dear mother, who has been a mother to me.

    14 Give my greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters[d] who meet with them. 15 Give my greetings to Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and to Olympas and all the believers[e] who meet with them. 16 Greet each other with a sacred kiss. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.


    • What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
    • What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
    • How should this information impact your life?
    • What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
    • Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.

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    As Paul lands the plane of his letter, we noticed yesterday he first pleads for the church to pray for his ministry, implicitly acknowledging that the fruitfulness of his ministry (and all ministry for that matter) is based on the working of God. Now he takes a moment to recognize and thank others, implicitly acknowledging that the fruitfulness of his ministry is also based on partnership with others. Paul recognizes here an important aspect when it comes to Christian life and ministry that we can forget in a self-isolating and individualistic culture. Growing in your faith and fruitfulness in your ministry is always a team effort. We cannot do it alone, and we were not created to do it alone. Paul is telling the church in Rome to welcome these individuals and be thankful for these individuals. One, because Paul knows they will be a benefit to their fellowship as they have been to him. Two, because Paul knows who he is and what he has accomplished is because of their friendship and partnership in faith and ministry.


    Discipleship and ministry are a team sport, and that team is the church. This is a part of the letter that would be easy to fly through and not pay much attention. In fact, you might have done that. You might have asked yourself, what is the point of these difficult to pronounce names and why does it matter to me? There is a life changing message in these verses: As the church we need each other, and we cannot grow or be faithful and fruitful in our calling without each other. Discipleship and ministry are a team sport. When I look back on my life, I can think of countless individuals, groups, and churches who have shaped me, supported me, sacrificed for me, and sent me over the years. I could easily write as long of a section as Paul in order to mention all these individuals. I wondered if you might take a moment right now and think about who those people are for you? I wonder in this moment if you might be willing to thank God for them in your life? Finally, if you are able, I wonder if you might connect with them to tell them thanks?


    Jesus, thank you for sending the body of Christ to shape me, support me, sacrifice for me, and send me. You’ve done this my entire life. As I think back, I’ve never been alone, even when I thought I was. Thank you for these people. Help me to be one of those people too.