There are churches who’s members do not have people skills. Some ministers are sound in doctrine, and gifted in talent from the Lord, but do not have people skills. Our lesson emphasizes relating appropriately. All of us can grow in our people skills, so let’s see what we can learn from this lesson.
1. Relate Appropriately through . . Commendation. 16:1-2
A. Commending A . . Sister. 16:1
1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in Cenchreae.
B. Commending A . . Service. 16:2
2 So you should welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and
assist her in whatever matter she may require your help. For indeed she has been a
benefactor of many and of me also.
Paul gave a commendation to a lady named, “Phoebe” who served the Lord and church very well. Did she need this praise? No! But Paul needed to give it. You and I need to commend people for their faithfulness, and encourage Christ honoring effort. When a time comes for the church to serve one who has served well; it is appropriate to do so. Now some want to make Phoebe a deaconess because the word servant (GREEK Diakonos) is used for her. This is ridiculous because the word means “servant,” and is used for Jesus in Romans 15:8. The same logic would call Jesus a deacon!
2. Relate Appropriately through . . Comments. 16:3-7
3 Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co‑workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their
own necks for my life. Not only do I thank them, but so do all the Gentile churches. 5 Greet also the
church that meets in their home.
B. Comments about . . Friends. 16:5b -
5b Greet my dear friend Epaenetus, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia.
6 Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow countrymen and fellow prisoners.
They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were also in Christ before me.
3. Relate Appropriately through . . Concerns. 16:17-20
A. Concern about . . Dissensions. 17:17a
17 Now I implore you, brothers, watch out for those who cause dissensions and pitfalls . . .”
“. . . contrary to the doctrine you have learned. Avoid them;. . .”
18 for such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites,
and by smooth talk and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
19 The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice
over you. But I want you to be wise about what is good, yet innocent about what is
evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord
Jesus be with you.
An appropriate response to matters of concern is to address them. Paul addresses concerns about dissensions, doctrine, deception, and discipleship. Many churches today need to address these same matters. Why do some cause dissensions? Many times it is to bring attention to themselves rather than Christ, and obviously their doctrine is wrong. Paul believed Christ would soon crush Satan under their feet, and probably refers to the ending of the work of the deception.
4. Relate Appropriately through . . Conclusions. 16:25-28
A. Conclusions On the . . Message of Scripture. 16:25-26a
1. The Message According to the Gospel. 16:25a
25 Now to Him who has power to strengthen you according to my gospel and the
proclamation of Jesus Christ,
2. The Message According to the Revelation. 16:25b-26a
A. . .according to the revelation of the sacred secret kept silent for long ages,
26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures,. . ."
B. Conclusions On . . Magnifying The Lord. 16:26b-27
A. . . according to the command of the eternal God, to advance the obedience of faith among all
nationsC 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus ChristCto Him be the glory forever! Amen.
To conclude this book, Paul focuses on the message of scripture, including an emphasis on the Gospel, and the revelation of scripture. Then he gives magnification to the Lord. Truly Paul gives guidelines for all of us to Relate Appropriately. Amen? Amen!