Romans 16:21-24 / Pray for Grace (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on November 7, 2014

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This is the sixty-fourth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of November 2, 2014. This message deals with the importance of partnering with believers rather than non-believers, and the importance of praying for grace for other believers. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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Romans 16_21-24

SERMON OUTLINE:

 

SERMON NOTES:

Romans 16:21-24

v.21:
As we move to the close of the letter, we see that Paul had a number of people with him when the letter was written, and he sends greetings to Rome from them.

Timothy is well known as a young preacher who was the personal recipient of two of Paul letters.

He was also Paul’s assistant in handling problems in the Corinthian church.

1 Corinthians 4:17

Lucius:
This could possibly be the same Lucius mentioned in Acts 13:1

Some speculate that it is an alternate form of Luke; however, this makes little sense, considering that elsewhere Paul calls him Luke. Why would Paul suddenly change the pronunciation of his name?

Jason:
Jason may well be the same Jason who entertained Paul and his 2 companions in Thessalonica.

Acts 17:5

Sosipater (so-sipa-ter):
Sosipater may be Sopater, from Berea, mentioned in Acts 20:4

We must understand that none of these identities are certain, except for Timothy.

v.22:
The next name mentioned is Tertius (turshi-us). We see that he penned this letter on behalf of Paul.

It was not uncommon for Paul to use a scribe to pen his letters, but Tertius is the only one known to us by name.

He adds his own personal greeting “in the Lord”. This phrase assures us that Tertius too, was a believer.

We can be sure Paul carefully chose believers to write down his letters rather than public secretaries.

We can also be sure that people like Tertius would undertake that task as work for the Lord.

This, in itself sets an example. Those whom we partner with to do God’s work should, themselves be born again believers.

It would be foolish to trust God’s work to an unbeliever. Our choice of partners and close companions are of utmost importance.

v.23:
Gaius was from Corinth, so the fact that he was hosting Paul, confirms that he was in corinth when this letter was written.

Gaius is also fondly mentioned by John, and was a very faithful servant of Christ. He is also one of the few people who Paul baptized.

1 Corinthians 1:14

Erastus (e-rastus), as the treasurer, was a prominent public official.

Archaeologists have even found an inscription in Corinth which bears his name.

There is nothing more known of Quartus than what is stated here.

v.24:
They all had one common prayer for the saints in Rome: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all”.

The grace of Jesus Christ should be part of our prayer for each and every believer.

How much division and ill will among believers would be avoided, if we simply prayed for grace for one another?

Indeed, it would be difficult to spread rumors, accusations and discord, while praying for grace.

Ultimately, it seems as if the Christian community has largely conformed to the standards of this world (something we are specifically admonished not to do).

Instead of standing out, we blend in all too well. We tend to spend more time gossiping about and criticizing one another, than we spend praying for grace.

Do we even pray for grace at all?

Praying for grace would likely put an end to much of our gossiping and criticism of one another.

Where grace abounds, it overpowers our sin, sin no longer has dominion.

Romans 6:14

Perhaps the first step in seeking to restore unity and fellowship among God’s people, is to pray for grace for one another.

In fact the word amen tells us that each of Paul’s friends is in agreement in praying for grace.

The word amen is an interesting word. It is transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages so that it is practically a universal word.

It has been called the best-known word in human speech.

the word is directly related—in fact, almost identical—to the Hebrew word for “believe” (aman), or “faithful.”

Therefore, it came to mean “sure” or “truly,” which is an expression of absolute trust and confidence.

When we pray according to His Word and His will, we know God will answer, so we close with an amen. It signifies both trust and agreement.

The word is even a title of Christ Himself.

Revelation 3:14

We can be absolutely certain that His Word is always faithful and true because He is none other than the Creator of all things, and thus He is our eternal Amen.

As such, when we pray for grace for other believers, we can be assured that God will answer. We can confidently say amen.

Lets try for one week to pray for grace for our fellow believers.

Pick a believer with whom you have difficulties or disagreements, and sincerely pray for grace for that person for a week.

At the conclusion of the week, take note of how your attitude toward them has changed.

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Posted in: Sermons