NEW TESTAMENT CONTEXTUAL COMMENTARY
Dr. Robert R. Seyda
EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER SIXTEEN
We see that Paul ends this Epistle, in the same manner, we might end a telephone call today by asking the one we’re talking to if they wouldn’t mind saying “Hello” and giving a hug to the rest of the family and mutual friends. The fact that the Apostle took the time to name as many as he could remember was a sure sign of his love and affection for the believers in Rome.
It is obvious that Paul started out with two main goals in his writing. First and foremost was for the Jewish believers to be patient with their Gentile brothers and sisters, since they did not come into the faith in Christ from the same moral, ethical, and religious background as they did, but from an idolatrous and heathen perspective on life – the survival of the fittest. And second, that the Gentile believers be understanding of their Jewish brothers and sisters who were still bound by a number of ties to their moral, ethical, and religious instructions and ceremonies concerning all things required by the Law of Moses.
Now in this last chapter, Paul closes with various instructions, greetings, warnings, and a doxology. Of particular note are his comments concerning Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchreae. Also, his greetings to Priscilla and Aquila remind us of how instrumental this couple was in the spreading of the Gospel. The remaining greetings from Paul remind us that there were many others who contributed to the growth of the church in the first century, and we should be as happy for them as Paul was.
A final warning is given against those who cause divisions and occasions for stumbling contrary to what Paul taught in this epistle. For above all else, Paul wanted to ensure their continued obedience in the Gospel. Paul’s companions at Corinth add their greetings, and Paul closes this wonderful epistle with an expression of praise to God for the revelation of the Gospel which was leading to the obedience of faith among all believers in all nations.
None of what Paul says here as an afterthought. What he says is vitally important for the believers in Rome, and us today, in order to continue learning and growing in Christ until the day of our departure from this earth. I’m sure it was with some reluctance that Paul ceased his dictation of this letter to Tertius because there were other things he may have wanted to say. But what he did say is certainly sufficient for all who read this letter to understand God’s plan of Salvation and His inclusion of all peoples, not just Jews in His spiritual family. And the key to making the plan of Salvation work as it should is Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah. Then the final factor is that with the help of the Holy Spirit this message is spread all over the world so that as many as believe might be saved. And all to the glory and honor the triune God.
Paul’s doxology is the best way to end our study of this fabulous and indispensable book in the Bible:
Now to God, who can strengthen you, according to my Good News, in harmony with the revelation of the secret truth which is the proclamation of Yeshua the Messiah, kept hidden in silence for ages and ages, but manifested now through prophetic writings, in keeping with the command of God the Eternal, and communicated to all the Gentiles to promote in them trust-grounded obedience — to the only wise God, through Yeshua the Messiah, be the glory forever and ever! Amen.