02 March 2016

Love Civilizes All Chaos

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of His people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me. 
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Yeshua. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 
Greet also the church that meets at their house. 
Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. 
Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 
Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 
Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 
Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 
Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test. 
Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 
Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. 
Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 
Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. 
Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. 
Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 
Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the other brothers and sisters with them. 
Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with them. 
Greet one another with a holy kiss. 
All the churches of Christ send greetings. 
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. 
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. 
The grace of our Lord Yeshua be with you. 
Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews. 
I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord. 
Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings. 
Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings. 
Now to Him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Yeshua Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith—to the only wise God be glory forever through Yeshua Christ! Amen. 
- Romans 16
Some interesting highlights:

- women began having a substantial role in the church (previously passive in the culture and religion of Judaism)

- one of the 'places' the 'church' met was at people's private homes

- seniority was reflected in service, not tenure

- Jews and Gentiles were unified; one family, one people

- some were prisoners, not for criminal activity, but for the faith in the risen Christ, King over Caesar

- previous strangers of a perceived cultural inferiority now embraced as endearing relatives

- warning to identify divisive and deviating individuals who teach obscurity and cause factions

- public officials, now Christians submissive to Christ, occupying their office according to the Christ identity

- obedience to God being lived and experienced by faith

God has been transforming the kingdoms of men into His earthly kingdom for over 2,000 years... and arguably since the very beginning... have you noticed?

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