Beyond the Gospels: Romans 16

Today’s Scripture: Romans 16
[Don’t forget to read the passage before the devotional. Click the reference above to read online if your Bible is not in reach.]

Paul’s heart overflowed with love for fellow Believers and the church.

His letter closes with a recommendation of a sister in Christ to the Roman church and includes a list of greetings to people he knew there. It was important to him to let them know he remembered them and loved them.

Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
Romans 16:16

Paul’s recommendation of Phoebe reveals his concern for her and for the church. He wanted her to be received well and he wanted the church at Rome to know she was a genuine Believer who would contribute to their congregation.

The greetings of love lead to an expression of concern for the church.

I appeal to you brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions
and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught;
avoid them.
Romans 16:17

Beware of those who cause division. Jesus warned the same…

And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
Mark 3:25
Paul was concerned for the integrity of the church and its keeping of the Gospel as revealed and taught through the prophets and the revelation of Jesus. Anything contrary to these truths threatens the church and its witness to the world. 
There is only one Church: Christ’s Church. All Believers, no matter what denomination or what local congregation they participate, are called to love one another. There is One Word and we are to follow His Way.
The church stands united in love.
Love of one another.
Love of the Word.
Love of His Way.
We too, must love both the people of God and God’s ways.
Do you have the same passion for His people as you do His Church?
Both are to be pure and holy.
Both achieve purity and holiness only by His power and grace.
We’re leaving Romans and entering Advent, a perfect time to consider God’s love for His people and express our love for both His church and His people by the power of His grace.
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel
and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation
of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been
disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known
to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God,
to bring about the obedience of faith — to the only wise God
be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Romans 16:25-27

Lord, grow me to glorify You and Your Church
by teaching me to love Your people and Your Church.
Grow me in knowledge and understanding of the Gospel
and Your ways. Ignite a passion in my heart for
You, Your people, and the integrity of Your Church.

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