Romans #35 – Real Ministry: People

In Romans 16:1-16, Pastor Mark teaches a passage with a long list of names written by Paul, showing that all people are fascinating and every testimony is important.

Real Ministry People: (Romans 16:1-16)

Dinner out, restaurant closed 6:30, next closed w/sign “temporary hours, now hiring”.

·         National problem – people don’t want to work serving despite more $, college, etc.

·         XN Church – only exists because of humble serving unpaid volunteers

·         We’ve seen into Paul’s head. Now we see into Paul’s heart.

·         City/Church never been to 1. heard of 2. crossed paths with 3. sent ahead

=My first read through Bible, lists of names were uninteresting did not know them =Now, people are fascinating & every testimony is interesting = spiritual family


Romans 16:1-2 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.

Phoebe means “pure”, “bright”, or “radiant”

  • Cenchreae – not far from Corinth where Paul possibly wrote Romans from
  • Being mentioned 1st is often a great honor (e.g. Peter w/disciples)
  • 1. “servant of the church” 2. “saint” 3. “patron”
  • She’s probably helping prepare for Paul’s coming so meet her requests
  • She may be delivering the letter Romans while Paul visits Jerusalem w/offering $

Romans 16:Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house.

·         Helped Paul Corinth (Acts 18:1-11; 1 Cor. 16:19-20), Eph (Acts 18:19; 2 Tim 4:19), Rome

·         Raised up leaders, including Apollos (Acts 18:24-28)

= Early church met 1. houses 2. Temple Courts 3. synagogues 4. other?

Romans 16:5 Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia.

  • Firstfruits – the first of many
  • TTC – 1st info mtg. 1st work party 1st baptism, 1st wed, 1st wed building, 1st student camp

            = “Beloved” – spiritual father tough & tender

Romans 16:Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.

  • Steady, faithful, dependable, selfless = Burden lifters vs burden givers


Romans 16:Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

Names? male or female “Pat”. 1. Brothers 2. Friends 3. Married couple (my guess)

1.    Kinsmen = Jewish

2.    Fellow prisoners

3.    XN’s longer Paul “in Christ before me”

4.    Apostles –mov’t leader, pastor pastors, convening authority, parental



Romans 16:Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.

  • Language of parent/child

Romans 16:Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys.

            = Good vs Bad gas mileage relationships

Romans 16:10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ.

  • Tested & “approved”
  • He’s been through a lot

Romans 16:10 Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus.

Promise Keepers & Baptist Press on Church Involvement

  1. Dad NO Mom Yes – 2% regular kids worshipper as adults
  2. DAD NO MOM Yes/No – 66-75% worshipper as adults

Romans 16:11 Greet my kinsman Herodion.

  • Paul’s brother by birth & new birth

Romans 16:11 Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus.

·         Multiple generations worshipping & serving together

We open our Bibles to learn. We open our lives to love. So that lives & legacies are transformed

= Our family – 3 & eventually 4 generations

Romans 16:12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa.

  • 2 women sisters or friends 1. Face to face,

Romans 16:12 Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord.

  • Gratitude vs glory – speaking @ conservative event years ago rebuked
  • God works 1. For you 2. In you 3. Through you = Conference rebuke years ago

Romans 16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.

  • Paul did not have a family (+/-) = Church family (Linda)

Romans 16:14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them.

  • Guys who are close = Men build relationships shoulder/shoulder

Romans 16:15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

  • Social connectors

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

  • You can be in a crowd & feel lonely.

Principles & Methods

=1. US/Europe – shake hands 2. Middle East – kiss on the cheek 3. Far East – bow

26/27 people


  1. Everyone has experienced the power of the gospel & has the Holy Spirit
  2. Everyone is connected to & partnered with a local church
  3. Everyone is a vital part of Team Jesus
  4. Everyone is under the same Bible teaching
  5. Everyone is striving for unity & love between “all the churches”


  1. Some people are highly public, others very private
  2. Men & women – possibly more women than men
  3. Married & single, young & old, slave & free
  4. Some meeting in their home, others in various places
  5. Some entire families of generations serving together
  6. Various backgrounds (some names Latin, others Greek = Greeks, Romans, Jews)

General List Observations

  1. Good news is public. Bad news is private.
  2. God’s who’s who list is not the same as the world’s who’s who list.
  3. Honor is holy

            =Our world – service workers being poorly treated

            =See a need A. complaining B. serving

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Mark Driscoll

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