Growing at the Speed of Relationships: Romans 16:21-24
“21) Timothy my fellow worker greets you, and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen. 22) I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23) Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother. 24) [The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.]” Romans‬ ‭16:21-24‬
There was a kindred fellowship among the early believers. In Romans 16:1-16, Paul greeted many of the Christians who were in Rome. Keep in mind, Paul wrote this letter from Corinth.
As this letter comes to a close in Romans 16:21-24, a group of Paul’s ministry associates send their greetings to the Roman believers. It seems that they had close bonds with each other.
Corinth and Rome were both sea port cities around 450 miles apart by water. Travel between them was probably fairly common by merchant ships, which also sold tickets for passengers. Anyone from Rome wishing to travel to Palestine most likely stopped over in Corinth. The same held true in the opposite direction. Corinth was strategically located on the trade route from east the west.
The Christians in both churches practiced hospitality. They opened their homes to travelers. This was not only an effective evangelism tool, it also fostered kindred fellowship between these two churches. As can be ascertained from this chapter, there were many good and healthy friendships between believers within these two congregations.
I confess, Romans 16 was previously a boring chapter for me. I would skim over this chapter on my way to more palatable chapters. But this year the Holy Spirit is using this chapter to convict me of the tragically shallow friendships in my life.
It appears that ministry in the early church was built around fostering deep fellowship and relationships. That can be seen at the beginning of the church in Acts 2:41-47, and it holds true in this last chapter of the book of Romans years later. The New Testament as a whole screams the message that “Ministry Moves At The Speed Of Relationships.”
How are you doing at building healthy Christian relationships? This is where biblical application takes place and where many of the dynamics of the Christian life unfold.
Don’t fall into the isolation trap. Satan will do everything in his power to divorce you from close fellowship with the body of Christ. He wants to leave you wounded, bitter and stunted in your spiritual growth. Whatever your past bad experiences with people, shake them off and move on! You will grow at the speed of healthy relationships in your life.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global