Phoebe the Deaconess, Carrying the Epistle, Earnestly Commended to Roman Christians. Verses 1, 2.
Loving Salutations to Particular Saints and Assemblies in Rome. Verses 3 to 16.
Warnings against Those Causing Divisions and Stumbling. Verses 17 to 20.
Salutations from Paul’s Fellow-workers. Verses 21 to 23.
Ascription of Praise through Jesus Christ to God only Wise: Who is
Revealing through Paul’s Establishing Gospel the Mystery Heretofore
Concealed. Verses 25 to 27.
1 I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a deaconess of the
church that is at Cenchreae: 2 that ye receive her in the Lord,
worthily of the saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever matter she
may have need of you: for she herself also hath been a helper of many,
and of mine own self.
THIS SIXTEENTH CHAPTER is neglected by many to their own loss. It is by
far the most extensive, intimate and particular of all the words of
loving greeting in Paul’s marvelous letters. No one can afford to miss
this wonderful out pouring of the heart of our apostle toward the
saints whom he so loved—which means all the real Church of God!
Verses 1, 2: Phoebe, a deaconess of the assembly, in the town of
Cenchreae, the eastern seaport of Corinth, (about nine miles distant
from that important city) is to carry to Rome this great Epistle! She
had business in Rome,—probably legal or official business. (See
Conybeare’s note here.) She was evidently a devoted and prominent
Christian,—a deaconess of the Cenchrean assembly. This, together with
her evident business ability (for she is traveling to the world
metropolis in connection with her affairs), made this entrustment to
her of this great Epistle to the Romans humanly safe;—and through the
Apostle’s prayers and those of the saints at Corinth (where Paul is
writing the Roman Epistle) absolutely safe. She is commended to the
saints at Rome,—with all which that beautiful word “commended” contains
(cf. Rom. 5:8 and II Cor. 10:18); and the saints are not only to
receive her in the Lord, worthily of saints (for the saints should be
devoted to receiving one another!) but they are asked to assist her in
her affairs in any way that they may find her needing help; for, says
Paul, she herself hath been a helper of many and of mine own self. Let
us also mark those who, like Phoebe, are “helpers,” and give ourselves
to assisting them, both by prayer and by personal service; for the Lord
will approve this, in His Day!
As to Phoebe’s being called a deaconess (diakonon) of the Cenchrean
assembly,281 note that she was recognized by that church as designated
of the Lord to her ministry, and was called by the name “deaconess.”
Let us not shun Scripture terms. Dorcas, in Acts 9:36, was “full of
good works which she did,” yet she is not called a deaconess. It is
plain that both deacons and deaconesses were known in the early Church.
(Elders, who would “rule,”—I Timothy 5:17—were, always, of course, men.)
3 Salute Prisca and Aquila, my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who
for my life laid down their own necks; unto whom i not only I give
thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; 5 and [salute] the
church that is in their house. Salute Epaenetus my beloved, who is the
first fruits of Asia unto Christ. 6 Salute Mary, who bestowed much
labor on you. 7 Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my
fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also have
been in Christ before me. 8 Salute Ampliatus my beloved in the Lord. 9
Salute Urbanus our fellow-worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10
Salute Apelles, the approved in Christ. Salute them that are of the
[household] of Aristobulus. 11 Salute Herodion my kinsman. Salute them
of the [household] of Narcissus, that are in the Lord. 12 Salute
Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Salute Persis the
beloved, who labored much in the Lord. 13Salute Rufus the chosen in the
Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes,
Patrobas, Hermas, and the brethren that are with them. 15 Salute
Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the
saints that are with them. 16 Salute one another with a holy kiss. All
the churches of Christ salute you!
Verses 3, 4: Prisca (Latin name of which Priscilla is the diminutive),
who, with her husband Aquila (Acts 18:1-3) had toiled with Paul, had,
at some time untold, laid down their own necks, risking their lives in
such fashion as to call forth the thanks, not only of Paul, but of all
the assemblies of the Gentiles.
Verse 5: There was also an assembly of saints [which gathered] in their
house. We see here, in God’s naming Priscilla first, that she was
probably superior in spiritual intelligence and activity to her
husband. Of course Aquila is recognized as the head of his house, as we
see from Acts 18:2: “A certain Jew, named Aquila, with his wife
Priscilla.” But in Acts 18:26, when they are inviting eloquent,
poorly-instructed Apollos to their home, it is Priscilla whose humble
discernment and gospel earnestness seem to be foremost: “When
Priscilla282 and Aquila heard him, they took him unto them, and
expounded unto him the Way of God more accurately.” Compare II Timothy
4:19: “Salute Prisca and Aquila,”—personal salutations. But where the
assembly is concerned, as in I Corinthians 16:19 (for this devoted pair
had their house open in Ephesus, also, for an assembly of the saints),
Aquila, as head of the house, is named first. The position and ministry
of sisters in Christ is not at all unrecognized or suppressed in Paul’s
Salute Epaenetus my beloved . . . the first-fruits of Asia unto
Christ—probably converted in Paul’s great three years’ mission in
Ephesus, the capital of proconsular Asia, which is here referred to. We
always specially treasure first converts!
Verse 6: Salute Mary,—for she bestowed much labor on you. Mary is a
Jewish name, from Miriam. “Much labor” means great spiritual toil on
behalf of all the saints and assemblies.
Verse 7: Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my
fellow-prisoners, . . . such ones as (hoitines) are of note among the
apostles, who also were in Christ before me. From verse 21, we learn
that three others of Paul’s kinsmen were with him at Corinth when he
wrote Romans. It is precious to note how, like our Lord Himself, he won
his relatives! (See Acts 23:16-22.) But here we have two kinsmen
converted before Paul! but who had, however, shared his hardships.
Having the apostolic gift (though not among the twelve,) they were “of
note” in it. Bishop Moule remarks, “Not improbably these two early
converts helped to ‘goad’ (Acts 26:14) the conscience of their still
persecuting kinsman, and to prepare the way of Christ in his heart.”
Verse 8: Salute Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord: Probably a convert of Paul’s own, dear to him.
Verse 9: Salute Urbanus our fellow-worker in Christ, and Stachys my
beloved. How wonderfully does the heart of this apostle retain personal
names and maintain special love!
Verse 10: Salute Apelles the approved in Christ. Here is a tried and
true saint—well known of all men: “the Lord knows, not we, the tests he
stood.” Salute them that are of the household of Aristobulus. Bishop
Lightfoot holds that this Aristobulus was the grandson of Herod the
Great, brother of Herod Agrippa of Judea; “his household,” therefore,
would be his retainers and servants, who would still, after his death,
hold their master’s name. This may be true also of the household of
Narcissus, in verse 11. The word “household” does not appear in the
Greek, but only “those from” or “of” Aristobulus and Narcissus. It
should be noted, also, that in Philippians 4:22, where “the household
of Caesar” is mentioned, the word for household (oikia) is expressed in
the Greek. So that Aristobulus and Narcissus may have been prominent
Christians, with numerous families connected with them,—children,
relatives, retainers, servants. God loves to save whole households!
Verse 11: From his name some think Herodion, Paul’s kinsman, would be connected with the Herodian retainers (see above).
Verse 12: Salute Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Salute
Persis the beloved, who labored much in the Lord. Not all of God’s
saints are real laborers in His vineyard. Persis was one whom the
saints especially loved, and who gave them much service in her Lord.
Note that Paul speaks of the men to whom he is especially attached,
(like Stachys in verse 9), as “my beloved,” and of a woman as “the
beloved.” He is careful in these matters.
Tryphæna and Tryphosa were, perhaps, sisters; and “almost certainly, by
the type of their names, female slaves”; but Paul would send them a
special greeting. For in the Church of God, as James says, “the brother
of low degree glories in his high estate; and the rich that he is made
low”: both which things are impossible for the world!
Verse 13: Salute Rufus the chosen in the Lord, and his mother and
mine—Perhaps the Rufus of Mark 15:21, the son of Simon of Cyrene, who
bore our Lord’s cross! “And his mother—and mine.” How great the
privilege this unnamed woman had that she should be regarded by this
great apostle as a mother to him! And Paul, having left all for Christ,
has a “mother” in this saint! See Mark 10:30. Let Christian mothers
find here a great field for that wonderful heart of instinctive loving
care given by God to mothers,—that they extend their maternal care
beyond their own family circle, to all Christians, and especially to
all laborers for Christ. The Lord will remember it at His coming!
Verse 14: Here we have five brethren greeted by name, and also the
brethren who are with them: Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas,
Hermas. This is the second of the three gatherings of saints in Rome
here mentioned. For we must remember that in the early days of the
Church believers gathered in great simplicity, according to our Lord’s
word: “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I
in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). It is fast coming to this, in
these last days, also, where the Laodicean spirit claims the property
and ecclesiastical importance in this world, of that which is known as
“the Christian religion”; while humble saints, finding themselves unfed
and very often unwanted in the great “establishments,” are gathering
more and more as the early Christians did,—in homes, in Bible
Conferences—wherever Christ and His Word and real fellowship in the
Spirit are the only drawing powers (and how sufficient!).
Verse 15: Next comes another such assembly: all the saints that are
with Philologus and Julia—a precious couple!—and Nereus and his sister.
It is a growing wonder that Paul in his multitude of burdens, his “care
for all the churches,” remembers, each and all, these beloved
Verse 16: Salute one another with a holy kiss. It is remarkable that
this direction should be repeated five times: here; in I Thessalonians
5:26; I Corinthians 16:20; II Corinthians 13:12; I Peter 5:14. In the
first four, the word “holy” is used, and in the passage in I Peter, “a
kiss of love.” Sanday declares, “The earliest references to the kiss of
peace as a regular part of the Liturgy is in Justin Martyr; then
mentioned by Tertullian and others.”
The simplicity and warmth of early Christian devotion cannot be brushed
aside as an “Orientalism” by the colder hearts and more formal and
“reserved” manners of our day. “Behold, how these Christians love one
another!” was the constant remark in the early days. The word beloved
is used four times by Paul in these few verses.
All the churches in Christ salute you. Paul knew these assemblies; the
burden of all of them he says pressed upon him daily (II Cor. 11:28).
He was familiar with their feelings toward the saints in the great
world center, and in their name he sends the Christians in Rome their
greetings of love. How beautiful, how good and pleasant, were those
early days of first love! The mustard seed was yet little—“least of all
seeds”; later it was to grow in outward form into the “great tree,”
where “the fowls of the air” (Satan’s very own) were to find lodging
(Matt. 13:31, 32, 4, 19). Would it not be wonderful in our eyes to come
upon some community today where the saints were all one! loving one
another and thus fulfilling our Lord’s great prayer in John 17? Surely
the world has much to stumble at in our divisions and lack of
tenderness one toward another.
And now, as Bishop Moule beautifully writes in his tender remarks on
this Chapter; “The roll of names is over, with its music, that subtle
characteristic of such recitations of human personalities, and with its
moving charm for the heart due almost equally to our glimpses of
information about one here and one there, and to our total ignorance
about others; an ignorance of everything about them, but that they were
at Rome, and that they were in Christ. We seem, by an effort of
imagination, to see as through a bright cloud, the faces of the
company, and to catch the far-off voices; but the dream ‘dissolves in
wrecks’; we do not know them, we do not know their distant world. But
we do know Him in whom they were, and are; and that they have been
‘with Him, which is far better,’ for now so long a time of rest and
glory. So we watch this unknown but well-beloved company with a sense
of fellowship and expectation impossible out of Christ. This page is no
mere relic of the past; it is a list of friendships to be made
hereafter, and to be possessed forever in the endless life where
personality indeed shall be eternal, but where also the union of
personalities in Christ shall be beyond our utmost present thought.”
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the
divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye
learned; and turn away from them. 18 For they that are such serve not
our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair
speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent. 19 For your obedience
is come abroad unto all men. I rejoice therefore over you: but I would
have you wise unto that which is good, and simple unto that which is
evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet
shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Verses 17, 18: Already, at Rome, we find men willing to bring about
divisions among the saints and to become occasions of stumbling. Alas
that such an unearthly wonder of beauty as the love and unity of the
saints in Christ should be hated and attacked by deadly foes! But so it
is, and Paul must write, I beseech you, brethren, mark such ones! And
there is the ever present danger of our very Christian charity making
us unwilling to deal with righteous sternness toward others who are
doing deadly work. If any one was known to be causing selfish
divisions, or had become an occasion for others’ falling, contrary to
the doctrine which they had learned of Paul, their only path was to
turn away from them. Compare II Thessalonians 3:6, Titus 3:10, II John
10. Such evil workers were not serving our Lord Christ, but their own
belly. What an unutterably fearful spiritual state!—to be amongst those
filled with holy love toward the Lord Jesus Christ, and toward one
another as fellow members of His Body, and yet be bent on altogether
selfish business! Concerning many professors of Christianity John
Bunyan said, “A man will go far for his own belly’s sake.” Compare
Philippians 3:18, 19, 20:
“Many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping,
that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is
perdition, whose god is the belly, and whose glory is in their shame,
who mind earthly things: for our citizenship is in Heaven.”
Just as in Eden God did not prevent the serpent from tempting
Eve,—“beguiling her in his craftiness”; so God does not forcibly
prevent false teachers, division-makers, evil workers, stumbling
producers, from coming among His saints. But He warns His saints, and
expects them to exercise both their discernment and their holy hatred
of evil in turning away from such. Also, they “have an Anointing from
the Holy One,”— these saints of God; and this Anointing “teacheth them
concerning all things.” The saints do not have to depend on their own
understanding, but to consult constantly God’s Word, and trust the
indwelling Spirit. God warns concerning these evil workers that by
their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent.
Beautiful testimony of an all-seeing God to the blessed “innocence” of
His own children toward the subtle wickedness of evil doers!
Verse 19: Indeed, Paul declares of these Roman Christians, whose
obedience was come abroad unto all men: I rejoice, therefore, over you!
Everywhere throughout the Roman world, the simple wholehearted faith
and love of the Christians at Rome was talked of (See Chapter 1:8). But
Paul expresses his concern in the remarkable words, I would have you
wise unto that which is good, and simple unto that which is evil. Here
is a Divinely safe path for the believer! “Wise unto that which is
good,” will include: the constant study of God’s Word of truth, and
careful observation and valuing what is good in the lives about us, and
of those whose lives and works we read. Paul sums it up to the
“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are reverend, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report (concerning anything or
any person); if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, take
account of these things.”
Oh, for such a habit of mind—to be constantly “wise unto that which is good!”
But the other side, “simple unto that which is evil,” must accompany
wisdom toward the good. “Simple” here literally means unmixed,—used of
wine or metals: pure; and so, “free from guile,” “like a little child.”
We are in the midst of a world of evil, but the Spirit of God will
bring us into an attitude of a babe’s simplicity toward it all,—as Paul
says in I Corinthians 14:20: “in malice, be ye babes.” That whole verse
reads, “Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice, be ye babes;
but in mind be of full age.” You see it is wholly possible to grow up
from spiritual infancy (in which were the Corinthians, for instance: I
Cor. 3:1), into spiritual adulthood, without becoming mixed up at all
with the “deep things of Satan, as they say” (Rev. 2:24). Indeed, Paul
distinctly warns us against a “knowing” spirit as to worldly things:
“If any man thinketh that he is wise among you in this age, let him
become a fool that he may become wise, for the wisdom of this age is
foolishness with God.” “Sophisticated” is what many young people today
so desire to be considered: but it is a horrible term, implying
experimental knowledge of the unclean things of this world, with all
its evil ways. Malice, along with pride, are valued by the world, as
exhibiting what they call “spirit”! Let us remember, therefore, that
Paul would have us “simple” unto that which is evil. He says in I
Corinthians 13, “Love thinketh no evil,”—literally, “taketh not account
of evil.” Evil is all about one, but the believer, abiding in Christ,
is kept in sweet simplicity toward it.284
There has been much conjecture as to the character of these early evil
workers (of verses 17, 18) at Rome: some regarding them as evil
teachers, probably of a Jewish character (Sanday); others as early
Gnostics, which insidious Satanic philosophy developed itself fully
later (Moule). It is not, however, as necessary to know their historic
setting, as to take the moral lesson here, and to discern such
characters, whatever they be, in our own day among the saints; and turn
away from them. The inability to turn resolutely and holily away from
false teachers and evil workers, is a mark of spiritual ill-health,
decadence, and possibly of the state of spiritual death itself!
Mad dogs are shot; infectious diseases are quarantined; but evil
teachers who would divide to their destruction and draw away the saints
with teaching contrary to the doctrine of Christ and His Apostles are
everywhere tolerated! How ghastly and ruinous is this false toleration!
Let us take heed lest we “partake in the evil deeds” of such evil
workers! Remember II John 9, 10, 11.
“Whosoever goeth onward [lit., ‘taketh the lead’—into such
‘progressiveness’ as Modernism, Theosophy, New Thought], and abideth
not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the
teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any one cometh
unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your
house, and give him no greeting: for he that giveth him greeting
partaketh in his evil works.”
Verse 20: The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
The same word here translated “bruise” is used of Christ’s breaking the
nations at His second coming (Rev. 2:27). Note that it is the God of
peace who will do this blessed delivering! And it is Satan, the great
dragon of Revelation Twelve, against whom Michael and his angels go
forth to war, that shall be bruised. Note further that it will be under
the feet of His saints that God will do this bruising; and note finally
that it is to be done shortly. This corresponds to the “quickly” of
“Behold, I come,”— in Revelation 22:7, 12, 20; and is the very phrase
used in Revelation 1:1! This is to be held fast by our faith, despite
all seeming delays and apparent Satanic victories. Meanwhile, let it
astonish us and fill us with exultant joy that the great foe of God,
who will have the hardihood to war against Michael and his angels,
flees before the saints on earth today who, in heart-subjection to God,
“resist” him “steadfast in their faith”! (James 4:7; I Pet. 5:9.)
How glorious the prospect of the complete overthrow of Satan, whose
unlimited, pride will be abased, and that under the very feet of those
he now despises, hates, and seeks to overthrow!
Satan’s ruin began (as traced in Ezekiel 28) in heaven, where he was
the “anointed cherub,” walking up and down in the midst of “the stones
of fire,”—perhaps leading all others in worship. But his heart became
lifted up by very reason of his beauty; he corrupted his wisdom by the
very reason of his brightness, and he was “cast as profane out of the
Mountain of God”—that is from the heavenly council-place of Divine
Majesty. Now, though he still has ability to accuse the saints before
God (Rev. 12:10), and with his host is in “the heavenlies” (Eph.
6:12)—that is, not confined to earth, but still permitted the freedom
of certain heavenly regions as a heavenly being—yet he will be cast
down (after the Church’s Rapture, or taking up,) to this earth. And in
his rage, therefore, he will inaugurate the Great Tribulation to
obliterate God’s nation Israel from the earth.
Upon Christ’s coming down to earth with His saints and angels, Satan
will be cast into the abyss at the center of the earth for a thousand
years—The Millennium, (Rev. 20). At the end of that he will be released
for a little season and lead the last great warfare against God and His
people. Thence he is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone to be
tormented forever (Rev. 20:10). Every believer should be familiar with
these facts concerning his great enemy. Shortly, he will be “bruised”
by Christ; according to the first prophecy and promise in the Bible:
Genesis 3:15: “He” [the seed of the Woman] “shall bruise thy head” (the
Serpent’s, Satan’s). This is a heartening promise, indeed! Further,
there will be no peace, no truce, until it is done. The word “shortly”
should fall on our hearts with constant hope, as it did on Paul’s.
Then comes the “benediction,” as we call it, pronouncing, promising, to
the Saints: the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. In the last
verse of II Corinthians (13:14)) Paul says, “The grace of the Lord
Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy
Spirit, be with you all”; but seven times “the grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ” is pronounced on the saints in the Epistles! Even in the verse
from Corinthians quoted above, when the three persons of the Godhead
are mentioned, it is still “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”! Now
the “grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” is defined in II Corinthians 8:9:
“Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich,
yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might
It is as the Head, from whom all the Body is supported and nourished,
that Christ thus constantly supplies grace to all believers: For “God
gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church”—the Assembly of God.
It may be said that grace has God the Father as its Source; with Christ
as its Bestower; and the Holy Spirit as its Communicator.
21 Timothy my fellow-worker saluteth you; and Lucius and Jason and
Sosipater, my kinsmen. 22 I Tertius, who write the epistle, salute you
in the Lord. 23 Gaius my host, and of the whole church, saluteth you.
Erastus the treasurer of the city saluteth you, and Quartus the brother.
Verse 21: Now come the salutations to the Christians at Rome from
Paul’s fellow-workers, from his gracious host, and others. Bishop Moule
with his fervid imagination pictures the Epistle to the Romans as
written in Gaius’ house in one day! “They began at morning on the
themes of sin, righteousness, and glory of the present and the future
of Israel, of the duties of the Christian life, of the special problems
of the Roman Mission; carried their hours along to noon, to afternoon .
. . But before he bids his willing and wonderful secretary, Tertius,
rest from his labor, he has to discharge his own heart and affections
which have already lain in it all the while! And now Paul and Tertius
are no longer alone—other brethren have found their way to the
chamber—Timothy, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Gaius himself, Quartus, and
no less a magistrate than Erastus, Treasurer of Corinth. A page of
personal messages yet to be dictated from St. Paul and his friends.”
Now while we cannot agree that the Epistle was written in one day, the words above bring vividly to our mind the closing scene.
Timothy, my fellow-worker, saluteth you. “I have no man likeminded,”
wrote Paul to the Phippians (2:19-22), “who will truly care for your
state. Ye know that as a child serveth a father, so he served with me
in the furtherance of the Gospel.” I can think of no higher honor than
to be counted by Paul a “fellow-worker.” Although Paul’s name alone
must stand at the beginning of this Epistle to the Romans, as it sets
forth the foundation of Christian doctrines as the Lord committed them
to him, yet here at the end is Timothy, his “true yokefellow,” faithful
from the beginning on. Then we have Lucius, Jason and Sosipater,
kinsmen of Paul’s. Lucius was perhaps, even probably, the “Lucius of
Cyrene” of Acts 13:1; and Jason that Jason who had received Paul in
Acts 17:5-9; while Sosipater is in all likelihood Sosipater, the son of
Pyrrhus, of Berea. These last three, being relatives of Paul’s, were,
doubtless, Jewish Christians.
Verse 22: Then we have a direct word from Tertius, who transcribed the
Epistle for Paul: I, Tertius, who am writing the Epistle, salute you in
Next that gracious and generous hearted believer, who kept open house
for the whole Church of God, and was at present entertaining Paul,
gives his greeting: Gaius, my host, and of the whole church, saluteth
you. This doubtless is the Gaius of the very next chapter of the New
Testament I Corinthians 1 (verse 14)), whom Paul himself had
baptized,—as a man prominent and well known. God gave Solomon
“largeness of heart as the sand upon the sea shore,” and here is a
brother whose hospitality welcomes all the saints. Brother, if you have
a longing to be helpful to God’s saints, be a Gaius! Count not the
things you have as your own, but as belonging to Christ; and,
therefore, to be used freely by Christ’s own. Our Lord, “while on
earth, found one home,—that at Bethany, thus open fully to Him, and He
said to His disciples, “He that receiveth you, receiveth Me, and he
that receiveth Me, receiveth Him that sent Me.”
Verse 23: Erastus, the City Treasurer, saluteth you. Sanday thinks that
Paul mentions Erastus because of his being “the most influential member
of the community.” But that would not be like Paul! And the salutation
of Erastus is just as genuine as that of Gaius, or of the saint next
mentioned here as simply Quartus the brother. Quartus was not a city
official, nor prominent, but along go his warm greetings to the
Christians at Rome, with Paul’s and all the rest!
These tender salutations, both to the Christians at Rome, and from the
Christians gathered about Paul in Corinth where he writes, arouse both
joy and grief in our hearts today,—joy that in that early day there
existed such unity of consciousness in Christ) such brotherly
solicitude, such friendly, loving greetings, between those who knew
themselves one company, one Body, one band of pilgrims through the dark
and dreary desert of this world! and grief that our own day sees such
sad divisions, jealousies, contentions, such earthly-mindedness; such
loss of the mighty truths of this great Epistle to the Romans,—that our
sin has been put away forever by the one sacrifice of Christ, that we
died with Him and have been raised into newness of life with Him, and
are no longer of this world! Not only grief at the awful Babylonish
ecclesiastical structure, worse than paganism, which Satan has built,
beginning at this very city of Rome; but deeper grief at the
indifference and unconcern at increasing Romish abominations of those
calling themselves “Protestants”; at their willingness to be
divided—their even glorying in it; at the lack of that burning love so
evident in Paul and those with him, and at the loss of separation from
this world that crucified our Lord!
25 Now to him that is able to establish you according to my gospel and
the heralding of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the
mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, 26 but
now is manifested, and [now] by prophetic Scriptures, according to the
commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto
obedience of faith; 27 to God alone wise, through Jesus Christ, to whom
be the glory unto the ages. Amen!
Verses 25 to 27: All agree that the Epistle to the Romans is the
foundational Epistle. Consequently the great doctrines of Christianity
appear there. But it is not generally recognized that in verses 25 to
27 preparation is made by the Apostle Paul for the unfolding in his
further epistles of that great secret of God called “The Mystery,—kept
in silence through the times of ages”; the Special revelator of which
Paul is. It is necessary to see clearly that in the words to establish
you of verse 25, Paul refers to truth beyond that which the Romans
already knew. He says in Chapter One he “longs to see them . . . that
they might through his teaching, ministry, and fellowship, be
established.” Those to whom Paul writes in this Epistle had believed;
they had become “obedient from the heart to that pattern of doctrine
whereunto they were delivered” (6:17). Therefore when Paul speaks to
them of my gospel and of the heralding of Jesus Christ according to the
revelation of the mystery, he cannot be referring to that revelation of
God’s righteousness which had been “witnessed by the Law and the
prophets” (3:21). Furthermore, these two expressions, my gospel and the
preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery,
seem to be two coördinate terms, or possibly we should say, the second
characterized the first: for we know that to some (like the
Corinthians), who were babes, not full grown, Paul preached only “Jesus
Christ and Him crucified.” Whereas he himself tells us, as we have
before observed, of higher, heavenly truth, connected with Christ Jesus
and Him glorified, which he preached to “fullgrown” believers.
The Greek word translated establish is used about ten times in the New
Testament concerning a settled, stable spiritual condition. We find
this first in our Lord’s words to Peter: “When once thou hast turned
again, establish thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). It includes not only a
knowledge of the truth, and a settled persuasion in Christ of that
truth; but also obedience in the power of the Spirit, to the truth: “to
the end He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our
God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints” (I
Thess. 3:13); and it also involves our testimony: “establish your
hearts in every good word and work” (II Thess. 2:17).
We shall find the Greek construction of the great doxology of verses 25
to 27, involved and difficult, unless we place ourselves in the
position of Paul himself. He has been writing with the hand of the
Spirit upon him, those stupendous truths which we find in this great,
fundamental Epistle: the glory, holiness, and righteousness, of the
infinite, eternal God; the awful guilt and helplessness of man; the
story of the astonishing intervention of a Grace that not only pardoned
and justified, but made believing sinners partakers in Christ of the
very glory of God Himself; the absolute consistency of all this with
God’s promises to His earthly nation, Israel; the openness of all
Heaven now to all nations, and that on the simplest possible
condition—Faith alone! And the Apostle has God in view as the Giver,
Christ in view as the means, and the saints in view as the receivers of
this mighty bounty!
Therefore this great passage becomes both a doxology, and a
commendation with a doxology, of praise to this great God, and a
commendation of the saints unto Him. Paul thus commended the saints in
Ephesus (Acts 20:32) : “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to
the Word of His grace.” Therefore, if we must seek for grammatical
regularity (which we do not need to do in such an overwhelming passage
as this!) We may read: Now I commend you to Him that is able to
establish you . . . To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ: to whom
be the glory unto the ages!
The last words, to whom be the glory unto the ages must, it seems, be
taken, in view of all other Scriptures, to refer to God. It is to Him
the glory comes, through Jesus Christ. This is the constant voice of
Scripture. Furthermore, Paul at the beginning declares this gospel to
be the Gospel of God concerning His Son, and as we have noted
throughout the Epistle, God is the Actor—setting forth Christ as a
propitiation. He is the God, “not of Jews only, but of Gentiles also,—
seeing that God is One.” “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ.” “It is God that justifieth,” and “O the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” and “We present our bodies
living sacrifices to God.” Right through the Epistle goes the message
of the gospel of God concerning His Son.
Also the double mention of God, first (verse 25), to Him that is able
to establish you; and second (verse 27): to the only wise God, draws
our minds irresistibly to God the Father as the Source of all this
grace and blessing—to whom the ascription of praise goes up.
We notice also that it is God who establishes us according to the
preaching of Jesus Christ (verse 25); that the message concerning the
mystery is brought forth according to the commandment of the eternal
God (verse 26); and that the glory goes up to God through Jesus Christ
(verse 27), much as the King James Versions reads: to God only wise, be
glory through Jesus Christ forever.
Our blessed Lord Himself insisted beyond all others that the Father be
glorified in and through the Son! and thus we find it in Romans285
“THE MYSTERY WHICH HAD BEEN KEPT IN SILENCE”
God had a sovereign purpose to take certain creatures into His own
glory, to share in that Glory. And He desired also that these should
know Him in His nature as Love, and be with Him, before Him, in that
blissful atmosphere of pure love, forever.
These happy creatures were not to be taken from among the “elect angels,”—holy, blessed beings that these are.
It was God’s purpose to manifest Himself, all that He is,— not in
holiness and righteousness and truth only; but in His infinite Love,
Grace, Mercy, Tenderness, Gentleness, and Patience.
God therefore sent His Son, and lo! God was manifest in the flesh!
Christ declared God—all God was: which had not ever been done before,
to any of His creatures!
But, after revealing God’s love, mercy, and gracious tenderness toward
sinners, the Son of God goes to the cross. And there is revealed the
eternal unchangeable holiness of God in hatred of sin, together with
that love capable of giving the Son of His delight to bear sin for a
world that rejected, despised His Son!
But the mystery of which Paul speaks was not yet revealed. Was it not
prophesied in the Psalms and prophets, and witnessed in the types of
all the offerings, that the Son of God, the Messiah, would suffer, and
that for human sin? “Thus it is written in the law, the prophets and
the psalms, that Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the
third day,” our Risen Lord said to His disciples in Luke 24:44-46. And
“the mystery” had been “hid in God who created all things,”—hid “from
the ages and from the generations.”
What then, is the mystery?
It is wrapped up, (though not revealed) in our Lord’s words in His
great heavenly prayer of John 17: For here we find Him praying for a
company given Him by the Father out of the world.286
Now in verse 22, our Lord Jesus says plainly: “The glory which Thou
hast given Me I have given unto them.” So that this glory into which
Christ was to enter was to be shared with these whom the Father had
This, then, is the foundation for the revelation of “the Mystery.”
Certain were to be brought, in Christ, into the Divine glory! They were
to be “manifested with Him in glory,” at His appearing. But that would
be because they had entered into a glory never before given creatures!
It was not given to angels, seraphim, or cherubim, but to blood-bought
sinners as members of Christ! Nor was such a union proposed to earthly
Israel. Saved Israel will, indeed “see the glory of God”; “Thine eyes
shall see the King in His beauty,” is promised to that beloved,
restored nation (Isa. 33:17): and also that over restored Jerusalem
“the glory shall be spread a covering” (Isa. 4:2-6). But there was
never a hint in the Old Testament that there would be a heavenly
calling,—a company who would enter into that glory—be glorified with
this glorious One!
This, is the secret, the mystery, “kept in silence through times of
ages,” the unfolding of which Paul declares will establish the saints!
For it must involve the revelation to us that we were “chosen in Christ
before the foundation of the world”! That we were foreknown, and
foreordained to be “conformed to the image of God’s Son, that He might
be “The First-born among many brethren”!
That we, having a sinful history in Adam the first, would not only have
our sins put away, in God’s grace, by the blood of Christ; but would be
so identified with Him, by God’s astonishing act, as to be cut off from
all connection with the first Adam and be created in His Son, now risen
from the dead!
That we would not only be enlifed with Him, but be raised up with Him,
and made to sit with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus! Thus
passing out of earthly connections, and becoming citizens of heaven!
That, in “the riches of the glory of this mystery, Christ would be in
us, dwelling in our hearts by faith, in the energy of the Holy Spirit!”
(Col. 1:27; Eph. 3:14-21).
That thus, our hearts being as a “mirror,” we would behold the glory of
the Lord, and be transformed into His image, “from glory to glory,”
here below (II Cor. 3:18).
That, at our Lord’s second coming, our bodies would be in an instant
redeemed, (I Cor. 15:51-53); so that “these bodies of our humiliation,”
would be, by Christ’s “fashioning them anew,” be at once “conformed to
the body of His glory”; so that “we should be like Him, for we shall
see Him even as He is”!—which not even Paul has yet done! (Phil. 3:20,
21; I John 3:3).
That, in “the ages to come,” God will “show the exceeding riches of His grace, in kindness to us, in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7).
And that, as Eve shared with the first Adam the dominion given him,
being one with him (she having been taken out of his side and “builded
into” a woman) and even sharing with him his name Adam (Gen. 1:28;
2:21-23; 5:1, 2): just so the Church, the wife of the Lamb, as one with
Christ, having been created in Him and sharing with Him His name! (I
Cor. 12:12) will share His dominion! See, reverently, Ephesians 1:23;
2:10; I Cor. 12:12, 13. That thus Christ and His Bride, the Church,
shall be forever: “That they may be with Me where I am; that they may
behold My glory which Thou hast given Me; and the glory which Thou Hast
given Me I have given unto them.”
Creatures—only creatures we, and forever will be, but given the highest
place which the Word of God gives to creatures: “For we are members of
Christ’s Body”! and, “We rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God.”
Now although on the Day of Pentecost, God baptized into Christ in glory
those in the upper room and all true believers thereafter; and although
it is true that God thus in their experience made known to “His holy
apostles and prophets in the Spirit,” “this mystery of Christ which in
other generations was not made known unto the sons of men”; yet He
chose Paul to open out before God’s saints the doctrine of this
heavenly mystery or secret; and to write in “all his Epistles” these
things for us. All the apostles knew, for example, on that Day of
Pentecost that Christ had been glorified in heaven and that they were
in the boundless joy of the revelation of this glorious Christ to their
souls. They had all entered into the enjoyment of the blessedness
belonging to this great thing concealed by God from all creatures
before that moment. But it was Paul to whom the Lord revealed the whole
doctrine of the mystery; and we firmly believe he thus became the
revelator to all men of these glorious things connected with this
Not that God subjected James, Cephas and John, the apostles of the
circumcision, to Paul in their ministry. In their spheres of ministry,
Paul went to the Gentiles and they to the circumcision. But as to the
unfolding of the great facts of the mystery, the Lord chose Paul,—who
writes himself down (and that by an inspired pen), as “less than the
least of all saints”; so that “by the grace of God” Paul himself said,
“I am what I am.” And we give all glory, therefore, to God.
Now no one is able to read, understand, believe and meditate, upon
this, God’s great secret, of our heavenly calling, our connection with
Christ Himself and with the glory that shall be revealed, without
becoming himself heavenly minded!
So that the heralding of Jesus Christ according to the unfolding of the
mystery is the preaching by which God establishes His heavenly saints.
For if indeed we are heavenly; if our “citizenship” is in heaven; if
our worship is by the Spirit; if through Christ by that Spirit we have
“our access to the Father”—unto God in heaven; how utterly unable is
any “religious” earthly system to establish us! Nay, says Paul; “We are
the circumcision who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ
Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh!” (Phil. 3:3).
We recognize fully that the “mystery” is not developed in Romans,
though set forth and implied in Chapter 12:5: “We who are many are one
Body in Christ.” Paul is here speaking as if the Roman Christians were
expected to understand the expression, or were at least to expect Paul
to reveal and fully explain it to them when he should get to Rome.
Inasmuch, therefore, as some of our readers may not have access to
those writings Scripturally setting forth what the mystery is and our
participation in it, or may even neglect to read the other remarkable
Scriptures which open it out, we have thought it best to speak briefly
upon the mystery, even in a work on Romans.
And we would remind the reader that unless this “revelation of the
mystery” becomes indeed revelation to his own soul, he must fall short
entirely of understanding what the present dispensation is; and what is
the Church’s (or Assembly’s) real character, calling, destiny, and
present walk. As the prayer of Paul for us is realized in us: “That you
may know what is the hope of His calling” (Eph. 1:18, 19,ff), these
things will be brought to pass in you and me:
1. We shall see and realize that our history in the first Adam was ended at the cross.
2. We shall see that the Christ with Whom God has now connected us is
wholly a heavenly Christ, and that neither Christ nor those in Him have
anything to do with Israel after the flesh, to whom the Law was given,
and to whom the Messiah came.
3. We shall see ourselves vitally connected with, joined to, this
heavenly Christ, so that we have been received in Christ as belonging
to heaven, “even as He”; that we are “the righteousness of God in Him”;
that we are loved even as He; and that our citizenship is in heaven.
Our hearts must be convinced that these things are facts, not figures
of speech, or things to be realized in some far future. We wait,
indeed, for the redemption of our bodies, but we ourselves are already
in the new creation, and for us old things (all earthly things,
“religious” or worldly), have passed away.
4. We shall see that blindness has befallen Israel; that the mystery of
lawlessness is working; that the earthly testimony of the Church has
failed; that iniquity will abound and “evil men and seducers wax worse
and worse” in professing Christendom— of all these things we shall be
certain: but knowing” them beforehand, and understanding that the
course of things on earth has nothing to do with our heavenly calling,
we shall continue steadfast in faith.
5. An ever-deepening humility will be wrought in us by the knowledge
that we have been called into this Divine union, so that there is
fulfilled in us what our Lord prayed for: “That they may all be one;
even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be
in us”: as Paul writes to the Thessalonians: “The assembly of the
Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
6. Not only humility, but hope—the true hope of the instructed
Christian, will rise and well up in our hearts: “Looking for the
blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior
Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
7. Thus the believer walks consciously justified from all things, and
in newness of life (Romans); as a new creature in Christ (II
Corinthians); as made alive together with Christ, raised up in Him, and
made to sit with Him in the heavenlies (Ephesians); thus with Paul as
the example, he runs His course toward Christ Himself (Philippians); as
walking through many dangers on this earth, yet “holding fast the
Head,” in Whom is all fulness, and in Whom, in constant appropriation
of His fulness, the believer is being made full (Colossians); and thus
with ever-absorbing hope he expects the day when Christ shall appear,
and he become “in a moment” “like Him,”—seeing Him as He is
Why both the King James and the Revised Versions should translate the
same word deacon when it applies it to men (I Tim. 3:8, 10), and
servant or minister when applied to women, let others explain. I Tim.
3:11 describes women-deacons evidently. As William Kelly (Romans: p.
274) says, “We know from elsewhere that elderly females held a position
in which they rendered official or quasi-official service in the
assembly where they lived. Phoebe was one of these of the port of
In our indignant rejection of papal pretenses and ecclesiastical
man-made officialdom, we are apt to swing the pendulum too far, and
refuse to recognize those whom God raises up as elders, deacons, and
deaconesses. To claim that Timothy and Titus “have no successors” as
direct apostolic delegates with authority “to appoint elders in every
city,” and that therefore eldership is no longer possible, is to ignore
two great facts: first, that it is the Holy Spirit Himself Who makes
men elders (Acts 20:17, 28), and second, that the Lord gave to Paul to
write public letters describing the qualifications of both bishops
(that is, elders), and also deacons (I Tim. 3; Titus 1). If the
ministry of Timothy and Titus as “apostolic delegates” was purely
personal and ended with them, then the instructions would have been in
private, and not have been left to the Church at large! For what profit
would instructions about the selection of elders, deacons, and
deaconesses be, if there were to be none such, after Timothy and Titus?
We accept fully all those directions concerning women given by Paul.
Women are not to be arbiters of doctrine, nor to usurp authority over
men. This, however, does not hinder their praying publicly, and
testifying (prophesying), if they have their heads obediently covered;
nor does it hinder their being recognized,—as was Phoebe, as
deaconesses. And it should humble the pride of some of us to find
Phoebe, a woman, carrying this mighty fundamental Epistle of the gospel
of God—more important than the Law of Moses!—to the center of the
For this order, see Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, and R. V.
The ministry of women in the early Church is strikingly brought out in
this 16th Chapter. The list includes Phoebe, Prisca, Mary, Tryphæna,
Tryphosa, Persis, Rufus’ mother, and Julia. We read that they labored
“in the Lord”— “labored much in the Lord,” facing dangers generously,
and were intrusted (as Phoebe) with the deaconess’ office.
Now in what did their “labor” consist? Certainly not merely in getting
chicken dinners for preachers! It is a spiritual activity here spoken
of! As Paul says of Euodia and Syntyche, in Philippians 4:2, 3, “Help
these women, for they labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also,
and the rest of my fellow-workers, whose names are in the book of life.”
Just so Philip the evangelist had four virgin daughters who prophesied
(Acts 21:8, 9). They did so, of course, with covered heads, according
to I Corinthians 11:4, 5, where the distinct direction to women is, not
to refrain from the exercise of the gift of prophesying, or praying,
but to prophesy with covered head. To claim that these women took
public part only in meetings of women, is a pitiful recourse to which
many have resorted. “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,”
Peter quoted on the day of Pentecost.
In these matters three evils have sprung up, (1) The suppression of
woman’s voice entirely in the assembly of the saints. (2) The
expression of women’s earnest desire to serve the Lord, in the forming
of independent women’s organizations not controlled by the assembly.
(3) Where men were fearful in faith, or ungifted, the bold pushing of
individual women out to the front into leadership and government, even
as “pastors” of assemblies,—leaders of “movements” which have swept
into their ranks many untaught souls, to their great harm.
Now concerning the first, let any unbiased man study I Corinthians 11:4
and 5, and he must see that the gift of “prophecy,”—speaking unto
others unto “edification, and comfort, and consolation,” was shared
alike by men and women. And to claim that it was exercised by women
only before other women, is a twisting of Scripture worthy of a
modernist! For when Paul in I Corinthians 14:34 says, “Let the women
keep silence in the assemblies: for it is not permitted unto them to
speak,” the word for “speak” is not didasko, which means to teach
authoritatively, involving dominion over men (I Tim. 2:11, 12); but the
word is to “talk,” to “talk out,”—Greek, laleo, which would indicate a
woman’s requesting publicly an answer to some personal inquiry: “If she
would learn anything,” etc. It does not have to do with that
participation in the operation of the Spirit which prophesying and
praying do. In I Timothy 2:8-10, also, it is evident, as in I
Corinthians 11:4, 5, that women engaged in prayer in the assemblies.
The words “in like manner,” of I Timothy 2:9, are connected with the
words, “that the men pray”; while the women, as instructed in I
Corinthians, are to adorn themselves modestly in their praying.
I have often wondered how an “exclusive brother” would have felt when
the woman of Luke 8:43 to 48, after touching the Lord and being healed,
and shrinking back, was called out by the Lord Himself to “declare in
the presence of all the people for what cause she touched Him, and how
she was healed immediately.” I once asked certain of them about this.
The reply was,—“The Church had not yet begun!” Aye, but these very
“exclusives” are very ready to bring in the Law (“as also saith the
Law”) when they are seeking to suppress woman’s laboring in the gospel,
by a passage which refers to keeping order in the assemblies. And what
temerity to say that our Lord would have called out that woman of Luke
8 to testify in public—if her testifying had been contrary to that
order in creation which the Church was to set forth!
No one has, I think, greater horror than we, of woman’s breaking loose
from the place of quietness to the place of publicity and even, alas,
to the rulership of men. Isaiah cried concerning the apostate state of
Israel, “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women
rule over them!” That is the state in the world today, and the devil
ever seeks to bring it about in the assembly of God. But because some,
even many, cast to the winds Paul’s distinct direction that a woman
take not the place of authoritative teaching or dominion over a man,
but remain in quietness,—far be it from us because of these excesses,
to shut our eyes to the operation of the Holy Spirit in women, whether
it be in testimony or in prayer, and that in the assembly of the saints.
There was a wonderful old saint in St. Louis, Mother Gray, humble,
teachable, earnest, and mightily filled with the Holy Spirit. When she
rose, with her back bowed with many, many years of physical and
spiritual labor, and her reverent head covered with her little black
bonnet, and began to testify, to exhort, or to pray, every one was
moved, and even the Plymouth Brethren (my best helpers not only in St.
Louis, but generally, — wherever it has been my privilege to preach),
said to me, “Mother Gray seems an exception!”
No, she was not an exception, any more than was dear old “Auntie” Cook,
in Chicago, who with another sister prayed unceasingly for D. L. Moody
till he was mightily anointed with the Spirit of God.
And there was “Holy Ann,” in Toronto, her little, feeble frame bent
with years, but filled with the Spirit of God. Standing up to testify
in the great Cooke’s Church one afternoon, being very short, she gave
her hand to be lifted, and stood on the pew! And we shall never forget
her exhortation, for God was in it!
“The letter killeth, the Spirit giveth life.” Ministry in the Spirit by
a woman is different altogether from her taking over authority, or
infringing upon the order of the assembly of God:
“The Lord giveth the Word: The women that publish the tidings are a great Host” (Ps. 68:11 R. V.).
The general secretary of a well-known faithful missionary society told
us recently that they had 20 women volunteers for missionary work, to
one man! These are indeed days of terrible declension, or the
proportion would not be such!
“Satan has deceived some good preachers into “personally investigating
evil people and conditions,” in order to “preach against them”; but God
says “The things that are done of them in secret, it is a shame even to
speak of.” Preach the Word; therein will be found abundant discoveries
of evil and denunciations thereof; but, being the Word of God, it is
holy, and may safely be used in exposing evil. It is like the sunshine
that lights up the foulest alley without being itself defiled! Don’t go
down the alley “personally,” lifting the lids of their garbage-cans; or
you will smell of it!
Yet while we feel sure that we should read in verse 27: “Glory to God,
through Jesus Christ”; let us never forget that Christ is God the Son:
as we read in Chapter 9:5: “Christ—who is over all, God blessed
forever!” The question in the last verse of Romans is not at all
concerning the deity of Christ, but of the Divine order—both of
blessing to us, and of thanksgiving by us.
Our Lord asks five things for them in John 17: (1) That they may be
kept—in the Father’s name, and from the evil one (Verses 11-15); (2)
That they might be sanctified—as not of the world, first in the truth,
and second by our Lord’s identification with them—“For their sake I
sanctify Myself” (set Myself apart to the cross) (Verses 16-19); (3)
That they may be “one,” “perfected into one,” and that in a wondrous
union only to be defined “as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee,
that they may be in Us” (Verses 21-23); (4) That these may be with
Him—and that forever, where He is, to behold His glory into which He
would enter upon His ascension (Verses 5,24).
Phoebe the Deaconess, Carrying the Epistle, Earnestly Commended to Roman Christians. Verses 1, 2.