-Paul, as is his relational custom, greets and commends many brothers and sisters in Christ with personal greetings at the end of this inspired letter to Rome. His love is manifest for the partnership in Kingdom work and the sacrifices they have all made together for the sake of Christ and each other. His plea is for unity and oneness in the body of Christ as they grow and develop in the LORD. *Application* We need to be like Paul in our relational thoughts, prayers, and words. He took the time to say what he felt, and so should we toward the people we love.
-He does give some final instruction to the church. As words of warning he appeals to them to watch out for those who cause divisions (a canonical theme that will be taken up in the next book of the Bible after this one, 1 Corinthians, notice how these books tie together in a supernatural tapestry of knowledge and wisdom), and create obstacles (stumbling blocks) contrary to the doctrine he has taught them (Romans 16:17). These dividers and false teachers do not serve the Lord Jesus Christ out of a pure heart, but out of their own appetites (Romans 16:18). “By smooth talk (the Kingdom is not about talking and persuasive words, but power in the Lord, 1 Corinthians 2:4) and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve (Romans 16:18).” Paul rejoices over the Romans obedience, which is known to all, and he implores them to stay steadfastly innocent as to what is evil and wise as to what is good (Romans 16:19). The God of peace is promised to crush satan under His feet soon. Until then, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is promised to be with the brethren (Romans 16:20). *Application* Don’t be deceived in this age of deception. We live in a time much like Paul’s where there are many out to take advantage of non-discerning, innocent people. Don’t follow false shepherds. Don’t be pulled in by their smooth speech and empty promises. If they are dividing the Lord’s church, this is a red flag. If they preach a false doctrine contrary to the Scriptures, flee as fast as you can. Be vigilant (on guard, alert, watchful) against what is evil and cling to the good. Support those you know are walking with the Lord. God will give us peace in the battle and crush the enemy in time (Romans 16:20). That is His promise.
-Greetings from the sending party and Tertius, who wrote the letter as a basically a secretary for Paul (which was and still is common with authors), are given to the church with warmth.
-Finally the book ends with a precious doxology (a praise to God to give Him glory). He is able to strengthen according to the truth of His gospel, which Paul proclaimed (Romans 16:25). This gospel, which was in the past mysterious, has now been revealed in fullness and simplicity to all the nations by way of Christ’s work and the prophetic testimony (Old Covenant writings, i.e. the Old Testament) by the command of the eternal God to bring about the obedience of (by) faith (Romans 16:26).
Verse to Memorize- Romans 16:17