Bible: What Does Romans 16 Teach Us About Paul's Associates?/Study Questions from Romans
Aquila and Priscilla
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Romans 16: Paul's Roman Associates/Study Questions (Chapters 1-16)
Paul's Acquaintances and Friends in Rome
In this highly personal section of his epistle, Paul lists the names of many faithful friends and briefly mentions their service to the body of Christ.
He speaks of Phoebe, his valuable helper in Cenchrea, and asks the Romans not only to welcome her warmly when she visits, but also supply all her needs (vv. 1-2).
Paul also requests that the church in Rome greet a great number of people for him (vv. 3-15).
First, he asks that his courageous associates Priscilla and Aquila receive thanks from him and all Gentile churches (vv. 3-4; cf. Acts 18:2, 26).
The apostle also recognizes the members of this couple's house church (v. 5a).
Epaenetus, the first man who came to Christ in Achaia, he greets, as well as a diligent laborer, Mary (vv. 5b-6).
He mentions Andronicus and Junia: Tarsus residents, long-time Christians, and fellow prisoners who have attracted the attention of the apostles (v. 7).
In quick succession and with little comment—except to note that they worked hard or were his acquaintances—, Paul mentions his many saintly friends as follows: Amplias, Urbanus, and Stachys (vv. 8-9); Apelles, the household of Aristobulus (v. 10); Herodion, the household of Narcissus (v. 11); Typhena and Tryphosa, and Persis (v. 12); his natural brother Rufus and his mother (v. 13); Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas (v. 14); and Patrobas, Hermes, Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, Olympas (v. 15).
He asks that they all greet each other with brotherly affection (v. 16).
Before his closing greetings (vv. 21-24) and final benediction (vv. 25-27), the apostle admonishes the Roman believers to identify and avoid certain heretics who are causing “divisions and offenses” among them (v. 17).
In a few years, Paul will warn the Philippians about a similar group of silver-tongued deceivers who serve their own appetites and not the Lord (v. 18; cf. Phil. 3:19).
While acknowledging the Romans’ good reputation for obedience and confessing his delight in this fact, Paul nonetheless desires that they continue to learn good doctrine well and to practice it, as well as keep themselves from evil teachings (v. 19).
If they accomplish these objectives, God will quickly defeat Satan (cf. Gen. 3:15); to experience total victory, however, the Romans will need the Lord’s grace (v. 20).
Timothy (as a child)
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The Prophetic Scriptures
Now the apostle mentions his especially close associates: Timothy (his young disciple from Lystra, Acts 16:1-2); Luke (his physician/fellow traveler); Jason (his host in Thessalonica, cf. Acts 17:5-7); and Sosipater (Sopater of Berea?) [v. 21; cf. Acts 20:4].
They, as well as Tertius, Paul’s amanuensis, greet the Romans in the Lord (v. 22).
Gaius, the apostle’s host in Corinth, Corinth’s treasurer Erastus, and Quartus also greet them (v. 23).
Paul prays that God’s grace would sustain them (v. 24).
Finally, Paul’s benediction directs the Romans’ attention toward God as the One who can stabilize their lives through the preaching of the “mystery” of the gospel of Christ and the prophetic Scriptures (vv. 25a, 26b).
After having hid this message from human knowledge since Creation, the Lord has now revealed it to the apostle (vv. 25b-26a).
The everlasting God has commanded Paul to make this truth known, so that humanity would obey it (v. 26b).
Paul praises his wise Lord, and desires that His people might forever glorify Him through Jesus Christ (v. 27).
Study Questions for Romans
- In what three ways does Paul identify himself to the Romans?
- For what did God set apart, prepare, and send Paul to do?
- For what aspect of the Romans’ spirituality is the apostle thankful?
- When did Paul write this epistle?
- What causes God to act in retribution against the ungodliness and unrighteous deeds of human beings?
- What spiritual condition makes mankind inexcusable before God?
- How does autonomous humanity manifest its “vain thinking”?
- Describe the reprobation process.
- Of what aspect of human beings judging one another does God disapprove?
- To what “day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” could Paul be referring?
- Discuss the role of the conscience in the lives of Gentiles without the Law.
- By what standard will God judge the Law-less Gentiles?
- What are several of the characteristics that should have been true of the Jew who possesses the Law?
- What kind of circumcision does God demand?
- How does the text that Paul uses to show that people will always find God to be true to His word prove his point? What text does he choose?
- How can a just God inflict wrath upon creatures that unintentionally bring glory to Him through their lies, unbelief, and unrighteousness?
- Discuss the “total depravity” of human beings as delineated by Paul in chapter three.
- Name the parts of the body that sin has corrupted.
- What is Paul’s “bottom line” regarding righteousness and the Law?
- According to Romans 3:20, what is the Law’s purpose?
- By what means do human beings receive the righteousness of God?
- The term “sin” means to _____ ___ ______, and to ____ _______ of God’s perfection.
- What Greek word is associated with the first definition of sin delineated above?
- What does the word “redemption” signify?
- What does “propitiation” mean?
- What did Christ’s sacrifice accomplish?
- What does Genesis 15:6 show?
- What does Psalm 32:1-2 teach about forgiveness?
- What did “the sign of circumcision” act as?
- What is the proof that God accepted Christ’s sacrificial cross work?
- According to Romans 5, what benefits accrue to those who trust Christ as their Savior?
- What is the spiritual condition of everyone at birth?
- What does the term “imputation” mean?
- Who is a “type of Him who was to come”?
- Discuss the contrasts existing between the consequences of Adam’s and the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice.
- Discuss whether Paul signifies the same number of people with his use of the terms “many” and “all.”
- What is Paul’s classic negation (Gk.) to his critics’ arguments?
- What two answers does the apostle give to those who argue that grace-covered believers should continue sinning?
- Explain how immersion in water pictures what happened spiritually at salvation.
- What in believers suffered a crucifixion death in Christ?
- Counting as true their death and resurrection with Christ, what choice do believers now have regarding sin?
- In what three senses are Christians not “under the Law”?
- What are the two stages to the Christians’ “slavery to righteousness”?
- According to 6:23, what does Paul say about both eternal salvation and progressive sanctification?
- How does Paul start most of his rhetorical questions?
- What did Paul come to understand as the Law’s true purpose?
- Describe the Romans 7 experience of believers.
- How should we understand Romans 8:1?
- Distinguish between “in the flesh” and “according to the flesh.”
- Who must individuals have in order to belong to Christ?
- What must Christians do to experience a consistent spiritual life?
- Besides salvation, what is a prerequisite to reigning with Christ?
- For what is the creation waiting?
- Who bears witness with the spirit of believers, convincing them of their sonship?
- To what “good” does God ultimately point (Rom. 8:28)?
- For whom does this promise hold true?
- What is Paul’s threefold argument that demonstrates the futility of the adversary’s attempts to circumvent God’s loving purposes?
- What are the ten possible forces in creation that may seek to separate the believer from God’s love in the sphere of His Son?
- What are the four advantages Israelites had as God’s people?
- Who are “the children of promise”?
- How do Malachi 1:2, 3 contribute to Paul’s argument in Romans 9?
- What was the LORD’s two-fold purpose for raising up the Pharaoh of the Exodus?
- What does the Potter and Clay analogy illustrate?
- According to Romans 10:9, 10, what do people need to do to receive God’s righteousness and salvation?
- What is Paul’s evangelistic enterprise in reverse?
- How does Paul use Isaiah in Romans 10: 15-21?
- How does the apostle use Elijah to teach about election?
- What Scriptures does Paul employ to demonstrate the continued blindness of most people in Israel?
- What does each passage specifically point out?
- What does Paul mean to teach about God’s relationship to Israel and Gentiles with his two agricultural analogies?
- Explain Paul’s “fullness of Gentiles” mystery. How does it contradict the amillennial position regarding Israel and the Church?
- What three disciplines will help the “new creature in Christ” to live a godly life?
- What are the seven spiritual gifts Paul lists first in Romans 12?
- List the ten general behavior traits of believers.
- Which OT Scripture enjoins Christians to allow God to exact vengeance?
- For what must those who engage in civil disobedience prepare themselves?
- What are some reasons why Christian citizens ought to submit to the governing authorities?
- What Scripture does Paul cite to sum up the whole Law?
- Discuss Paul’s teaching regarding Christian liberty.
- What is one reason why New Testament era believers ought to learn the doctrine of the Old Testament?
- What OT Scriptures demonstrate that God would show mercy toward the Gentile nations?
- Where did Paul intend to proclaim Christ, and why did he do it?
- What does the last chapter tell us about the Apostle Paul?
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