I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
God’s redeemed people will spend eternity ascribing to him ‘praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength’.
Timothy: if anybody deserved to be called Paul’s ‘fellow-worker’, that person was Timothy. For the last eight years Timothy had been Paul’s constant traveling companion and had undertaken several special missions at Paul’s request. The apostle evidently had a warm affection for his young assistant. Having led him to Christ, he regarded him as his son in the faith. He was now in Corinth, about to set sail for Jerusalem with the offering from the Greek churches.
God’s peace allows no appeasement of the devil. It is only through the destruction of evil that true peace can be attained…. Such victories would be impossible, however, apart from grace.
Paul sends greetings to twenty -six individuals, twenty-four of whom he names, adding in most cases an appreciative personal reference…. Reflecting on the names and circumstances of the people Paul greets, one is particularly impressed by the unity and diversity of the church to which they belonged.
It seems very likely that Phoebe was entrusted with the responsible task of carrying Paul’s letter to its destination in Rome, although other business was apparently taking her to the city as well, perhaps commerce or ‘quite probably a law suit’. So she needed a ‘letter of commendation’ to take with her, which would introduce her to the Christians in Rome.
The purpose of prayer is emphatically not to bend God’s will to ours, but rather to align our will to his. The promise that our prayers will be answered is conditional on our asking ‘according to his will’. Consequently every prayer we pray should be a variation on the theme, ‘Your will be done.’
Paul now looks into the future and confides to the Romans his travel plans. He specifies three destinations. First, he is about to sail from Corinth to Jerusalem, taking with him the collection which he has long been organizing. Secondly, he is intending to go from Jerusalem to Rome, even though he will only be ‘passing through’ rather than settling down among them for an appreciable period. Thirdly, from Rome he will travel on to Spain, determined to resume his pioneer evangelistic commitment.