As we near the end of the wonderful epistle of Romans, we are once again confronted with the fact that the deepest theological truths are not only meant to be practical, but the source of meaningful relationships (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 1:3). The body of Christ is a group of people who are devoted to The Master (Matthew 23:8) and committed to one another as well (Romans 12:4-8). It is impossible to separate conversion from involvement and interaction within the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12).
I think that one of the most effective wiles of the enemy is keeping saints apart from one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). Oh, we may indeed “come to church” on a weekly basis and spend a few moments chatting and touching base with one another, but then we walk out the door and get on with our lives without any meaningful contact with another saint until there is an emergency or until the next time we gather for a service. What keeps us apart? Busyness for one thing (Luke 8:14). Is it possible that we really do not give much thought to our need for fellowship with one another during the week (Hebrews 3:13; Acts 2:46)?
I certainly do not know your answer to these questions, but this I do know: Paul’s “hall of faith” listed here is a group of people who know Christ crucified and are bound together by His life for the sake of the gospel. As we study this section of Scripture (Romans 16:1-16), let’s try to identify with Paul. Who is on our hall of faith list? What would your “Romans 16” look like? Paul has fond memories of these saints and you get the sense that he is deeply appreciative for each and every one of them, not just writing a letter about them. You get the sense that he considered these saints to be gifts from Christ to him. He didn’t look at these saints as those who made “his” ministry a success, but those with whom he labored in The Lord and served for His glory and honor.
Tell someone today who is on your Romans 16 list that you are praying for them and appreciate them. Encourage them to continue to be strong in The Lord.