Verse of the Day

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pastor's Sermon Notes - January 21, 2007

Sermon Title: The Yearbook of the First Baptist Church of Rome
Scripture Reading: Romans 16:1-16
Sermon Text: Romans 16:5b-7

[5b] Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus,
who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
[6] Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.
[7] Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners,
who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me


It is nice to have a church directory which includes snapshots of the folks in the church and their families. Such a directory doesn’t tell you much about these people though.

What does your spiritual snapshot look like?

What if the church had a yearbook like many high schools and colleges do?
What kind of sayings would be under your picture?

Note the possible historical progression in the passage, along with the decreasing degree of familiarity. Note also how many of those who had been with Paul ended up in Rome.

Today we will only be considering Romans 16:5b-7

I. The Firstfruits [16:5b]
II. The Friend Indeed [16:6]
III. The Fellow Prisoners [16:7]

I. The Firstfruits - Epaenetus (16:5b)

Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

1 Cor. 16:15 - I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

There is a harvest going on!

Imagine yourself in pioneer missionary work, and after laboring long and hard to get to the field, and then sowing the seed there, what excitement and glorious emotions you would experience at seeing your first convert added to the Body of Christ by the Spirit of God!

II. The Friend Indeed - Mary (16:6)

Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.

Jesus, what a Friend for sinners!

Mt. 11:19 - The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Jn. 13:1 - Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
Jn. 15:14 - Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

You and I need friends who will step in when we need them, and "bestow labor" on us.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Eccl. 4:9-10 - Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. [10] For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

III. The Fellow Prisoners - Andronicus and Junia (16:7)

Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners,
who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me

1. my kinsmen

Rom. 16:21 - Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
Rom. 9:3 - For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

2. my fellowprisoners

Col. 4:10 - Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you,
Phile. 1:23 - There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;

3. of note among the apostles

Acts 1:13 - And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
Acts 1:26 - And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
1 Cor. 15:5-9 - And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: [6] After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. [7] After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. [8] And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. [9] For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

An apostle is defined in Scripture as one who had been with Christ, and been an eye-witness of the Resurrection. Despite the claims of some today, there have been no apostles since the First Century. Therefore, any claims to possess the gift of apostleship, the office of an apostle, the apostolic sign gifts, or the ability to transmit those gifts are spurious, unscriptural, and impossible!

4. who also were in Christ before me

Gal. 1:22 - And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:
2 Cor. 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Cor. 12:2 - I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
Rom. 8:11-14 - But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. [12] Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. [13] For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. [14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

"Inness" is the essence of Christianity under the New Covenant. Being "in Christ", and being indwelt by Christ (Him being in us), i.e. our union with Christ, are realities, truths, that characterize our relationship as Christians, and permeate Pauline theology. 2 Cor. 3 marks this reality out as a distinctive of the New Covenant believer's experience, and significantly differentiates this Covenant from the Old Covenant. Any emphasis on externals contradicts this reality, and violates the essence of the New Covenant.


What does your spiritual snapshot look like?

What caption could be put under your photo in the "yearbook" of the Lord?


Daniel Lanton said...

I just found your church blog today when I received your email about address change. What a great idea to post your sermon notes so that people can be reminded of what God's word has to say as they go about there week.

In His Grace,


Daniel Lanton said...

Opps meant the other "there"

Anonymous said...

I agree with Daniel! Great idea with the sermon notes. Helps to remind, and review so as to prevent phroneo


Andrew Manwarren said...

Where to begin with this comment? Lanton, in an effort to satisfy the demands of the English language, has failed to measure up to its standards by correcting an error with another error! Two errors do not make a right Dan. Justin needs to check out this link on my blog so as to avert further misunderstanding and usage of the greek word transliterated "phroneo."

Andrew Manwarren said...

In the introduction and conclusion of the message Jack asked, "What does your spiritual snapshot look like?" and "What caption could be put under your photo in the "yearbook" of the Lord?"

May I suggest that one cannot answer this question sufficiently unless one is regularly attending their church, or in another way, unless they live in a community of other believers.

We often have a high opinion of our spiritual state, esteeming ourselves to the rank of necessity in the kingdom of Heaven. However, other members of the kingdom of Heaven may see us quite otherwise due to an obvious sin or character issue that is blatant to them but we are quite oblivious to it. It would then be the duty of this other member of the kingdom to lovingly, gently, and truthfully confront the other with this issue and spur him onward toward the image of Christ.

In short, I may think I am the holiest of the holiest and never be the wiser if I am not constantly engaged in a community of other believers; believers who by their words and lifestyle convict me of my need to grow in the grace and knowledge of God.

We would do well to ask other believers "What does my spiritual snapshot look like?" "What caption could be put under my photo in the "yearbook" of the Lord?"

Anonymous said...

My apology Goes out to Andrew. My comment served the exact purpose I wanted it too though. Wether the word "phroneo" showed my lack of punctilio in the english language or not! Now if you'll excuse me I have to go pick at some Chloasma on my right arm.