Romans 16:23-27

In Romans 16:23-27 Paul concludes his letter to the church in Rom and three more people important to his ministry are listed. “Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.” Paul has been lodging in the house of Gaius who also opened his home to the church. He had an impact on Paul through hospitality. Erastus appears to be a travelling companion of the Apostle but has a job as a city official in charge of money in Corinth. And he also mentions Quartus whom we know little about other than him being a brother in Christ and member of the church in Corinth. Quartus is a demonstration of what Christianity should be all about – one who is with others who follow Christ and part of the Christian family.

Maclaren wrote of these three “It is easy for us to make a little picture of this brother Quartus. He is evidently an entire stranger to the Church in Rome. They had never heard his name before: none of them knew anything about him. Further, he is evidently a man of no especial reputation or position in the Church at Corinth, from which Paul writes. He contrasts strikingly with the others who send salutations to Rome…..Paul’s list runs on. And then, among all these people of mark, comes the modest, quiet Quartus. He has no wealth like Gaius, nor civic position like Erastus, nor wide reputation like Timothy. He is only a good, simple, unknown Christian.”

Paul wraps up his letter to the church in Rome with a benediction of sorts. It’s one that we may hear in church as a priest or pastor closes a service. With all the dangers facing the Romans – and every church – Paul fittingly concludes by commending them to Him who is able to establish you. Paul also knows that this will be done according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ. “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ”…. He knows that this message isn’t necessarily popular or received at all by those in power and Christ Followers need strength from outside themselves to carry on.

Paul confirms this as the whole plan of redemption through Jesus Christ. Though God announced much of the plan previously through prophecy, its final outworking wasn’t evident until revealed by God through Jesus. “according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith– to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.” If there is anything that the Book of Romans explains from beginning to end, it is the greatness and glory of this plan of God that Paul preached as a gospel – as good news. It’s entirely fitting that Paul concludes this letter praising the God of such a gospel.

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