"A servant of the church in Cenchrea"
Text: Romans 16:1
A LIST OF HONOURED FRIENDS
How did Paul enjoy such success in his life and ministry? Paul would have attributed his success to three main factors:-
1. The Lord Himself
Paul testified of the part that the Lord played in his life.
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who enabled me,
because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.
And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant,
with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 1:12, 14
2. His own hard work
It is not wrong to speak of putting in a lot of personal hard work. Paul’s example was worth noting.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace
toward me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly
than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
1 Corinthians 15:10
3. A good set of friends
Paul was blessed with a good set of friends. Romans 16:1-16 is a roll of special friends who must have been such a special source of encouragement and blessing to Paul’s heart. Phoebe was one of the special friends Paul was blessed with.
Paul’s regard for his friends offers many precious insights as to how we ought to regard the friends God has given to us.
“I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant
of the church in Cenchrea.”
1. Phoebe our sister
A Christian friend is more than just an acquaintance. A true Christian friend is a brother, or as the case may be, with reference to Phoebe “a sister”. Paul regarded her as “family” (a spiritual but true family)!
2. A servant of the Church in Cenchrea
The word “servant” may be literally translated as “deacon”. This text offers an important insight concerning the ministry of “women deacons” in the New Testament Church. Paul honoured her with this title “servant of the church in Cenchrea”. This was a high word of commendation indeed