Romans 16:5-16: Paul sends his love to the Church in Rome
‘I love Jesus but I don’t love the Church.’ How many times have we heard such a sentiment? It can come in many different flavours. There are those who have a high view of membership and a deep ecclesiology who love the idea of the ‘biblical church’ or the ‘healthy church’ but they are so taken with the ideal that they are critical and distance from the real flesh and blood church made up of sinners that they are in. It can come in the liberal and emergent flavour of disliking the church where on account of a blindness to our common sin they fixate on the hypocrisies and idiosyncrasies, and usually recent hot topic issues that the church is not keeping up with. The question I want you to begin with this morning is this one: what is your level of warmth, affection and love towards the church?
Jesus loves the church. Jesus loves the Church so much that He gives up all His rights and privileges and endures torture and death in order to save His enemy Bride who has been adulterous. And in the portion we want to consider today, Romans 16:5-16 we see that Paul too loves the Church. We will look then, at Paul’s love for the church, and the various ways in which he loved them.