A Commendable Life
“For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends." II Corinthians 10:18
God's love and His approval are very different. His love is 'a' given - approval is given. God loves us all, but He commends only the ones who earn it by their exemplary behavior regarding His kingdom. These are those who…
Provide for the Faith…
"I commend to you our sister Phoebe… receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of His people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people…" Romans 16:1-2
Phoebe was commended (presented) because she most likely delivered Paul's letter to the church at Rome. As a stranger, Paul wanted to be sure they received her, even though she was a woman (looked down upon). Phoebe was also being commended (praised) as a benefactor (supporter, backer) of the church. Benefactors meet a church's physical and financial needs. People like her will always be highly respected by God and the church.
…protect the Faith…
"Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them." Romans 16:3-4
Priscilla and Aquila worked side by side with Paul while he was in Corinth. Corinth was a wicked city with a lot of opposition to the gospel. Paul was in danger from both the pagan Gentiles and the religious Jews. Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives by bringing Paul into their home and giving him shelter. People like these helped to fulfill GOD'S promise that Paul would not be harmed (Acts 18:9-10). If we protect God's people (the church), He is pleased.
…And stay pure to the Faith.
"Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test." Romans 16:10
Apelles was commended for staying true to Jesus in the face of adversity. Like precious metals that must be put in the fire to be made useful and pure, the same is true of faith. Like Apelles, our faith will be tested. When tested, God is not mad at us - He wants us to shine like pure gold. Also, passing a test allows God to advance us to new levels.