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Sermons and Outlines

Romans 16:3-5


Intro: A person cannot read through the Bible without encountering several wonderful families mentioned in its pages. There is that little family in Bethany made up of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha. They were a great blessing to the Lord Jesus. There is Timothy's mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois and the great impact they made on young Timothy. There is the family of Mary and Joseph where the Lord Jesus grew up and lived out His early years. What a family that must have been!

In this passage we are invited to inspect another great family. So far as we know, this family was made up of just a husband and a wife. There names were Aquila and Priscilla. This couple is one of the greatest families recorded in the Word of God. The folks are mentioned 6 times in 4 books of the Bible. Each time, they are mentioned by Paul himself and this indicates that they were special to his life and ministry.

If we will but take the time to investigate the passages dedicated to this special household of faith, we will see the attributes that make them stand out among the families of their time.

Tonight, I want to preach for a while on the thought A Household Of Faith. I want to take the experiences and the testimony of the Bible concerning Aquila and Priscilla and show the attributes they possessed that make them stand out as a family of distinction.


(Ill. If we will take the time to look at the passages concerning these folks, we can learn who they were, how they came to know God and how they came to serve Jesus Christ as a household of faith.) Acts 18:1-3

A. A Family Of Distinction - These three verses give us some insight into just who these people were. We are told in verse two that Aquila was a Jew that had been born in Pontus and who had, at some time, migrated to Rome. So he is a Jewish man. Priscilla, on the other hand, bears a Latin name, indicating that she is probably Roman by birth, and possibly a Gentile.

There was a Roman family that was very socially prominent about this time that had several female members by the name of Priscilla. Actually, it is Prisca in the native tongue. There is also a church of St. Priscilla and an ancient cemetery graced with her name as well.

If this is true, then it may be that when Aquila moved to Rome, he met and married a Roman socialite named Priscilla. As a result, she would probably have been ostracized by her family and would have become a social outcast.

(Note: Just as a side note: young people need to be very careful about their choice of marriage partners. When you marry someone, you marry their families as well! Therefore, observe their backgrounds very carefully. Also, be careful, if you are a believer, to only marry another believer. To do anything else is to violate the clear command of the Lord, 2 Cor. 6:14, 1 Cor. 7:39, and it is to invite trouble to be permanent resident of your home.)

B. A Family Of Difficulties - Notice what the Bible says in verse 2. Claudius, the Roman Emperor, was seeking to reinstitute and recreate new interest in the old Roman religions. As a result, he hated all religions that were not Roman in origin. He is remembered especially for his hatred of the Jews and he issued a command that all jews were to be expelled from Rome. This edict forced Aquila and Priscilla to leave the city and find a new place to live. Certainly this move placed great hardships upon this family.

(Note: Aquila and Priscilla were not alone! Every family that I know anything about is a family that problems of some variety. Think about it, the average American family deals with problems related to economics, materialism, pagan influence, etc. If there are children in the home, the problems are only compounded by the pressures they face in school from society and from their peers. One of the greatest problems facing the families of our world is spiritual. When families are not Christians and do not allow Jesus Christ in to their homes, they are headed for trouble I do not see how they make it through the average day without Him! We need Someone Who can bond us together as a family and Who can help us weather the terrible storms that blow against the family from every angle.

No family is without trouble and problems, but no family should be without Jesus Christ! Some of you are alone in your home! You are the sole voice for righteousness! There are times when you get discouraged and must feel like quitting, but let me encourage you just a little tonight. You will never know what an influence your life is having on those around you, 1 Cor. 7:12-17; 1 Peter 3:1-2. So, keep living for Jesus. Keep going to church. Be faithful to God and trust Him to effect change in the hearts of your loved ones.)

C. A Family Of Destiny - What, on the surface, must have appeared as a tragedy was used of the Lord in a remarkable way. When this couple was forced to leave Rome, they traveled east toward Corinth. There, they met a man who had traveled from the east named Paul. Maybe Aquila and Paul met in the synagogue, but where ever their paths crossed, it wasn't a coincidence! When Paul discovered that this couple were of the same profession as himself, he formed a partnership with them, moved into their house and they worked together to provide for their needs.

As they worked, there is little doubt that Paul shared the story of a Jew named Jesus Who died for the sins of the world. As he shared with them, they were converted and came to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior. What had started out as a tragedy in their lives, turned into the greatest blessing they had ever experienced. Such is the providence of God!

(Note: May we never forget as we fight the battles of life that God is working all things out according to the good pleasure of His will. What looks so bad at the beginning may well turn out to be a great blessing at the end, Rom 8:28.)

(Note: Think of how the Lord moved in your life to get you n a place where you could hear the Gospel message! His providence is a mighty thing! Thank God that He will move heaven and earth, if necessary, to reach us for His glory!)

Can you truly say that you house is a Christian household?


(Ill. When a family is serving the Lord as they should be, there will develop within that family a burden for the things of God. He will impress His work upon their hearts. We see this lived out in the lives of Aquila and Priscilla.)

A. A Burden For God's Work - Rom. 16:3 - Paul calls them his "helpers in Christ Jesus". Paul isn't talking about making tents here. He is talking about the work of the Lord. He says that they are his partners in the business of serving God. Notice that they even uprooted themselves again to travel with Paul for a time, Acts 18:18-19. Perhaps the nature of their business forced them to move around some, but I think they just went with Paul to be a blessing to the man of God.

(Note: It appears that they had a special relationship with Paul. There is not a single word of any contention between them, whatsoever! Remember, Paul had to confront Peter face to face, Gal. 2:11ff. He and Barnabas had disagreement that was so deep that is caused them to part company, Acts 15:39. He refused to allow John Mark to travel with Him at one point, Acts 15:38. He rebuked Euodias and Syntyche about their disagreements, Phil. 4:2. He even records the fact that a man named Demas, had forsaken him, 2 Tim. 4:10. We do not know the reasons behind these situations, but it is safe to say that some of Paul's relationships were rocky. Yet, even though Paul lived with this couple, worked with them and worshiped with them, there is not the slightest hint of a problem between them.

Thank God for people like Aquila and Priscilla who will not add to the burden of the man of God, but who will help him as he labors for the Lord!)

(Note: It is also worthy to note that this couple faithfully served the Lord wherever they were! There are some people who are active in a church and then they have to move to another place. When they get there, they just want to sit on the pews and do nothing! That is a shame! There are those who leave their Christianity behind when they go on vacation. They won't worship and they live like the world. If you aren't a Christian on vacation, then what you claim to be when you are home is a sham and a lie too! There are no vacations from God! There is never a time to sit down on Him and quit! If we are going to build a church here for the glory of God, then it will have to contain some strong families. There will have to be some who will get behind the work and help it go forward!)

B. A Burden For God's Word - As this couple ministered in Ephesus, they encountered and man by the name of Apollos. The story of their encounter is found in Acts 18:24-28. He was a great speaker with great ability. He was a who knew the Old Testament Scriptures very well and was able to open them a declare their message. He was bold, even entering into the synagogues to preach to the Jews. But, he was a man with an incomplete message. His message stopped with John the Baptist. He was still preaching about the Messiah Who was to come, not realizing that He had already come. Apparently, Apollos knew nothing of the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus. He didn't even know about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

As God would have it, his path crossed that of Aquila and Priscilla and when they heard him speak, they realized that he had never heard the whole truth. They invited him home for dinner and explained the word of God to him more perfectly. I believe Apollos received the message and was converted. As he went on his way, he was mightily used of the Lord because one family had a burden for the Word of God! In fact, he got so good that a bigger church called him!

(Ill. Folks have it all wrong about trying to get rid of their preacher. Instead of running him off, start to pray for him, he will get so good that another church will take him off your hands. Maybe you could try shouting "Amen!" or "Hallelujah!" while he is preaching and he will preach himself to death. Or maybe, you could just show up for every service, love him and tell him what a good job he is doing and he will probably just have a heart attack!)

(Note: What's the point of all this? Well there are a couple of lessons this couple teaches us about a willingness to share what we have learned with others.

1. As they worked, this couple was able to hear Paul teach and preach the word of God. As a result, they learned much more about the deep things of God than others were even exposed to. But, they did not keep these things to themselves, they used what they had learned to disciple others in the things of God. So it should be with us! Jesus never called us to be, always taking in. Instead, He called us to be rivers. Letting the water of His love and word flow from us to help others in this world, John 7:37-39.

2. They did not grow smug and snobbish in their learning. They did not look down their noses at Apollos because he did not know as much as they did about the things of God. Instead, they opened their hearts and shared with him. Instead of laughing at the ignorance of another believer, maybe we ought to take them aside and help them grow in the Lord.

3. They did not publically humiliate this man. They took him into the privacy of their home and taught him the truth. There are people who will hear a preacher preach and go home and mock him before their children. They will make fun of the mistakes he made. They will ridicule his lack of learning. They will make fun of him and paint him as a buffoon and as a joke. Then when their children grow up and won't go to church, they wonder why. The answer lies in the fact that mom and dad have created a bad taste in their own children's mouths for the things of God! By the way, you had better be very careful when it comes to what you say about any man of God, Psa. 105:15. Instead of trying to hurt this young man, they tried to be a blessing to him. That is what folk need to do. When a preacher isn't as "deep" as you think he should be, don't ridicule him! Don't talk about him! Don't mock him! Love Him! Pray for Him! And seek to help him grow in the Lord! Be a blessing, not a stumbling block to God's preachers!)

C. A Burden To Be God's Witnesses - Paul tells us in Romans 16:4 that this couple had put their own necks on the line for Paul. We are not told exactly what they did, but they were willing to lay down their own lives for the Man of God so that he could finish his course. My, how they must have loved him, John 15:13.

Evidently this couple was a bold witness for the cause of Christ. By the way, the word "witness" comes from the Greek word that we know as "Martyr". It has the basic meaning of "one willing to lay down his life for what he believes." This described Aquila and Priscilla, does it describe you? If there is one thing the church in America needs tonight, it is for her members to be more bold in their witness. May we all come to the place where we are willing to lay down our necks for the Gospel, if it becomes necessary. No wonder God used this family so mightily! By the way, he wants to do the same with our families as well. Can He?


(Ill. Romans 16:5, speaks of the "church that is in their house". This little phrase reveals a couple of blessings that were enjoyed by this great Christian family.)

A. Blessed To Worship In Simplicity - What we know about this couple is that they were faithful witnesses of the Gospel. When they won some folks to the Lord, they formed them into a church and they even opened their home for the believers to have a place to worship. They didn't need buildings, heating and air conditioning, padded pews and carpeting. These early believers had the Son of God, the Word of God, the Spirit of God and the children of God. That was all they needed and all they wanted for worship. They knew a secret that we have forgotten. Worship is not about rituals, formality, buildings and great crowds. Worship is about God's people gathering to worship God in the fellowship of His Son Jesus, through the power of the Spirit and by the Word of God!

May we remember that true worship is about us loving the Redeemer in an intimate way! Hey, we don't all these trappings we have around us today. We don't need this stuff! I am thankful for it, but all we need for true worship is what we have already been given in the Lord Jesus. So, whether we are on carpet or sawdust, on padded pews or homemade benches, whether we light with flourescent or kerosene, what really matters is that Jesus is the focus of our meetings and the sole object of our hearts. God help us to return to the simplicity of true, biblical, simplistic worship.

B. Blessed To Worship In Sincerity - This phrase also makes it clear that even though they had a church in their house, they also had a church in their hearts. Even if this couple had met somewhere else to worship on the Lord's Day, they would still have had a church in their house. They would have worshiped at home. They would have prayed at home. They would have met with God at home. This proves that they were sincere about what they were doing.

Friend, if all you have is what you have at church, then you don't have much! You need to have a church in your house! Your house should be as much a place of worship as is the church house. Is your house a place of personal worship? It should be! May God help us to live in a state of worship for His glory day by day, John 4:24.

Conc: I think it has been clearly demonstrated that this was a special family. They demonstrated a burden for the Lord's work and were greatly used by the Lord in those days. They were so influential in Paul's life that when he was about to be put to death and he was making his final statements, he makes a special effort to greet Aquila and Priscilla, 2 Tim. 4:19. May the Lord help each of us to seek to be all we can be for His glory. May our lives be like the lives of these two special believers. Lives that God can use for His glory to make a difference in His kingdom. Is your family that kind of family? Is your life that kind of life?

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