“Greet Apelles, approved in Christ.” – Romans 16:10

Who was Apelles? This verse is the only reference to him in the Bible. Therefore, the only thing we know is that Paul thought highly of him, and he was “approved in Christ.”

Theologian Donald Barnhouse explained that the word translated approved is related to banking. In the ancient world, “all money was made from metal, heated until liquid, poured into molds, and allowed to cool.” After the coins were cooled, the uneven edges were smoothed off.

Because the material was so pliable, disreputable people could shave coins and produce counterfeits. This was a widespread practice. But, Barnhouse noted, “some money changers were men of integrity” who would not accept counterfeits. These men only put “full weighted money into circulation.” Such people were approved.

Paul thought Apelles was trustworthy and a man of integrity, pleasing to God and accepted by Him. He was a man who passed life’s tests. Paul used this same word in his exhortation to Timothy: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15).

The world around you may encourage you to deceive others and manipulate circumstances for your own advantage. But the Bible urges believers to be people of honor and integrity, who can be trusted. Seek to be a person who keeps your promises and practices biblical principles. Seek to be genuine and not counterfeit. Make it your ambition to please God and gain His approval.

*Reflection Question:*

How can you be genuine in a world of fakes?


Father, help me to resist temptations. Keep me from being counterfeit. I want to be a person of integrity, approved by You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Today’s Bible Reading

Romans 16

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