I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the assembly that is at Cenchreae, that you receive her in the Lord, in a way worthy of the saints, and that you assist her in whatever matter she may need from you, for she herself also has been a helper of many, and of my own self.
Evidently, the letter that Paul was sending was coming with a person named Phoebe. They didn’t have a mail system like we take for granted today so someone had to travel with it in order for it to be delivered. It appears that Phoebe also needed someone to tend to her needs. Paul wasn’t asking for a handout that wasn’t well deserved, though. Notice that Phoebe had already been “a helper of many” including Paul.
The Bible isn’t advocating a welfare system. Paul is always very careful to say that work and food go together. When you work then you can get fed. If you don’t work, then you shouldn’t be fed. Phoebe was clearly a worker; she deserved to be fed!
Notice that Paul asks for the people to act “in a way worthy of the saints.” Paul says this kind of thing in many of his letters. We are all saints when we are saved and we should act like it. This has been preached backwards, causing people to think that in order to be a saint you have to put on an act. It is actually the other way around. Because we are saints already, we should be doing the things that God expects of someone in our position. Jesus has purified us already by His blood. To disagree with this is to put Jesus down. It reveals ignorance concerning the amount of love that God has shown us. His salvation made us complete saints and this should be a motivation for our behavior.