I AM the God who made all the kinds of love 1 Cor 16:19-24

Greet others like you would greet Jesus.

The distinguishing mark of the Christian is love for one another. To love the Christian body of believers is to love Jesus. How would you love and greet Jesus?  But without having Christ’s love internally first, we can and will not love others acceptably. Love for other people is not something we can produce on our own in the same way that Christ loves us because it is the fruit of the Spirit not manufactured by human hearts. So in essence by loving others as He loved us, it shows others that we truly have a love relationship with God. And as the Apostle John says, we have “fellowship with one another.” Let’s not confuse the issue. Just because we try to love others is not synonymous with our being Christian. There is a whole fallacy out there which is called the “love Gospel” but is not to be confused with Christ’s Gospel which Paul preached. Love for others is the outcome of a proper love relationship with Christ because of the Gospel. Thus he gives the warning to unbelievers infiltrating the church in vs 22. One commentary said that loving the Lord in this use of “philei”, is related to the noun philēmati for “kiss” (1 Cor. 16:20) the Lord. It is a symbolic reverential act of submission by kissing the hand of a potentate.  In other words, anyone who would not confess Jesus is Lord, has this warning of an eternal curse. It makes sense to me. There are a lot of people who are trying to destroy the church out there with their version of truth (our good deeds, acts of love) replacing Christ who is the only source of our salvation.

Final Greetings

1 Cor 16: 19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20 All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.22 If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.

As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…

Who are you Lord?

I AM the God of Love. I loved you so much that I gave my life to ransom and redeem you to the Father. Now I want you to love others as I have loved you by living for others in genuine love. You are brothers and sisters in the Lord; you should want to express your love for each other by showing others that you care for them.  It strengthens their psychological health in this age of individualistic separatism and protectionism. Love each other deeply from the heart and show them you do. Give blessings to one another by your holy kisses.

We are all long lost relatives with each other

On our way back to the USA just recently, we were invited to stay a few days with a “distant relative” whom we only found out about a short time earlier. Upon meeting them at their home, and knowing that we are one blood, it moved us to not just greeting with hand shaking, but with a big hug and kiss on the cheek. Instantly we felt welcome with a sense “home” and security. All sense of self promotion and defenses melted away and we felt like we could let our hair down and even joke with each other. This is how it should be in the church. In humility accept one another as you would the Lord. How do you think that you would you be greeted by Jesus? Be like Jesus to another as you greet people and let them be like Jesus to you.

That is all for 1st Corinthians,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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