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Final Greetings October 28, 2011

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on 1 Corinthians 16:19-24.

Summary: Paul begins by telling the Corinthians that the churches in proconsular Asia greet them; Aquila, Priscilla and their house church in Ephesus also greet them. In addition, the other believers in Ephesus greet them; he encourages them to show Christian affection to one another by greeting each other with a kiss. Now Paul himself writes the last part of this letter. He warns those who do not love Christ that they are cursed, and he states that Christ will judge them for their wrong attitudes. The Corinthians do love Christ, though, and so he prays that His eternal favor will be shown to them. Paul concludes by assuring the Corinthians of his genuine love for them.

Thoughts: Verse 24 serves as a neat conclusion to this letter. Hodge offers some thoughts on this verse:

Paul in conclusion assures them all – all the believers in Corinth, even those whom he had been called upon to reprove – of his sincere love.

This epistle contains many sharp rebukes – and the occasional burst of frustration, especially in chapter 4 – from Paul, yet it is clear throughout the letter that Paul deeply loved and cared for the church at Corinth. I must admit that right now, I struggle to love others in spite of their flaws; Paul set an excellent example in that regard, though. No matter how wrongly the Corinthians acted in terms of engaging in party-based squabbles, hurting their poorer brethren by improperly celebrating the Lord’s Supper, or fomenting chaos in their worship services by improperly using their gifts of prophecy and tongues, Paul still loved them and had their best interests at heart.

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