Wednesday, 27 January 2016
All the saints greet you. 2 Corinthians 13:13
As the letter begins to close, Paul reminds the Corinthians that they are still beloved by the members of the other churches. In other words, he hasn’t maligned them in any way and he hasn’t led them to believe that the church in Corinth wasn’t worthy of their greeting. Instead, he notes to those around him that he was writing to the Corinthians, and they in turn asked for their greeting to be passed on to them. It is a sign that Paul had presented the church at Corinth to them as a group of fellow Christians.
The first letter to the Corinthians ended with the statement, “The churches of Asia greet you.” Now, when ending this letter he says, “All the saints greet you.” It is of note then that wherever he was, he considered all of the churches and their members as a part of the greater church-universal. It is his intent to ensure that they felt this bond of the greater family through his words.
Life application: It is important to not divide what God has joined together. When a church is in right standing with the Lord, they should be considered as brothers and sisters in Christ. Lesser doctrinal differences are to be expected, but those who hold to proper orthodoxy in the greater issues should be treated with the kind respect which Paul shows in his letters to the churches that he addresses.
Heavenly Father, help us to be appreciative of, and kind to, the various churches we may encounter in our travels. As long as the main issues of doctrine are held to, help us to overlook some of the lesser points we may not agree with – types of music, form of worship, small differences in opinion about issues which are debatable. Help us to be friendly and accepting of those who have called on Christ, building them up and treating them just as He would. Amen.