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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians

 

“Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss“
 
Greet all the brethren
 
Paul gives one final expression of his love for the Thessalonians. He wanted to extend a greeting with a “holy kiss.”
 
The word “all” indicates that Paul extended his love even to the “disorderly” brethren. He excludes no one in his love.
with a holy kiss
The “holy kiss” in the first century was a physical token of welcome or farewell kiss, a token of brotherhood in Christ (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12).
The term “holy” guards against anything untoward in the kiss. In the Mid East, the kiss was a form of greeting and took place between members of the same sex. They kissed on the cheek, not the mouth.
Societies where the kiss is not a greeting can find trouble with the “holy kiss.” Practicing the “holy kiss” in a Western culture can create some problems. This verse is no justification for establishing a “Lonely Hearts Club” in the local church!
Principle:
Christians are to show public affection for one another.
Application:
The “holy kiss” in Western culture is more like a handshake or hug. Church members do not kiss the same way lovers kiss each other or family members kiss each other.
The biblical kiss signifies personal affection, not romantic passion. When we give a public sign of spiritual oneness, equality and mutual dependence in the household of faith, we demonstrate biblical love.
God does not want us to extend sticky, saccharin sentimentalism. Our physical love toward one another is to have a “holy” dimension to it. We love each brother in Christ with no strings attached.
Christians should show love to one another publicly.
“Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen” (1 Peter 5:14).
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