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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians

 

21 The salutation with my own hand—Paul’s. 22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come! 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.  

 

16:21

The salutation with my own hand—Paul’s.

Paul customarily used an amanuensis (a scribe) to write down his letters but sometimes added a personal greeting with his own hand at the end of the letter. He dictated the letter up to this point.

16:22

If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ,

The word for “love” here is not the normal word agape (love without reciprocity) but the word philew (love based on reciprocity). The later term is more relational and carries the idea of affection.

let him be accursed.

“Accursed” (anathema) means devoted to destruction. The idea in this verse probably is exclusion from fellowship in the local church.

O Lord, come!

The word here is the Aramaic term “Maranatha,” which means “Lord, come.” This is a prayer for the coming of Christ back to earth. Maranatha was a watchword for the coming of Christ.

16:23

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Paul wished the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to come on the Corinthian church. First Corinthians begins and ends with grace. Grace emphasizes what God does for the believer, so Christians are totally dependent on God.

16:24

My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.

After rebuking the Corinthian church throughout the epistle, Paul expressed his personal love for the Corinthian church. This is the only letter of Paul that ends with expressing love to his readers. Love does not require a believer to speak in dulcet tones. There are times when parents must speak in stern terms if they love their children.

Amen.

“Amen” means so be it, I believe it.

PRINCIPLE:

Biblical love transcends human conflict.

APPLICATION:

Biblical love does not require Christians to speak in dulcet, saccharine, sentimental tones. Love in God’s Word is not sentiment but the capacity to do what is best for others regardless of their reciprocity. There is a place for reciprocity, but it is not the heart of Christian love.

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