Greeting and Warning in the Same Breath

No doubt, this statement from the Apostle Paul is most likely his most poignant and most powerful statement of any he writes. This is an essential greeting, warning and blessing coming from his heart expressing the Message of the Gospel in one breath. The entirety of his letter to the church in Corinth is found here. 

21. “I, Paul, send this greeting with my own hand.” 

What a greeting this first letter to the Cornithians!! Not only is this for the entire group of faith, individuals are singled out and admonished in their disobedience to the instructions of the Risen Savior. And he points to the importance of Spiritual Gifts and employing them in spiritual living. “Hello!!”

22.  “Let anyone who has no love for the Lord be accursed. Our Lord, come!”

The 13th chapter is known as the ‘Love Chapter’ demonstrating personal love for Christ and for one another. ‘But,’ and there is always a pause, “condemnation comes to anyone who does not express faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation comes to one who believes, but for anyone who does not seek to follow Him damnation is the curse.

23.  “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.”

We understand salvation comes by the flood of God’s grace as one responds to voice of the Risen Savior by faith. The result of this moment in time is the ability to accomplish good works because of His righteousness instilled in the spirit of every Believer.

24. “My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.”

This is a reflection of Christ’s love provided to Peter as He restored the broken disciple “ Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter in John 21:15-19, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.” Jesus said a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Shepherd my sheep.” Jesus said a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the solemn truth, when you were young, you tied your clothes around you and went wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will tie you up and bring you where you do not want to go.” (Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.) After he said this, Jesus told Peter, “Follow me.” 

The expression found in 1 Corinthians 16:21-24 sheds light on the entirety of the purpose of the Gospel of God; salvation for those who believe in Jesus and condemnation for anyone who does not. The question is, “Do you know Him?”

Jesus is Lord!!

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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