Pray for your leaders -Part 2
“Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.” Among the Jews and some Gentile societies at the time of the early Church, this was one of the modes or forms of greeting. In some countries, it is still customary for family members and acquaintances. But even in Bible days, this mode of greeting was abused and used for unrighteous and unholy purposes. Divine revelation, written for our learning and warning cautions us of, (1) the sensual kiss (Proverbs 7:13, 21-27), (2) the sly, serpentine kiss (Proverbs 27:6), (3) the satanic kiss (Luke 22:3,47,48), (4) the sinister kiss (2 Samuel 20:9, 10), (5) the subtle kiss (2 Samuel 15:4-6), (6) the superstitious kiss (Hosea 13: 1-6), (7) the soul-damning Kiss (1 Kings 19:18). Cultures and customs, which were used to defile and destroy the souls of men and women, boys and girls were eventually abandoned by the Church. In our greeting, fellowship and hospitality, we must preserve holiness of heart and life. “As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in ALL manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:15).
The solemn charge, which was given to the Thessalonians through the Apostle “by the Lord” is also given to us, to every believer, to every church, in every generation. The Word of God in this Epistle, and indeed the whole Bible, must not be suppressed or kept away from anyone. God’s Word must be read to all and must be read by all. As every Jewish synagogue has a copy of the law and the prophets (the Old Testament), so every Christian church had a copy of the gospels and the epistles (the New Testament). Every church was to be in possession of the whole Bible (the Old and the New Testaments), which was to be read and studied every day and every week (Acts 17: 11; 19: 8-10).
Paul the Apostle, inspired by the Holy Spirit, deemed it necessary that “this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren” to keep everyone in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Our Lord’s saving grace, sustaining grace, sufficient grace, sanctifying grace, strengthening grace, steadfast grace, super-abundant grace “is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” The Epistle to the Thessalonians opens with grace and closes with grace. At the beginning, in 1 Thessalonians 1:1, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” At the end, in 1 Thessalonians 5: 28, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” From the beginning to the end, the Christian life is all of His grace. May you always find grace not just to pray for your leaders, but also live and behave in an acceptable and righteous manner.
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Thessalonians 5:25-28; Romans 15:30-33; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:18-20; Philippians 1:9-20; Colossians 4:2-4; 2 Thessalonians 3:1,2; Philemon 22; Hebrews 13:18,19; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; Genesis 27:26,27; 50:1,2; Exodus 18:7; Ruth 1:1-18; Luke 15:20-24; Psalm 2:12; Romans 14:16-21; 15:1-4; 1 Corinthians 8:11-13; 9:22-27; Acts 10:24-27; 1 Thessalonians 5: 27, 28; Colossians 4: 16; Deuteronomy 31: 11,12; Nehemiah 8; 1-3,8,13; Isaiah 34:16; Acts 8: 29-35; 2 Corinthians 3:14-18; 1 Timothy 4:13-16; Revelation 1:3. Acts 17:11, Jude 24.
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