By Mike Chaffin
I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen. 1 Corinthians 16:21-24
The last words in 1 Corinthians are Paul’s closing statements to the church at Corinth. It is an interesting mix. He makes five distinct statements.
- Paul used a secretary to record his letters, but his habit was to end the letter with a greeting or benediction in his own handwriting. This let’s the reader know it is from him.
- The second statement reminds me of Psalm 139,
19Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. Psalm 139:19-22
David wrote this psalm and in these four verses declares his stand with God in opposition to wickedness, those who speak wrongly about God, and take his name in vain. Biblically we align ourselves with holiness and those who trust in God. We have nothing to do with those who oppose God, deny God, and teach falsehood. Jesus was very adamant about those who teach falsehood when in Matthew 18:6 said,
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
This teaches us to avoid those who purposely deny Christ and try to cause others to sin through bad doctrine and acceptance of sinful lifestyles. For those who have never been exposed to the gospel message we are to shine God’s light, so they have a chance to receive Christ’s blessing.
- Paul exhorts Christ to return.
- Paul blesses the reader with a prayer the Holy Spirit fills each one with peace and joy.
- In closing Paul shares his love for the reader. Love is how others know we are Christ’s own. This should be on display in every circumstance of our lives.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to live a holy life, knowing good from evil. Help me spread you love to those who don’t know you. In Jesus name, amen.