Paul’s Closing Remarks

As his UCLA football team suffered through a poor season in the early 1970s, head coach Pepper Rodgers came under intense criticism and pressure from alumni and fans. Things got so bad, he remembers with a smile, that friends became hard to find. “My dog was my only true fri … More

Friendship

Paul tells us about Aquila and Priscilla, a husband-and-wife team, who had been expelled from Rome because Aquila was a Jew (v. 19). They had come to Corinth and set up a tent-making business and this was where Paul first met them. When Paul moved from Corinth to Ephesus, they packed up their business and moved with him to assist in founding the church in that city. They were such a capable couple, that he left them to oversee the ministry when he returned to Antioch.

An interesting sidelight is that in those early days there were no church buildings. It was not until the third century that we hear about a church building at all. The little congregations met in private houses. If a house had a room big enough, it was there that the Christian fellowship met. Now wherever Aquila and Priscilla went, their home became a church. When they are in Rome, Paul sends greetings to them and to the church that is their house (Romans 16:3-5). When he writes from Ephesus, he sends greetings from them and from the church that is in their house. How many couples today would move as often as Aquila and Priscilla, just to be able to serve the Lord better?

Paul closes his letter with a holy kiss (v. 20). The holy kiss (cf. 2 Cor. 13:12; Rom. 16:16; 1 Thes. 5:25; 1 Peter 5:14) was primarily an expression of the love, forgiveness, and unity which should exist among Christians. This kiss of peace was a lovely custom of the early Church. It may have been a Jewish custom which the early Church took on. Paul closes the letter by signing it with his own hand in the love and grace of the Lord Jesus (vv. 21-24).

Application

I would like to be known for the hospitality that Aquila and Priscilla were known for. Lord, help me to be a person who is looking for ways to help and encourage other people.

I Corinthians 16:19-24 (English Standard Version)

The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »