|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:19-24 Christianity by no means destroys civility. Religion should promote a courteous and obliging temper towards all. Those give a false idea of religion, and reproach it, who would take encouragement from it to be sour and morose. And Christian salutations are not mere empty compliments; but are real expressions of good-will to others, and commend them to the Divine grace and blessing. Every Christian family should be as a Christian church. Wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of Christ, and he is among them, there is a church. Here is a solemn warning. Many who have Christ's name much in their mouths, have no true love to him in their hearts. None love him in truth, who do not love his laws, and keep his commandments. Many are Christians in name, who do not love Christ Jesus the Lord in sincerity. Such are separated from the people of God, and the favour of God. Those who love not the Lord Jesus Christ, must perish without remedy. Let us not rest in any religious profession where there is not the love of Christ, earnest desires for his salvation, gratitude for his mercies, and obedience to his commandments. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ has in it all that is good, for time and for eternity. To wish that our friends may have this grace with them, is wishing them the utmost good. And this we should wish all our friends and brethren in Christ. We can wish them nothing greater, and we should wish them nothing less. True Christianity makes us wish those whom we love, the blessings of both worlds; this is meant in wishing the grace of Christ to be with them. The apostle had dealt plainly with the Corinthians, and told them of their faults with just severity; but he parts in love, and with a solemn profession of his love to them for Christ's sake. May our love be with all who are in Christ Jesus. Let us try whether all things appear worthless to us, when compared with Christ and his righteousness. Do we allow ourselves in any known sin, or in the neglect of any known duty? By such inquiries, faithfully made, we may judge of the state of our souls.
Verse 20. - All the brethren. The Ephesian Church in general. With an holy kiss. The kiss of peace is mentioned in Romans 16:16; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 5:14. It was a sign of the reconciliation of all dissensions. But the abuse of the practice and the hideous heathen calumnies which it helped to perpetuate, led to its abolition. In the Roman Church a shadow of it still remains in the custom of the congregation kissing the pax after the priest has kissed it. The custom still continues in the Christos voscress of Easter Day in the Greek Church, when -
" See! the bearded faces kiss each other:
Every Russian Christian loves his brother.
Serf or noble, each today may claim
Friendly kiss in that all friendly Name."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
All the brethren greet you,.... Either the brethren, the members of the church at Ephesus; or the apostle's brethren in the ministry, that were along with him, as Sosthenes and others; or the brethren that were come to him from Corinth, namely Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus:
greet ye one another with an holy kiss; See Gill on Romans 16:16.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. holy kiss—the token of the mutual love of Christians, especially at the Lord's Supper (compare Ro 16:16; 1Th 5:26), "in which all the dissensions of the Corinthians would be swallowed up" [Bengel].
1 Corinthians 16:20 Parallel Commentaries
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