1 Corinthians 16:19, 20
The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.…
In St. Paul's Epistles personal messages occur in juxtaposition with doctrinal statements and arguments and moral counsels. Their occurrence makes us feel the true humanity of this method of religious communication; we gain an insight into the heart, not of the apostle alone, but of his fellow labourers and friends. And we cannot but admire the evident power of Christianity to hallow and ennoble, to refine and bless, the relations subsisting among friends.
I. FROM WHOM, AND TO WHOM, ARE THESE GREETINGS?
1. Individuals are named. Of Aquila and Priscilla we know that they were regarded by Paul as his dear friends and trusty fellow labourers. Wherever they went they carried the gospel, they formed a circle of Christian friends, they provided a home for workers and a gathering place for worshippers.
2. Households join in the greetings. This is evidently the case, whether we regard the expression "Church in the house" as applying to the Christian family and their dependents and guests, or to a party wont to assemble in a certain house for mutual edification and common worship.
3. Churches send salutations. The Christian congregations of Asia Minor were linked together in bonds of mutual confidence and affection, and expressed their feelings by the medium of the apostolical letter. This practice authorizes communications between Churches and groups of Churches, as promotive of brotherly love.
II. OF WHAT KIND?
1. They are fraternal. In the salutation those who send the messages are termed brethren. Not as fellow professors of one faith, but as members of one family, did these primitive Christians exchange their greetings and good wishes and prayers.
2. Cordial and affectionate. Salutations are often matters of form, and are then cold and all but meaningless. The holy kiss, which was the custom in those primitive communities, was a sign of the warmth and sincerity of the good feeling which prevailed.
3. Mutual; for they were admonished to greet one another. "All ye," Christ had said, "are brethren;" and we see how true an attempt was made to comply with his commands, and to realize his descriptions.
III. UPON WHAT BASIS? Not upon the basis of mere courtesy, or of common interests or expediency, but upon a specially Christian basis; the greeting was "in the Lord." By this we must understand:
1. In fulfilment of the Lord's command, who had so often and emphatically enjoined the cherishing and manifestation of brotherly love.
2. In imitation of the Lord's conduct, who himself, in all his communications with his friends, had been wont to display that love which he desired to witness among his followers.
3. Under the influence of his Spirit, whose presence and gracious operations make themselves felt by the diffusion of courtesy, good will, and kindness. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.