2Co 13:11-14  “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. Greet one another with an holy kiss. All the saints salute you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

Paul has come to the close of his letter. The only thing that remains (finally) is his assurance to them. He assures them of his love as he refers to them as brethren. Paul is reminding them that in spite of his sometimes harsh tones, they are family and he cares for their well-being (farewell).

When he tells us to be perfect, he is not saying that we are expected to be without flaw. The word translated as “perfect” in this instance carries the idea of being complete, perfectly repaired or joined together. In other words, he is encouraging us to have fellowship and labor in love with one another. We are to be about the business of building up the church through God’s grace.

The root meaning of the word translated as comfort means “to call near.” We are to draw each other close and encourage closeness with our Lord and Savior. In this, we are to be of one mind. Paul was not saying that we are expected to agree on every detail. Instead, that we are to be in full agreement in seeking the Lord, obeying the truth, and loving each other.

Although this is something the world knows little about, we are called on to live in peace (be or act peaceful). We are expected to behave ourselves in a peaceful manner. There is a blessed promise given us in doing these things. The God of truly perfect love and peace (not as a manner of living but as the author of it) shall be with us.

Certainly, we find great hope in the promise that God will be with us! It is in that confidence that we are able to greet one another with a holy kiss. Whether you take this to be a literal kiss on the cheek or not, what this does tell us is that we have closeness in Christ that goes beyond our human nature. There is a blessed intimacy in our relationship with each other because of the mind of Christ given to us.

The closeness of our relationship in Christ allows us to draw close to the saints of God, even if we have not known them for a long time. The love of Christ in them calls to the love of Christ in us. All those who are sanctified by Him embrace on another in love and singleness of purpose. Even those who are not particularly comfortable with a physical embrace still do so in their hearts and attitudes.

What rejoicing Paul’s final words should leave with us. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. The love of God be with you all. The communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.  So be it (amen)!

May we realize the presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our lives and say “Amen” to the counsel of God!

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