I Thessalonians 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
The true servant of God is a humble servant. He is dependent upon God in all things. Paul was an apostle. He was trained by the Lord. He had been serving the Lord for a few years now. He had received his message directly from the Lord. He did not know it all. He knew some things, but he made it clear that there is a difference between knowing something and doing it. There is a need for personal application of the truth.
Paul needed the prayer of other saints. He has expressed his love and concern for the saints in Thessalonica. He wanted them to be all that God designed them for. He knew they needed to grow in the knowledge of the truth. They also needed to grow in walking by faith. Paul was not speaking to them as someone who had arrived. He also needed to grow in the Lord. He needed to learn to walk more by faith. He also needed boldness in his service for the Lord. Praying for one another is an important part of the Christian life. It is helpful to know something about the person you are praying for. This is again why the local church is so important. In the local church you get to know others of like precious faith.
It is also why keeping in touch with others through other means is important. We have had a few responses to our journey with my brother-in-law over the last week of his life. That correspondence is important. I have let our readers know what is going on in our life. Some have responded to that. We need one another. We cannot be an island unto ourselves. The prayers of other saints will encourage us to press on. Prayer reminds us that it is God Who intervenes and Who helps the child of God. We are seeking His direction on behalf of another person. Certainly this is important for the true child of God.
In verse 26 Paul also wanted to keep in touch with other saints. He wanted them to know there was a personal interest in them. Notice that Paul is talking here of an “holy kiss”. A man will kiss his wife but not other women unless maybe a sister. We notice here that this kiss is not a sensual kiss. It is done in a holy manner. It is not as Catholic priests have done to seduce others. A holy kiss is never done for any lustful intent. This kiss is on the cheek. This was a very common practice in Middle Eastern culture. It still is in certain cultures. In North America we tend to shake other people’s hands. During the Wuhan virus time, that was supposedly forbidden by the govt. We did not adhere to that foolishness. It is important to keep our hands clean and it is important not to pass on germs. If we use a Kleenex to wipe and blow the nose, rather than wipe it into our hands, we will not be spreading germs. If we wash up after using the washroom we will also be protecting ourselves and others. There are simple things that we can do that are proper at any time. This no contact foolishness that was promoted over the past three years is for pagans, it is not for God’s people.
In verse 27 we see that God wanted this epistle read by all the holy brethren. In Paul’s day, there would not be a copy for every person. There might be one copy in a church. Thus the pastor would need to read it to the people and keep it fresh in their minds. Reading God’s Word is always important. We have mentioned before that every born again Christian should be reading through their Bible at least once a year. The more you read it, the more familiar you will become with it. If you read with understanding, you will begin to be able to remember where certain doctrines are addressed. In our house, my wife and I read through the Bible at least once a year and we also read a Proverb every night before bed. There are 31 Proverbs and in a long month, that takes us through the entire book in a month. Thus we read the book of Proverbs 12 times in a year. We have done this for years now and I still have not memorized the entire book. However, it has been helpful for us as we need to make decisions in our lives. It is a good thing to begin the day with the Word of God and also to end the day with the Word of God.
In verse 28, Paul wanted the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to be with the saints. We need God’s grace. We have talked of that before. Living by God’s grace is what keeps the child of God on an even keel. It is what brings comfort when undesirable surprises come. We will all face unexpected challenges from time to time. It does not matter if we are older or younger. A person does not need to be old to find that things do not always happen as we expect them to. When we live by God’s grace we can face the uncertainties of life much better.
We can look at the Lord Jesus Christ and see how He dealt with the many challenges He faced while on this earth. There were people from many walks of life who came to Him with needs. There were also false teachers who came to Him seeking to destroy Him. He Is God, but He is also man. He limited His deity while on this earth. John 17 makes that clear. He was still fully God and that is why He could do the many miracles He did. He could discern things that others could not. He had a strength that we do not have.
Those who are saved, can draw from His strength and grace. He is “our” Lord Jesus Christ. He is able to help all true saints at the same time. We do not become little gods as the Mormons teach. We are God’s children if we are saved. His strength is available to His children. We cannot do all that Jesus Christ did, but we can do that which God requires of us.
When I spend time with my grandchildren, there is sometimes some jealousy expressed between them. I cannot give them all the same attention at the same moment. They want that but they need to learn that we as humans are limited in our abilities. However, I can show them that God is able to meet every need they have if they turn to Him and are saved.
Every true child of God can run to God at the same moment and find the exact help they need through our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the blessing of being saved.
Let me encourage each reader to get ready to go to a good local church today. It is the Lord’s day. Ask God to prepare your heart to listen to Him and obey Him. You will find God’s blessing as you walk humbly and obediently with Him.