1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

 
Peace and Joy: Preservation until the Coming of the Lord
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
 
 
12 But we beg you, brethren, to know those who labour among you, and take the lead among you in the Lord, and admonish you, 13 and to regard them exceedingly in love on account of their work. Be in peace among yourselves. 14 But we exhort you, brethren, admonish the disorderly, comfort the faint-hearted, sustain the weak, be patient towards all. 15 See that no one render to any evil for evil, but pursue always what is good towards one another and towards all; 16 rejoice always; 17 pray unceasingly; 18 in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus towards you; 19 quench not the Spirit; 20 do not lightly esteem prophecies; 21 but prove all things, hold fast the right; 22 hold aloof from every form of wickedness. v.17 Paul had regular prayer times; “at my prayers” (Eph. 1:16). When Paul speaks of praying “without ceasing”, he doesn’t mean praying every hour of every day, but rather to not give up those regular prayer times.
 
23 Now the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly: and your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He is faithful who calls you, who will also perform it.
 
25 Brethren, pray for us.
 
26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. v.26 

The holy kiss is mentioned four times in the New Testament as a common expression of affection, to be used as a greeting for Christians (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26). There was to be a ‘kiss’, or display of affection; but it was to ‘holy’ as well. They were to be careful that their greetings were genuine, and above reproach. There are at least two ways a kiss could be unholy. First, if it is not genuine, like the kiss of Judas (Luke 22:47-48) or Joab (2 Sam. 20:9). Second, if it is sexually motivated or gives the appearance of evil. Paul wanted to see affection between the saints, but he wanted it to be pure.

 
27 I adjure you by the Lord that the letter be read to all the holy brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.