Posted by: The Simple Guy | May 31, 2010

Live Well

Sunday we finished 2 Corinthians.  I preached on the last few verses of chapter 13.

2Co 13:11-14 ESV
(11)  Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
(12)  Greet one another with a holy kiss.
(13)  All the saints greet you.
(14)  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Paul has one last thing to say.  So he says:

Finally

Sort of like “in closing” but the particular word he uses also means “one more thing”

Then he gives a list.  How is a list one more thing?  We need to look behind the appearance of a “list” to the one more thing that ties it together.  Watch for it as we continue.

“brothers”

This is a family word.  We have been given life from the same source.  We are brothers and sisters because of the life that God has begun in us.

“rejoice”

Then he says: “Rejoice”  but the KJV says, “Farewell”  How are “rejoice” and “farewell” both accurate translations of what he actually said? I looked it up in Strong’s and here is the Greek word with it’s definition:

chairō
khah’ee-ro
A primary verb; to be full of “cheer”, that is, calmly happy or well off; impersonal especially as a salutation (on meeting or parting), be well: – farewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hail, joy (-fully), rejoice.

So this word is a salutation, but a salutation with a particular meaning.  Like the Jews used the word “peace” as a greeting.  But this greeting is essentially, “Live well”  It is about prosperity and joy.  But when Paul uses it, the prosperity he speaks of is not material.  It is about living well with Christ.  Reminds me of Philippians 4.  (by the way, it is the same word used there, too)

So what does this “living well” look like? Well, let’s unpack it a bit more.

“aim for restoration”

Other translations say aim for perfection.  Again, both ideas are correct.  It is the idea of putting together a project or work and it being complete.  Paul has talked about restoration before.   In chapter 2 he encouraged them to restore the brother who had repented.  In chapter 5 he spoke of how Christ has reconciled us to God.

“Comfort one another”

This is the same concept emphasized throughout the book, starting in chapter 1.  (the God of all comfort, comforts us in our affliction so that we can comfort those who are afflicted)  It is in chapter 5 where God pleads through us to the world, “be reconciled to God”  (Plead, exhort, and comfort all come from the same greek word “paraklete”

This word is a picture of a ship that comes alongside a sinking vessel and rescues those on board.  It is a vocal word, that implies verbal encouragement.  It also can be used for the idea of a defense attorney.

So one could say “come along side to rescue, encourage, and defend one another.”

“agree with one another”

This is the idea of being like-minded.  We have seen this earlier in the book as well.   Paul uses this idea repeatedly in his books, and is speaking of having the mind of Christ.  He spells this mind out in detail in Phil 2.  So the idea here is to empty ourselves and exalt Christ together.

“live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you”

This peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to weather the storm.  “in this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”

“Greet one another with a holy kiss”

This is a greeting that was reserved for close friends and family.  Paul has dealt with some hard things in this book.  There would have been a tendency to divide up and be sort of isolated.  He reminds them with this that they are family.  They are to be affectionate and love one another.  But note the word “holy.”  This is not to be showy or fake affection like Judas gave Jesus.

“All the saints greet you”

The family they are part of isn’t just local.  There are saints all over and we are part of them.

Now we get to what I think is the most beautiful verse in the book.  He has exhorted them to “live well together”  (I think that is the “last one thing” by the way)  Now he points to the ultimate example of living well together:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Think of it, the best example of “living well together” is the trinity.  Why does Jesus do everything He does?  Out of love for the Father and the Spirit.  Why does the Father do everything He does?  Out of love for the Son and the Spirit.  Why does the Spirit do everything He does?  Out of love for the Father and the Son.  I believe this is the meaning of “God is Love.”  This relationship has been going on for all of eternity.  And God has invited us into this relationship as sons!  Think of it!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (Think of His sacrifice for us that we did not deserve!)  The Love of the Father, (It is why He sent the Son).  And the Fellowship of the Spirit (How close He is, He indwells us!)

1 and 2 Corinthians are books written to churches that had problems.  These were not easy books to write, or read.  But the closing is to point us to the place we have in Christ, the love of the Father, and the partnership we have with His Spirit in us.  In light of these practical truths in our lives, the problems of Corinth (or my life too) fade.  They cannot continue when I am lost in Him.

Rejoice!  Live well!  He came to give us Life to the fullest and to make our joy full!

Any thoughts?

Craig

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Responses

  1. I’ve really been blessed by finally being able to see the picture of family which the Lord has painted throughout Scripture and even given us in the marriage/home model.

    It is no mystery to me why the enemy works so hard at suggesting ways people can distort the picture.

  2. Brother,

    The summation of what you brought out rings clearer and clearer to me as I live and learn through times of struggle and times of repose, “All I have is Christ, Jesus is my life.”

  3. […] recently commented on Craig’s site and made the statement that “All I have is Christ, Jesus is my life.” This is a 180 degree […]

  4. […] recently commented on Craig’s site and made the statement that “All I have is Christ, Jesus is my life.” This is a 180 degree […]


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