Temple Baptist Church - 8-7-2016
1 Thessalonians 5:26
A. As we get to the end of 1 Thessalonians, the Holy Ghost once again admonishes the church to be loving and unified. The greatest enemy of the local church is division and strife. The local church is a family and should love like one. God is not the Author of confusion but of peace.
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
B. Division is a preacher’s nightmare! I can battle things that attack the church from the outside but when the enemy is rooted within the church, there is great potential for a church split or a pastor who has to leave.
C. The Bible says to be of one mind, one accord, forgiving, forbearing, charitable, and hospitable one to another and yet, problems in unity are a continual source of heartache and headache!
D. God is not pleased with division and strife in the church.
James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:
E. Brotherly love in the church is a sign of spiritual maturity! Little children squabble while mature people overlook or minimize situations.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
1 Thessalonians 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
F. I want to dissect this little verse as to get a proper understanding of it.
1. The Command Of The Greeting – “Greet” - I love to come early and stay late. Many times, people finally leave the church and remain standing around in groups in the parking lot. Spend time with one another and fellowship! God both wants and expects loving kindness within the walls of the local church. This greeting was a sign that they were glad to see one another. I am always excited about seeing God’s people come to church and love each other.
2. The Consistency Of The Greeting – “all” – We are not to love a few or a certain group, but to love with consistency. “Ye” is the understood subject - The command to greet is given to every believer. We should all be mixing and mingling in sweet fellowship.
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Philippians 4:21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
3. The Character Of The Greeting – “holy” – To distinguish it from an unchaste and lascivious one; and from an hypocritical and deceitful one. This “holy” kiss can only be given by one who is right with the Lord and, therefore, right with his brother.
1 Timothy 5:1-2 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
a. A Kiss Of Deceit - Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy aredeceitful.
b. A Kiss Of Disloyalty - Luke 22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
c. A Kiss Of Death - 2 Samuel 20:9-10 And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him. But Amasa took no heed to the sword that wasin Joab’s hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib1, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
4. The Charity Of The Greeting – “kiss” A kiss is a token of love! We do not kiss those whom we dislike and, yet, some will give the outward kiss without the inward love. They will greet with their lips but their hearts are full of wrath and envy.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Conclusion: Why “Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss?” Because we, together, can fight and overcome the outward enemies that assail the church but disunity, discord, disgruntled people can quickly destroy the unity and work of the church!