I’ve certainly enjoyed the One Another series this summer! Thank you to Daniel and Dalton for preaching and blogging for me while I was away. It was great to be back preaching on Sunday! While there are 59 “one another” passages in Scripture, and we only looked at 10, it is clear that God commands us to do life with others. You cannot “one another” yourself! The way we live, act, and treat one another is evidence that we belong to Jesus. Living out these “one anothers” is living out the gospel before a watching world. The final command we will look at is “Greet one another…” (Romans 16:16).
It is Visible
Romans 16:16 says, “Greet one another with a holy kiss….” To greet with a kiss was a common practice in Bible times, and still is in parts of the world today. If it is not cultural to kiss, it may be to bow, to shake hands, or even to stick out your tongue. What these greetings have in common is that they can be seen. They are visible. A “holy” kiss takes the normal, cultural greeting and sanctifies it. We can greet each other with a holy handshake, a holy fist bump, or a holy high five. It is different in every culture. The form changes, but the function is the same. Demonstrate your love for others. A holy greeting is a genuine, heartfelt, appropriate, visible expression of love, not to be misunderstood or misused.
It is Valuable
In this chapter, we read the longest greeting list in the Bible. Paul mentions 35 people by name! He had many friends and he valued their friendship in the Lord. These people partnered with him and risked their lives for the sake of the Gospel! The church is family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ! Greeting one another is not optional or trivial. It is commanded. Paul used their names. The Bible lists the names of David’s mighty men, those who served with him. Do you know people’s names? When you go to a church it is obvious if there is someone there to greet you. Some churches are like the frozen chosen! No one smiles, speaks, or waves at you. Don’t be a cold fish or snobbish! We must work at waving at one another, greeting one another, and saying, “Good morning!” and “Glad to see you!”
It is Victorious
Romans 16:17 says to “note those who cause divisions and offenses.” It is the nature of love to warn against anyone or anything that would harm those we love. We must oppose what is harmful or evil. Spouses do that for one another. Parents do that for their children. The Bible not only lists David’s mighty men, but also his enemies! God lists those who helped Nehemiah, and those who opposed him. Whose side are you on? Will eternity reveal that you helped or hindered the work? Remember the story of the prodigal son? Did the elder brother greet his brother? No! The father embraced and kissed him, but the elder brother is religious. He hears the music and hates it. He refuses to celebrate. The greeting, the kiss, the celebration, and the focus on the lost is right! Churches are dying across America because they spend all their time and resources not reaching the prodigal, but trying to pacify the elder brothers! God has not called us to make sure cranky Christians are happy! Mark and avoid those who divide!
Verse 20 says, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” How did Judas betray our Lord? With a kiss. The kiss of death! Some people will mean the kiss of death on a church. That is not the end, however, because God promised in Genesis that He would send a Messiah. Satan would bruise His heel, and He would crush the Serpent’s head. Jesus is crushing Satan under YOUR feet!
Jesus welcomed the lepers, sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, and Samaritans. We must greet and welcome all nations, people groups, and the marginalized of our day. Because Jesus prays for, comforts, prefers, forgives, and encourages us, we can do the same for others. Because Jesus welcomed us into His family, we can greet and welcome others into the family.