The Book of 2 Corinthians ends very quickly. There are none of the long lists of greetings that we sometimes see at the end of Paul’s letters. Instead, Paul just gives some very brief advice, and then he blesses the Christians.
Paul’s word for ‘goodbye’ also means ‘rejoice’ (be glad). Perhaps Paul intended both meanings; he often told Christians to rejoice*. Christians can be glad because of the goodness of God.
Paul was praying that God would ‘make right’ the problems in Corinth’s church*. Now, with a similar word, Paul urges the Christians to deal with those problems. God wanted them to be a strong church, and not a group of people who constantly argued. Then they could achieve much better results in their work for God together; and they would be better Christians.
The rest of Paul’s advice is for the same purpose. They should urge and encourage each other to serve God better. They should end their arguments and they should try to understand each other. Their many different opinions had caused them to separate from each other in the past. However, God wanted them to join together so that they would all benefit from their many different skills and gifts*. Then, instead of their constant arguments, their church would be calm and content.
That was what God wanted. Love and peace (a calm and content attitude) are part of God’s character. They are also among the results of the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives of Christians*. Christians should love each other with the love that comes from God. They should be calm and content because of the work that God is doing in their lives.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.