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October 3, 2023

BeInspiredToday: Greet One Another With a Holy Kiss

“All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (1 Corinthians 16:20)

The biblical command to “Greet one another with a holy kiss” has elicited interesting reactions and controversial interpretations in our dispensation.

Paul gives this instruction on four occasions: first to the Roman Church (Romans 16:16); twice to the Corinthian Church (1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12); and finally to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:26). Apostle Peter also instructs the church to greet one another with a kiss of love (1 Peter 5:14).

It was culturally popular in those times to exchange kisses on the cheek as a form of greeting, just as much as handshakes are prevalent in most cultures today.

It was a sign of love and acceptance. And here, the revered Apostles of those days were admonishing the church to apply this same expression of love in the church. Paul is careful, however, to qualify the kiss with “holy”. A holy kiss is genuine, devoid of immorality or hypocrisy. Apostle Peter says it’s a kiss of love (definitely not a kiss of lust or betrayal).

It’s important to note also that there was a subtle potential friction between the Jews and non-Jews in the church in those days. Today, there could be a separation of elites from the non-elites, the rich from the poor, the educated from the uneducated, etc. Greeting one another with a kiss of love tears down all walls of divisions and unites us as one people.

We are not to literally kiss each other today, but the principle here is to use all culturally and morally accepted forms of expressions to demonstrate love and unconditional acceptance of each other in the body of Christ. For in love and unity, there is strength.

Remain inspired!


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