Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. (2 Corinthians 13:11-14)
A Message Of Peace
The church at Corinth was filled with division, animosity, and prejudice and divided along lines of personal choice. It was a congregation of God’s people but the people of God were not united in their love for one another. Paul wrote a very harsh letter to them exhorting them to consider the influence they had on one another and the example left for the world to see. It was not an example of Christ living in them. They allowed carnality to fill their hearts. The resulting division came because the wisdom of man was exalted above the wisdom of God. Paul’s letter had a positive impact on the attitudes of the Corinthians as they began to change their attitudes and worked diligently on growing united in love. His second letter evidenced a change of heart and he commended them for the new creation that had moved them to be more Christlike.
When Paul began his letter he addressed the church of God at Corinth with grace and peace from God and the Lord Jesus Christ. As two bookends of the message, the apostle concludes his letter with the admonition of comfort, unity, love, and peace. He closed his letter asking the brethren to be filled with joy and to grow in their maturity toward one another. This would be done by encouraging one another and seeking to live in harmony and peace as the people of God. A Christian is a person who seeks the good and welfare of others. Joy in Christ is something shared from a heart of love. Mature minds put aside the petty differences of a carnal heart embracing the love for others. There is a need to exhort and encourage others with words of grace and acts of kindness. Harmony and peace come from people who refuse to be divided along lines of prejudice, hatred, and anger. The church at Corinth had suffered greatly from the division and Paul wanted them to be joined together as one.
A child of God is the express image of the Father. If the Lord is the God of love and peace then His children must be children of love and peace. This brings about comfort. Unified as one in the body of Christ, Christians stand for one another and live in peace regardless of nationality, gender, ethnicity, or economic status. God so loved the world that He gave Jesus as a sacrifice. He is not partial to any one group of people. Jesus died for every man that walks upon the face of the earth. Peace comes when the followers of God show the example of faith and trust in seeing peace and love with others. The God of love and peace will be with those who seek unity under the banner of God’s love.
Corinth experienced division because the hearts of the saints were not united in the comfort of God’s love. Becoming complete would only come from unity and peace when the saints of God would show the love of God in their lives. The world is filled with unrest and uncertainty but one thing that should be the stabilizing force in a world of chaos is the peace of God seen in the lives of the people of God. As a beacon of light shining bright in the dark world of sin, Christians stand against injustice, prejudice, and hatred. Only through the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit will these feelings of carnality be diminished. Let all men see in Christ the unity of souls who seek for peace. Paul’s farewell message of peace was the beginning of the gospel of peace shown in the lives of God’s people. May God bless our land with peace.