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1 Corinthians 16 v 13 - 24

A passage it would be very easy to skim through, but which says something to the modern reader about the day to day life of the Early Church. Remember, that it is likely that Paul wrote this letter fifteen to twenty years after Christ's death.

He begins with five statements, four of which could be taken from a soldier's manual.

1. Be always on the alert.

2. Stand firm when under attack.

3. Be ready to be a hero in the battle.

4. Be strong to fight for your King.

The fifth one reminds the reader that Paul is writing about the Army of God: 'do everything in love'.

In the Christian life there must be the courage which will never retreat and the love which never fails!

Paul ends his letter with a series of commendations and greetings. Aquila and Priscilla are two very important figures in the life of the Early Church and we can read that Paul met them first in Corinth- Acts 18 v 2-and now they resided in Ephesus. They were Jews and, like Paul, tent makers, whose work would naturally keep them on the move and there would always be a demand for tents wherever they moved. They were supporting nascent fellowships in their travels. Wherever they went groups of believers would come together in Aquila and Priscilla's home, look at Romans 16 v 3-5. They worked because they needed to live, but God worked through their occupation to His Glory.

Imagine for a moment as a new convert being invited to their house and finding there such a warm community and such love! Exchanging the sacred kiss with one another (this became the kiss between man and man and woman and woman and was often on the hand), feeling loved.

Paul marks this letter as genuine by signing with his own hand. Ultimately, Paul sends his love. We must always love each other, despite occasionally having issue with another believer's behaviour or having diverse views on theological matters.



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