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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 13 - Verse 11
Verse 11. Finally, brethren. loipon. The remainder; all that remains is for me to bid you an affectionate farewell. The word here rendered "farewell," (cairete,) means usually to joy and rejoice, or to be glad, Lu 1:14; Joh 16:20,22; and it is often used in the sense of "joy to you!" "hail!" as a salutation, Mt 26:49; Mt 27:29. It is also used as a salutation at the beginning of an epistle, in the sense of greeting, Ac 15:23; 23:26; Jas 1:1.
It is generally agreed, however, that it is here to be understood in the sense of farewell, as a parting salutation, though it may be admitted that there is included in the word an expression of a wish for their happiness. This was among the last words which Cyrus, when dying, addressed to his friends.
It was a wish that every disorder might be removed; that all that was out of joint might be restored; that everything might be in its proper place; and that they might be just what they ought to be. A command to be perfect, however, does not prove that it has ever in fact been obeyed; and an earnest wish on the part of an apostle that others might be perfect,, does not demonstrate that they were; and this passage should not be adduced to prove that any have been free from sin. It may be adduced, however, to prove that an obligation rests on Christians to be perfect, and that there is no natural obstacle to their becoming such, since God never can command us to do an impossibility. Whether any one, but the Lord Jesus, has been perfect, however, is a question on which different denominations of Christians have been greatly divided. It is incumbent on the advocates of the doctrine of sinless perfection to produce some one instance of a perfectly sinless character. This has not yet been done.
Be of good comfort. Be consoled by the promises and supports of the gospel. Take comfort from the hopes which the gospel imparts. Or the word may possibly have a reciprocal sense, and mean, comfort one another. See Schleusner. Rosenmuller renders it, "receive admonition from all with a grateful mind, that you may come to greater perfection." It is, at any rate, the expression of an earnest wish, on the part of the apostle, that they might be happy.
Be of one mind. They had been greatly distracted, and divided into different parties and factions. At the close of the epistle he exhorts them, as he had repeatedly done before, to lay aside these strifes, and to be united, and manifest the same spirit. See Barnes "Ro 12:16"; See Barnes "Ro 15:5"; See Barnes "1 Co 1:10".
The sense is, that Paul desired that dissensions should cease, and that they should be united in opinion and feeling as Christian brethren.
Live in peace. With each other. Let contentions and strifes cease. To promote the restoration of peace had been the main design of these epistles.
And the God of love and peace. The God who is all love, and who is the Author of all peace. What a glorious appellation is this! There can be no more beautiful expression, and it is as true as it is beautiful, that God is a God of love and of peace. He is infinitely benevolent; he delights in exhibiting his love; and he delights in the love which his people evince for each other. At the same time he is the Author of peace, and he delights in peace among men. When Christians love each other, they have reason to expect that the God of love will be with them; when they live in peace, they may expect the God of peace will take up his abode with them. In contention and strife we have no reason to expect his presence; and it is only when we are willing to lay aside all animosity that we may expect the God of peace will fix his abode with us.
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