Summary: Paul's command to greet one another in Rom. 16:16 is the culmination of a passage where he demonstrates exactly how to be welcoming. This sermon, the 5th in the One Anothers series, teaches much more than you would expect from such a simple command.
Greet One Another
Message 5 in One Anothers Series
October 6, 2013
A PowerPoint presentation for this message and all the sermons in the One Another Series is available upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The introduction, the three sub-points under my second point and a few scattered concepts are adapted from a sermon by Melvin Newland titled “Be Generous with your Greetings” found on SermonCentral.com. But the rest is all my own fault!
TEXT: Romans 16:16 – “Salute [this word means “Greet”…, which I’ll substitute with throughout when I encounter the word “salute,” which has a totally different connotation today] one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute [or “greet”] you.”
I came across a little ditty that went like this from a sermon by Melvin Newland:
Some go to church to laugh and talk, and some go there to walk the walk.
Some go to church to meet a friend, and some go there an hour to spend.
Some go to church to find a bride, and some go there a fault to hide.
Some go to church to celebrate, and some go there to agitate.
Some go to church to doze and nod, but the wise go there to worship God.
One of the most important functions of the local church is worship. Most of what we usually call worship could be described as “vertical” worship, where we LIFT UP our voices together in praise and prayer and song to our wonderful God. But there’s also a “horizontal” dimension to worship in which we REACH OUT in fellowship to those around us in corporate, unified worship TOGETHER. Acts 2:42 says of the early believers: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (horizontal) and to the fellowship (both horizontal and vertical because 1 John tells us that we have fellowship one with another because we have fellowship with the Father), to the breaking of bread (horizontal) and to prayer (vertical).”
Now the word “fellowship” has as its basic meaning the idea of SHARING with one another, of SERVING one another, of our RELATIONSHIP with one another.
Which is why we’ve been in a series on the “One Anothers” of the New Testament.
So far in our series, we’ve talked about how Paul says we’re “members one with another”—so we should be attached to a church body to grow and serve together. We’ve also looked at the first three “One Another” commands: to LOVE one another; to BE LIKEMINDED with one another; and to ACCEPT one another.
This morning I want to call your attention to Romans 16:16 where the Apostle Paul says, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” I’d like to answer two questions about this passage today:
I. FIRST, WHAT DOES PAUL MEAN BY THIS “ONE ANOTHER” COMMAND? – We can best understand what Paul is teaching us by analyzing this command’s two parts separately:
• First, Paul commands us to “greet one another...”
The word greet is an active command verb. In other words, it implies that YOU should take the initiative, not for you to expect OTHERS to greet you. Sometimes people come to church and hunker down in their seats and wait for someone to come and greet THEM.
If you’re one of those people, you’ve got it backwards. Paul says for YOU to take the initiative. He says for YOU to greet one another.
Sometimes people attend or join a church and they never quite fit in. They’re waiting for others to be friendly with them. But Proverbs 18:24 says it’s the other way around, where we read: “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly….”
So the best way to make friends when you join a church is for YOU to invite people over or YOU to invite them out for a meal together.
Now you realize, of course, that there are some people who expect, even demand, the attention of others. In Luke 11, Jesus discusses the Pharisees, who always seemed to get it wrong. Describing them, Jesus says, “They walk around the marketplace all dressed up in fine robes. They look so dignified, and they expect a greeting.”
You see, there are some people who seem to say, “Well, here I am. Everybody notice ME!”—and there are others who seem to be saying by their spirit and attitude, “THERE you are. I’ve noticed YOU.” The PHARISEES were “HERE I AM” people and JESUS was a “THERE YOU ARE” person who was really concerned about others.
In Matthew 5, He said, “Don’t just love your own or those who love you and who are nice to you. Why, even the pagans and tax collectors do that.” And James said, “Never show partiality. When the rich come, don’t give them the best seats in the house. Treat everybody the same.” In fact, James even said, “If you show partiality to people, you’re sinning.”