The apostle closes his first epistle to the believers in the Corinthian church.  He does not speak for himself alone.  As a representative of the Gospel of Christ, he also is associated with many of the believers in Asia.

These churches are not specified but may be the churches in the Revelation.  Collectively, churches can unite for ministry in a powerful expression of love.  At the very least this kind of greeting shows mutual encouragement.

Aquila and Priscilla were fellow tent makers with Paul during his ministry in Corinth.  They joined Paul in his journeys.  No doubt their unselfish hospitality was a continuing ministry that they brought with them to support the ministry of the apostle. 

Their greeting is passed on by Paul with the added touch of warmth.  It was beyond human affection, rather, fueled because of what they shared in the Lord.  This couple offered their love and home for Christian gatherings.

Christians enjoy an amazing familial relationship with each other.  It is not personal perfection but a supernatural connection that God initiated through His Son.  This fellowship is a product of His grace not our works.

As each person is born again by grace alone through faith alone, they are baptized into a supernatural family of God.  It is a birth that knows no prejudice due to ethnicity, class or language.  All of us who have been so blessed are family, brothers and sisters because of Christ.

The relationship is expressed.  An affection beyond human eroticism should be shared.  In the early days it was in fact a kiss with the lips.

Over the generations and cultural mores variations, base explanations have tried to minimize this practice.  But, don’t start with the kiss.  Begin instead with the LOVE of Christ.

“Holy” is the operative term.  This is the overriding protection.  God designed it, desires it and protects it. 

Paul expresses himself deeply and personally in this epistle.  No one is speaking for him.  He doesn’t have secretary to do his correspondence.

Love is the symptom of real faith.  Likely Paul was taking a swipe at false teachers, trouble-makers, slanderers in the church.  Those more occupied with judging others in order to give themselves a false sense of significance. 

Paul knew that Jesus would take care of all those who tried to masquerade in the church without true love.  Grace was his focus.  He expresses the love of God without shame.

1 corinthians 16.19-24