Greet One Another With a Kiss

Greet one another with a holy kiss (kiss of love). (1 Peter 5:14)

What does it mean to “greet one another” and do it with a kiss of love (in other texts it’s referred to as a “holy kiss”)? Why does this command seem to be totally awkward and yet it’s given to us as Christians in order to show our love to one another?

What does it mean to greet fellow believers with a kiss and why is it important enough to be a command?

Well we must first take a look at and recognize the cultural issues that are much different today than in the near East Jewish culture of The Bible. We also must not throw out the baby with the bathwater and dig a little deeper to find out what The Holy Spirit wanted us to learn from this command (as it’s given several other times in Scripture) when it comes to how we are to love each other in Christ and in His Church. 

Peter closes out his first letter to believers with the same command that Paul shared with the Roman believers, “Greet one another with a kiss of love (or a holy kiss).” (1 Peter 5:14)

Now if you’re thinking as a young boy or girl (especially a young boy) you’re probably thinking…”EEEEWWWW!” If you’re thinking as a young adolescent, you may be moving from “EW” to “HMMM, I know several that I’d like to kiss.” If you’re thinking as someone who’s allowed the culture and porn to infiltrate and rewire your brain, you’re missing the point completely. How can we think in terms of what God is wanting us to learn in this command?

Again, there is great value in understanding this act of love from a Body of Christ perspective as we encourage and build one another up, we build a spiritual and relational intimacy that is imperative in showing each other and the world what God’s Love is like. This is not the kiss of marital/sexual love. This is an act of honoring and preferring others above self.

This act of love, much like today’s kiss on the cheek, handshake or hug, is to declare that we care for and belong to one another in Christ! Are you apprehensive about sharing a heartfelt embrace for a brother or sister in Christ or is the way of the culture caused you to be insecure in expressing a Godly and brotherly/sisterly love for our fellow disciples in Christ?

The holy kiss, holy embrace, etc., are signs of peace and loving acceptance and honor among those who believe. I pray that we all can learn to love “one another” and express it in line with God’s Word and design of pure love so the world will know and begin to clamor for Him and His Love!

I can tell you that for the longest time in my life, and I know many others, a handshake was all we could muster. The pornified culture that we live in has not only drawn us to an impure love but has pulled us away from being able to share God’s kind of Love in Christ that is gracious and respectful with and to one another. I pray that we can humble ourselves as we talked about in yesterday’s episode, and be careful and bold as we greet one another with proper and pure love so the world can see His Love and be drawn to know Christ as Savior and Lord.

Food for Thought…Over the last 3 “one another” commands and messages I find it interesting how The Holy Spirit moved Peter to go from hospitality to humility to intimate and pure expressions of love toward each other as believers. I’m so glad we’ve been able to recapture some of this and I truly believe that if we’ll continue to move in this direction and away from the pornified ideas of culture and even of manhood, allowing us to properly express this kind of Godly and brotherly/sisterly love, Christ’s disciples and His Church will have a much greater impact in showing this depraved and perverted world what His Real Love is.

Action Steps…

  1. Spend time with God and in His Word, prayer and listening every day…begin with the Scriptures in this message.
  2. Ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  3. What forms of expressing love and friendship intimacy have you found uncomfortable? Have you been able to find a way to comfortably express this kind of Biblical love with others?
  4. What walls need to be broken down in your life to follow through with this command? What walls have been broken down in order for you to be obedient in this? Begin to step out in faith and obedience and see what The Lord does.

A kiss on the cheek or forehead, a pure hug with a brother or sister in Christ, a firm, heartfelt handshake, and others acts of lovingkindness are all expressions of how we consider, care for and love out brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s follow God’s command in this “one another” and allow Him to bring us together in loving unity for His Kingdom and Glory!  

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Love and Lordship Prayer Focus… Heavenly Father, help us to learn to accept and strive to understand Your Word and commands in the context in which they were given so we can apply them rightly in our day and time. May we seek Your Holy Spirit to guide us so that we are obedient and in no way compromising Your Truth. Help us as we discern that we may love more fully as You love us in Christ.  In His Name. Amen.