The way some English translations read, the question emerges whether verse 14 is something like a “complimentary close” modeled on canons of ancient Greek letter writing or whether it is something more. Analysis of the context, form, and actual words of Paul indicates that verse 14 is something more than a mere closing word, it is rather, a benediction. As Paul concludes this very tough pastoral letter, a letter full of reproofs and admonitions, he proclaims a word of grace to the Corinthians as a means of assuring them of God’s grace and as a provision of spiritual strength to enable them to enact the reforms set forth in this letter. The main message which emerges from this text for the contemporary audience is to see that a benediction, pronounced by a minister of the word in the service of worship is a means of grace designed to assure us of God’s blessing and to strengthen us spiritually to respond to the word of God with faith and obedience.
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