“Greet one another with a holy kiss.” -Romans 16:16
We covered this verse in a recent sermon and one member asked how we should think about it. It is, after all, a direct command, Greet one another with a holy kiss. If we’re serious about keeping God’s Word, should we get going with holy kisses? Good question.
Virtually all commentators understand this command to be specific to that time and culture. This is because there is no suggestion of a transcultural element to this in the way we would see in, for example, one of the 10 commandments, or commands God gave Adam and Eve in the garden, before the Fall. We apply it not necessarily by giving one another a holy kiss, but by finding the way people in our place and time express genuine affection. That may be a handshake, hug, fist bump, a cheek-to-cheek-with-air-kiss, or something else.
In his post, “The Holy Kiss—Relevant Today or Not?” John Piper finds three implications for us. First, we need to consider what kind of rule this is. Second, we learn to take the ordinary, a kiss, and make it holy and devoted to God. Third, we learn that Christians are to feel, and express, genuine affection for one another.
You can read the whole thing here.
Got questions about this post or ideas for another one? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.