The last chapter contains a series of general exhortations. It is evident that the letter was sent to those whose faith was being challenged and weakened, and whose love, therefore, was cooling. These are enjoined to love in its simple fact, then in its manifestation toward the stranger, and, finally, in tenderness to those who are in bonds. Paul enjoined them to purity and contentment.
Having dealt with matters of their inner life, he showed their true relationship toward teachers, truth, worship, service, and the overseers of the flock. Jesus Christ, concerning whom the whole epistle has been written, is declared to be unchanging. Therefore they, too, are not to be carried away by strange teaching.
The final words of the letter constitute a great prayer combined with personal messages. Paul's prayer for them is that they may be made perfect to do the will of God. The ground of confidence in this prayer is made clear by the statements surrounding the petition itself. It is prayer to the God of peace, who, through Jesus Christ, is "working in us that which is well-pleasing in His sight." Everything closes with the inclusive benediction, "Grace be with you all."
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34