“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
This benediction found in the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians’ Church is one of the most widely known benedictions in the Bible that is commonly used by pastors to bless their congregations at the end of their worship services.
The apostle concluded this letter (2 Corinthians 13:14) by invoking the blessings of all three members of the Trinity: Father (God), Son (Lord Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. His benediction at the end of this letter emphasizes the grace that finds its source in the Son (grace from the Lord Jesus Christ), the love manifested by the Father (the love of God), and the fellowship established and sustained by the Holy Spirit (the communion of the Holy Spirit).
Though the term Trinity is not explicitly used in Scripture, verses such as this one, that is, 2 Corinthians 13:14 (see also Luke 1:35—the angel Gabriel’s announcement of Jesus’ birth to Mary; Matthew 3:17—the Father’s voice was heard at the baptism of Jesus; and Matthew 28:19—Jesus’ commission to the disciples), clearly proves the reality of it. They show that it was believed and experienced through knowing God’s grace, love, and fellowship.
Obviously, these three great Trinitarian blessings are the solutions to many, if not all of the problems in the Body of Christ today. The Holy Spirit, who dwells in each of us can empower us to live righteously, if we allow Him. He can also reconcile us to each other, and help us to love and encourage each other instead of fighting each other. As Christians, we need God’s grace, not selfishness; we need God’s love, not anger; and definitely fellowship, not conflict.
The “grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” comes first, for this is the only way that we can come to the love of the Father (John 14:6). The communion or fellowship of the Holy Spirit unites all the believers, regardless of their earthly distinctions, into one body, the Church. Anyone who has the fellowship of the Holy Spirit also has the grace of Christ and the love of God, for the three cannot be separated. The Holy Spirit conveys the Father’s love to us (see John 14:16-26) and brings Christ’s grace to us (see Philippians 4:23, NIV; Hebrews 10:29).
Note: The doctrine of the Holy Trinity was not completely revealed until the Lord Jesus Christ came. Even now we know the Three in One more in their relation to us than in their mutual relation to one another.
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