‘May 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 13:14From Dave Atkinson:
As I started to think about today’s blog, this verse came to my mind; a verse that we use regularly as a closing prayer of blessing at services and other church gatherings.
In using the verse, my hope is that you will be encouraged by the deep truths of the words and know God’s blessing today.
I had wondered about stopping there, but I thought it might be helpful to add a few words to answer a question that I’ve previously asked myself. Normally, when speaking of the three persons of God, we use the order Father, Son, Holy Spirit. But here Paul, the writer of the letter of 2 Corinthians, uses the order Jesus, God (the Father) and Holy Spirit.
As often with Paul, even in this final blessing, he rounds up what he has been teaching throughout his letter. But I think, in simple terms, the order he uses reflects our experience as Christians.
We first know the grace of the Lord Jesus as the only way to be saved from the deserved penalty of our sin and to be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:19). Jesus, who personifies grace as “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor” (2 Cor 8:9). Jesus whose grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9).
In submitting to Jesus as King and Saviour, we come to appreciate and know the depths of the love of God – His unfailing and faithful love for us.
We then experience the blessing of the Holy Spirit as He fellowships with our spirit helping us to overcome our evil desires by his resurrection power working in us, transforming us to become more like Jesus; and as He blesses us in a relationship with our brothers and sisters, children together of our heavenly Father.
And the wonderful thing is that all these blessings go on – always – and for ever.
May Jesus’ grace, which is sufficient in all circumstances, the unfailing love of God, and the powerful and life-giving fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.