A Trinitarian Parting

Hello everyone. We’re going to return to our walk through the Bible now as we study the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re in the book of 2 Corinthians right now and seeing as we’re looking at the last verse in that book tonight, we will be moving on tomorrow to the book of Galatians. Our verse will be in the benediction of 2 Cor. It’s 13:14 and is seen as one of the major Trinitarian texts in Scripture:

14May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

So let’s take a closer look at this text.

Grace. We’ve seen grace as a major theme throughout the New Testament in connection to Jesus. We are told in 8:9 of this book that it is by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that he became poor for our sakes. Grace has been Christ reaching down to us. It is appropriate to attribute grace to him since he was the one who came down.

Grace was also spoken of in the gospel of John. We were told in the prologue that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Grace has been called God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense, but let us always remember that this was something that Christ did willingly. He offered himself on our behalf so that we could be forgiven. He lowered himself to Earth so he could raise us up to the heavenlies, as is said in Ephesians 2.

Love. Love was a major theme for Paul in 1 Cor. 13. It is the love of God that he sent his Son to die for our sins. That was the good that the Father sought for all of us. He gave his Son so that we could live. The love of God is important to note in light of heresies that rose up early saying that the God of the ¬†Old Testament was not the God of Jesus Christ. Paul would certainly have none of that. He always saw God as the God of love. Of course, he wasn’t limited to love and he still isn’t, but we dare not deny the love of God.

Fellowship. The fellowship of the Spirit. Again, Paul has written about this idea to the people in the use of spiritual gifts and the fellowship of the Spirit in 1 Cor. 5 in judgment. The Spirit is not absent from the letters of Paul, to which I recommend the fascinating study done by Fee called “God’s Empowering Presence.”

It is by the Spirit that we are all united in the body of Christ. What all believers share in common is the Holy Spirit within them leading them on in righteousness. If the work of the Holy Spirit is not present in our lives, then we are not in the body of Christ.

Paul puts all three of these together in Trinitarian format. It is the only place that he uses such a benediction, but it is a beautiful one and one that we should all consider as Christians.

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