In 2 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul prays for his readers a very simple but profound prayer, he prays in these words,
14 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 Co 13:14 NIV).
We regularly use these words at the end of our Church services but do we reflect on the depth of what we are wishing one another when we say these words to our brothers and sisters in Christ. So I want to briefly look at each section.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, grace is always unmerited favour in the Bible, we can not earn our salvation. But grace is not just a gift in some abstract sense but comes in the form of a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. He was willing to set aside the glory of being in heaven to come and live and die with and for sinners. His name Jesus means that he will save his people from their sins and he comes as the anointed of God. But he is also the Lord the one who reigns. our saviour is a powerful Saviour. He laid aside the majesty of heaven so he could defeat sin and Satan and give new life to all those who would believe in him. The Scriptures show how he achieved that salvation for us and that he is now exalted at the Father’s right hand where he intercedes for us. One day he is coming back in glory to bring his whole work of salvation to completion. Looking at the scope of our salvation is awe inspiring but we have left so many dimensions out, for, instance we are united with Christ and because of his grace we can walk with him from day to day in a personal way.
The love of God, As sinners we are aware that we do not deserve the love of God, in fact, we deserve God’s just judgement. And yet God does love us enough to send his only son into this world to live and die for us. But more than that all who have truly believed the gospel message have entered into the strong and eternal love of God. The Scripture assures that God’s love is powerful, Paul puts it this way, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ro 8:38–9:1). This knowledge of the love of God should give us a confidence in God’s loving care and provision for us. It should also cause us to worship him, for he alone deserves the glory.
The fellowship of the Holy Spirit, The Holy spirit draws us into fellowship with Almighty God and into fellowship with one another. The Holy Spirit indwells each believer and empowers them. He enables us to pray and he also produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us. His presence enables to draw near to God. he speaks to us in various ways but he primarily uses the Scriptures that he inspired for this purpose. He speaks to us also through the varied gifts of the Holy Spirit which are used to build the Church up. We are also told that we should be full of the Holy Spirit, this will make us more like Jesus, for he was the man filled with the Holy Spirit and he accomplished all his wonderful acts because of that fact. So many people think that being filled with the Holy Spirit will make them weird and they are afraid of opening up to him. We can see from the Biblical record that Jesus and the disciples were not weird but rather they were able to do what God wanted them to do.
The saving acts of the Triune God: This prayer of the Apostle Paul shows how each person of the Holy Trinity is involved in our salvation. It is important to see that salvation is not something just achieved for us by Jesus as both the Father and the Holy Spirit are involved. as we have seen Jesus gave his all for us but he only did so because of the Father’s love for us and this is all made real in our lives through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.These few comments show something of the greatness of God’s salvation and our only response is to worship and adore our wonderful, gracious and loving God.