Friday, September 21, 2012
Verse for Today - 2 Corinthians 13:14 (click for mini-blog)
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. "
Read all of 2 Corinthians 13
This is perhaps the most common New Testament benediction. And what, you might ask is a benediction? Well, it literally means "to speak well of." It is a pronouncement of blessing or favor toward another. It is sometimes (and I might add should be) spoken by parents to their children and by grandparents to their grandchildren, but perhaps most commonly pronounced at the end of a church worship service. We should never underestimate the affect of our words on those who hear them.
In Today's Verse, the words are spoken by the Apostle Paul to the believers in ancient Corinth and with official authority. That is to say, while the Apostle Paul is speaking, he is really speaking with "Apostolic" authority. He is declaring that those who come to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are really and truly the recipients of this "grace," "love" and "communion" with the Triune God.
While we might might hear such a blessing, and even take it for granted, it is really a remarkable thing. The God of all grace, who from all eternity determined to save a people for himself through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, has in the present time extended His grace and mercy to us.
The Grace of Christ is the extension of God's undeserved favor in Christ to guilty sinners. The Love of God is the embrace and acceptance of those purchased by Him. The Communion of the Holy Spirit is incorporation of those who were lost into the fellowship of His own special people-- His Church. Pretty remarkable. Amen? Amen!