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 13:14
United in God
Jesus once prayed that God’s people would be as close and unified as the triune God. He wanted us to be one as the Father, the Son, and Spirit are one. (See John 17:21-23.) Unfortunately, that is not exactly what we experience today. Among God’s people, there is bickering, backbiting, and dissension.
The apostle Paul had a similar experience in the churches he started, especially in Corinth. In this church, the people were divided over their favorite pastor, some were boasting of their acceptance of sin, and others were trying to discredit Paul and his message. These problems caused the church to be splintered and hostile.
Paul knew that Jesus desired his church to be completely unified. So he worked to lead God’s people to repent and forgive each other. In love, he spoke forcefully about the work of Satan among them, begging them to leave their wicked ways and unite around the truth.
Paul could not accomplish this goal on his own. That’s why he closed his letter with this blessing. He asked for the “grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” to be on the Corinthians. They needed to remember that their status with God was based on the grace of Jesus Christ. He prayed for the “love of God” the Father to be on them. He wanted the congregation to love one another as the Father loved them. Finally, just as they were united with God through “the fellowship Holy Spirit,” Paul wanted them to be united with one another.
We need this same blessing spoken over us. We, too, experience division and discord in the family of God. We need our God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to give us his grace, love, and presence. As we are united with God through the work of the Holy Spirit, we can begin to be united with one another.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all so that we may be one as our God is one. Amen.