Paul finishes the Book of 2 Corinthians with words that are very familiar to many Christians today. They are not just a prayer but a blessing: a declaration that God will show his kindness in a person’s life. This blessing is sometimes called ‘the benediction’, which means ‘the blessing’ - or sometimes simply ‘the grace’. Many church meetings today end when the leader, or all the people, declare these words to everyone present.
This is one of just a few Bible verses that mention God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, together. As in 2 Corinthians 8:9, it mentions the grace (kindness) of Christ. He showed that kindness when he died to save his people. He constantly shows that kindness by the way that he works in their lives.
Then, as in verse 11, Paul mentions the love of God, the Father. He showed that love when he sent Christ into the world*. He constantly shows that love by the way that he cares for his people*.
Finally, Paul mentions the fellowship, or friendship of the Holy Spirit. He shows that friendship by the way that he constantly guides and helps his people*.
All of this is so different from how many people think about God. They consider Christ to be someone in history, whose death has no effect on their lives today. They think that God the Father wants to punish them, not to show them love. They imagine that the Holy Spirit is just a strange force or power, and certainly not a friend.
So we, who are Paul’s readers today, really do need to know the true character of the one real God. We need to know his kindness, his love, and his friendship in our lives. We need to trust him constantly and to know that he is always with us. We need truly, therefore, to become his people.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.