Grace, Love, Fellowship

 

Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20

The two letters Paul wrote to the people of The Way in Corinth contain considerable criticism of the lifestyles they chose to live, yet Paul concludes both letters in a loving spirit. The first letter ends with: May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with you. My love is with you all, in union with the Messiah Yeshua. CJB

The second letter has a similar ending but is a full statement of the Trinity. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you allESV This is a complete and accurate translation, but I also like the embellishments of the Message: The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of youMSG

There are two important questions regarding this trinitarian closing: Is it found in the Old Testament and is it a proper depiction of God? Without a yes to both, the Trinity fails.

There are several major themes in the Old Testament, one of which is that The God With No Name is the only God, there are no others.

Another important theme is that of the Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh, is the presence of the God who called Himself, I Am.

A third theme is the Promised One, the Messiah. He is described throughout the Bible, and the man Jesus fulfilled all the features of the promise.

To argue that God cannot exist in three forms is to deny the omniscience of God. The Trinity is Truth.

Paul gives us more in his closing sentence. He binds grace with Jesus, love with God, and fellowship with the Spirit. He did not intend to suggest those terms in any way limited God, rather that they described a most important characteristic of each.

Through his life—and death—on earth, Jesus made it possible for the Grace of God to be given to humans. God wants us to have the grace because He loves us.

The special gift of the Holy Spirit is fellowship. Every human desires fellowship with God and with other humans. In a perfect world—the one we have been promised—we will be able to sit with God in that close fellowship of child and Father. For now, fellowship with others and with the Spirit will have to do.

Grace, love, and fellowship, living with the Messiah.

My earlier commentary on today’s scripture can be found here.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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