Bible Insights

Grace, Love, and Fellowship

A Trio of Blessings Reflects God’s Nature and Character

Paul wraps up his second letter to the Corinthians with a blessing: “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, NIV).

This trio of blessings proclaims grace, love, and fellowship.

Reflecting God’s nature and character, we see this trio of blessings coming from each part of the trinity.

Though we’d be correct to understand all three coming from God, we gather insight into his character by considering that each element of the blessing, emanates from a distinct part of the three-in-one godhead.

Grace of Jesus

The first of Paul’s trio of blessings proclaims the grace of Jesus. Through the Messiah and his sacrificial death for all our mistakes, we receive grace. Grace is getting his goodness even though we don’t deserve it.

We receive grace in tandem with mercy. Both come from Jesus.

Through grace we receive good things we don’t deserve, whereas through mercy we don’t receive the bad things we deserve, that is, punishment for the wrongs we have done.

Through Jesus we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Love of God the Father

The second of Paul’s trio of blessings proclaims love from God, who we rightly understand as God the Father (2 Thessalonians 2:16). Father God loves us and wants to be in a relationship with us. But our unholy behavior separates us from the most holy God.

However, we don’t need to change our behavior to get right with Father God. We can’t. No matter what we do, we’ll still fall short. Being mostly good is not good enough.

We can’t earn our right standing with the Father. That’s where the grace of Jesus comes in, who God gives us in love (1 John 4:9-10).

What we need to do is believe in God’s son, Jesus. It’s that simple. Jesus cleanses us of our unrighteousness to make us righteous before his Father.

Fellowship of the Holy Spirit

The third part of Paul’s trio of blessings proclaims the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus returns to heaven, he promises to send us the advocate, the Holy Spirit (John 16:7 and Acts 1:4-5).

When we say “yes” to following Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. Then we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and him, with us.

Grace, Love, and Fellowship

Through God we receive grace, love, and fellowship. It starts with the grace of Jesus, sent to us by the love of God. And through Jesus, we enjoy fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

From the Son, Father, and Holy Spirit we enjoy grace, love, and fellowship.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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