God’s Beautiful Gifts Of Himself To Us

There are times when people attend a Christian religious service that they will hear at its conclusion an uplifting Holy Scripture. This is what is often called a benediction. Yet, in reality, none of these benedictions should be considered just a cute afterthought, and there is one in 2 Corinthians just bristling with blessing if one applies its truth to their life.
God’s Beautiful Gifts Of Himself To Us
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Many benedictions, usually religious pronouncements given at a conclusion of a meeting, are taken from the Holy Bible. Some people just consider them nice sayings by a speaker before they leave. However, there are really some powerful blessings if the Holy Bible is used. A few years back I used 2 Corinthians 13:14 at the end of a service: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

Immediately we see the Godhead here. That is the Scriptural term for Trinity, the term often used to express

that there is only One God, and He subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are many passages in Holy Scripture that show Christ is God. There are also many that show the Holy Spirit is God. These are not three separate Gods or individuals, but this is One God, One Supreme Being Who exists as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This is the true trinitarian belief.

Look again at 2 Corinthians 13:14. I think it is very wonderful because I see three beautiful gifts, not just from God, but OF God Himself. He really gives of Himself to the one that has surrendered to Him in Christ Jesus. From that verse we will see the following three gifts.

I. Grace: His Commitment Through The Son 14a

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, . . .”

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is truly an inexhaustible subject and for this message we focus on just certain aspects. But before we do in must be said, especially in our time, that Christ’s grace granted to His disciple is not a license to sin nor does it condone it. And, multiple passages indicate that the grace of God is not irresistible.

Neither is grace a magic wand. While it is true that when someone surrenders to God through Christ they are forgiven by Him, it does not mean all of the damage they had done is wiped away in the lives of others. The murderer who comes to Christ cannot bring back those whom they have killed. Though a former thief returns what they have stolen, that act of theft encouraged others to do the same. In Luke 16:18 Christ said, “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.” “Everyone” means everyone. Coming to Christ does not erase a marriage, and being in Christ means divorce is never an option. Luke 16:18 also shows a legal divorce decree means nothing in the eyes of God.

The grace of God can be described as two basic things. First, it is the unmerited favor of God and for our verse this would mean salvation, ongoing forgiveness, and the covering of unknown transgressions (1 John 1:7-8). I am of the opinion that it covers to a point, and only to a point, ignored, self-justified, and unconfessed sin, but at some point in time a true disciple will mature to where no such things exist or are infrequent at least.

The second main aspect of God’s grace is the ability and strength to live godly. Thus, it includes the power to change us, keep us (we have to choose to stay in it), and use us. Brother Paul Caram Sr. has a brief study on the power of God’s grace where he brings out well over a dozen Holy Scriptures of what God’s grace will do through a believer {1}. Additionally it must be said that the true grace of God can only be found in Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).

II. Love: His Compassion 14b

“. . . and the love of God, . . .”

Much is said by many today about the love of God and hardly any of it points to the truth that God’s love is holy. It is unlike human love. The love of God does not tolerate sin. Because of His love He offers to everyone salvation from sin and because of His love once someone does become a true Christian He does not want them to remain in sin. Nor does He want any to return to it. True disciples are exhorted in Jude 21 as follows: “keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”


III. His Fellowship Through The Holy Spirit 14c

“. . . and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

The Holy Spirit is not just a mere force or a godly mental attitude one gets when they come to God through Christ. This is actually God Himself. As God subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of us subsist as body, soul, and spirit. As you see, “the common denominator” is spirit. We are a spirit. God is a spirit (John 4:24). We fellowship in spirit with the Father due to the grace of the Son (Truth, see John 14:6).

I am going to present two passages of Holy Scripture. Note the work of the Godhead--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Most importantly note the wonderful blessings given to those who have surrendered to God in Christ. First, here is John 14:15-27:

"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?" 23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does


not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.

25 These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

“Another helper” in verse 16 indicates the same kind of helper as previously mentioned, that is, Jesus, and is confirmed as Jesus in verse 18. Christ could have used wording that indicated a different type of helper but He did not. As we keep reading, Jesus mentions the Father. So afterwards He says “We.”

If there is One God then why is the plural pronoun “We” being used? It is because God desires us not only to know, but apply to our lives, that for our sake He subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Once again, keep in mind that each of us subsists as body, soul, and spirit, and the common link between us and God is “spirit.”

“Helper” is also rendered “Comforter” in some other translation and the ancient Greek word translated as such certainly includes both thoughts which are really one when you and I think of it. So, upon surrendering to God through Christ the Godhead dwells within in a personal and intimate way. God fellowships with us, and this passage shows He does so by His Spirit. Christ the greatest teacher is within, and our spirit, having been made alive by Him, becomes an eager learner. And, as you see, a godly peace begins to blossom in the true disciple.

This is one passage describing the fellowship (communion) of the Holy Spirit (Ghost). There are other verses and passages. For this message we will look at one more, John 16:13-15.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.15 All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

Well, I must say, this surely means we do not need any literature from the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) or anyone else. But, that is not really the main point. We see here another aspect of what the last phrase of 2 Corinthians 13:14 points to: beautiful, wonderful fellowship with God Himself! As you see, once again, the Godhead -- Father, Son, Holy Spirit -- is mentioned in this passage.

One might well ask if the Holy Spirit is God then why does He not speak on His own initiative? It is because there is subordination within the Godhead. Huh? Why is there subordination in the Godhead? It is for our salvation. Remember that YHVH means “The Existing One.” Because He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit He truly can save, keep, and use us. Remember, by the Holy Spirit Peter writes that we are partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Before someone comes to Christ their structure is in disharmony. There are times one’s body wants to do something and their soul or spirit does not. Or, some other disunity exists within. And, until we surrender to God through Christ, not one bit of our being is really subordinate to Him. However, when someone truly commits to God through Christ, the Godhead enters in. Our body and soul are then subordinate to our spirit which is subordinate to God’s Spirit. This is one way that Christ does not leave us “as orphans.”

2 Corinthians 13:14 is a great benediction, but its full acceptance and application in our life brings tremendous blessings. This verse undoubtedly speaks of God’s fatherly love further given as grace in the Son and communion in the Holy Spirit. God, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, has surely and beautifully given of Himself.

Notes:

{1} Caram, Paul G.: True Christianity (Zion Christian Publications, Ulysses PA: 2002) pp 25-28

Learn more about fellowship with God by reading Come On In Jesus, Make Yourself A Home at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/come-on-in-jesus-make-yourself-a-home .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by September 8, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M463 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 04-08-2017 68 0

Please login to comment on this post.
There are no comments yet.
Faith In Action
Garden Encounter