Life-Study of 2 Corinthiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 13:14 we have a threefold blessing: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” This threefold blessing involves the Triune God, for here we have the grace of Christ the Son, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
In the Old Testament we also have a threefold blessing, the blessing pronounced by the Levitical priesthood at the end of Numbers chapter six. In this threefold blessing the Triune God is implied. Numbers 6:24-26 says, “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” First we have the blessing related to the Father: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee.” Second, we have the blessing related to the Son: “The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.” Third we have the blessing related to the Spirit: “The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” The Levitical priests surely treasured this blessing. However, it cannot be compared with the blessing in 2 Corinthians 13:14. What we have in Numbers 6:24-26 is a mere blessing, that is, a blessing without enjoyment. But in 13:14 what we have is not only a blessing; we have God in His Triune Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
To speak of the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is actually to say that the love is God, that the grace is Christ, and that the fellowship is the Holy Spirit. Thus, we have God the Father as love, we have God the Son as grace, and we have God the Spirit as fellowship. This means that we have the Triune God in a direct way as our enjoyment. What we have is not merely a blessing from Him or by Him.
In the New Testament the real blessing is the Triune God Himself. As we have pointed out, this blessing is threefold, a blessing of grace, love, and fellowship. With love as the source, grace as the course, and fellowship as the transmission, the Triune God reaches us to be our life, our life supply, and our enjoyment. Now in a practical way we can enjoy the Triune God all day long. This is our unique New Testament blessing.
The grace of the Lord is the Lord Himself as life to us for our enjoyment (John 1:17; 1 Cor. 15:10), the love of God is God Himself (1 John 4:8, 16) as the source of the grace of the Lord, and the fellowship of the Spirit is the Spirit Himself as the transmission of the grace of the Lord with the love of God for our participation. These are not three separate matters, but three aspects of one thing, just as the Lord, God, and the Holy Spirit are not three separate Gods, but three “hypostases...of the one same undivided and indivisible” God (Philip Schaff). The love of God is the source, since God is the origin; the grace of the Lord is the course of the love of God, since the Lord is the expression of God; and the fellowship of the Spirit is the impartation of the grace of the Lord with the love of God, since the Spirit is the transmission of the Lord with God, for our experience and enjoyment of the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with Their divine virtues. Here the grace of the Lord is mentioned first, because this book is on the grace of Christ (2 Cor. 1:12; 4:15; 6:1; 8:1, 9; 9:8, 14; 12:9). Such a divine attribute of three virtues—love, grace, and fellowship— and such a Triune God of the three divine hypostases— the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—were needed by the distracted and confused, yet encouraged and restored, Corinthian believers. Hence, the apostle used all these divine and precious things in one sentence to conclude his lovely and dear Epistle.
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