The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Corinthians 13: 14
The closing benediction is a promise from the triune God, but it also constitutes a call to action for us.
The closing benediction is a firm component of every divine service. It would surely be a good idea to take a moment to study it a little more intensively. This blessing is a promise from God, but also constitutes a call to action for us.
The grace of Jesus Christ
After the divine service, this grace is to go with us.
- It is by grace that God has forgiven our debts. We are now called upon to continue upon our way in all humbleness and avoid sin in the future.
- The Lord has chosen us. We are to live our lives in such a manner that this grace is not in vain upon us. Then we will not just think about fellowship with God on Sundays, but every day. Even at our workplaces, at school, or in the presence of our neighbours we will heed the inspirations of God.
- God grants us life, time, and many other gifts and powers. Let us be good stewards of the grace of God and serve one another with these gifts (1 Peter 4: 10).
The love of God
The love of God is also to accompany us.
- We have the assurance of God that nothing can separate us from His love. In every divine service, God tells us: “No matter what happens, no matter what you do, you can come back again! I am waiting for you! My love for you will never change. You are always welcome!”
- Only that which has been permitted by the love of God will come our way. God is very vigilant, and ensures that the things we experience will not be harmful to us. Whenever He permits a trial to come our way, we have the guarantee that it is to serve for our best if we continue to love God (Romans 8: 28).
- Since God loves us so much, let us also love one another (1 John 4: 11). Love for our neighbour is a duty that God has assigned to us. Without love for our neighbour, our love for God would not be genuine.
The communion of the Holy Spirit
The communion of the Spirit is to remain with us.
- God promises us that the Holy Spirit will always help us. The Holy Spirit will not impose Himself upon us, however. We must inquire after Him and give Him the opportunity to answer us.
- God grants us the opportunity to have fellowship with Him. We experience the nearness of God in a special manner through the activity of the Holy Spirit in the proclamation of the word and in Holy Communion.
- Conflicts cannot be avoided. If we are prepared to resolve them with the help of the Holy Spirit, they cannot destroy the fellowship of God’s children.
* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for divine service held by Apostle Dimba on Sunday, 31 May 2015 at Diepsloot Congregation