To conclude 2 Corinthians, Paul spoke a special blessing over that church. His blessing them was a final instruction on how they could not only receive the Lord’s blessings, but more importantly revealed how they could be a blessing to God, to fellow saints, and to the world. He stated the following:
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. …
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:11, 14
When we the church embrace and enact true blessings, we make it our objective to:
- Be perfect: We aim for spiritual maturity. Even when we fall short of that, we continue to focus on moving toward that perfection.
- Be of good comfort: We try to remind ourselves that God and his word can be completely trusted despite hardships, scoffers, and anything else that would seek to render us hopeless.
- Be of one mind: We should encourage genuine unity that never compromises the basic truths of the gospel, such as Christ’s virgin birth, sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection.
- Live in peace: This comes about by not allowing ourselves to be overcome with worry as we cast all our cares on Christ (Philippians 4:6; 1 Peter 5:7) and keep our selfish lusts at bay so as not to start unnecessary wars among us (James 4:1-3).
When these four things are in effect, the God of love and peace will manifest that he is truly with us. By being with us in the midst of these four objectives, it will become plain that the Trinity as expressed in verse 14 above will make himself known in the following ways:
- By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ: This is what God uses to establish our relationship with him since Christ is our mediator to bring us our salvation without any of our works. By his grace, he empowers us to carry out what he calls us to do.
- By the love of God: As we are taught in 1 Corinthians 13, the love of God should be the motive behind how we operate in ministry as we exercise our spiritual gifts.
- By the communion of the Holy Ghost: Being in intimate fellowship with the Holy Ghost helps us in our prayer life (Romans 8:6) when we don’t know what to pray for as we ought to. He puts God’s grace into effect in and among us by supplying us with his fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), his various methods, operations, and administrations of his gifts (1 Corinthians 12), and teaching us everything we should know from God’s word (John 14:26).
Churches that lose sight of all of these things are churches that are guaranteed to be off-kilter.