A PARTICULAR CONCLUSION
Now we come to the conclusion of 2 Corinthians. The conclusion of this book is different from the conclusions of all the other Epistles. Most of the Epistles end with words such as “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” But this book says it this way: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (13:14). This ending is very meaningful because this book is concerning the grace of God, which is simply Christ Himself.
You will remember that in chapter 1 Paul said that they were pressed by the sufferings that came upon them to such an extent that they could not trust in their wisdom but could only trust in the grace of God (v. 12). Moreover, in chapter 12 the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you” (v. 9). Then at the conclusion of chapter 13 Paul said, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ...be with you all.” When he said this word, he showed the source, the origin, of this grace. It is the love of God. According to the persons of the Trinity, Paul should have mentioned the love of God first, then the grace of Christ, and then the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. But here he mentioned the grace of Christ first, because this book is concerning grace. Grace is the subject of this book. However, when he mentioned grace, he showed us that the source of this grace is the love of God. Grace and love are not two separate things but two ends of one thing. On God’s end, it is love; on Christ’s end, it is manifested as grace. In other words, when the grace of Christ is traced back to its origin, which is God, it is love, and when the love of God is expressed through Christ, it is grace. Grace is the expression of love, and love is the source of grace. The grace of Christ comes out altogether from the love of God. Therefore, when Paul said, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ...be with you all,” he then pointed out the source, which is the love of God.
Furthermore, it is through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit that this grace is able to reach us. The fellowship of the Holy Spirit is the transmission of the Holy Spirit. The grace of Christ comes out of the love of God, but how does this grace come into us? How is it conveyed to us? How is it transmitted into us? It is through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the conclusion shows us that in order to enjoy the grace of the Lord, we must be in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and as we are enjoying the grace of the Lord, we taste the love of God. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus, and God are not three separate Gods. In the same manner, these three—love, grace, and fellowship—are one. Today if we want to enjoy the grace of Christ, we have to be in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and as we are enjoying the grace of Christ, we will naturally taste the love of God. The three persons are one God, and the three matters are one thing.
Let us use electricity as an illustration. With electricity, there are the source, the current, and the supply, which is the electricity itself. All of these are electricity. When we want to practically apply the electricity, we turn on the switch, and the electric supply comes, and the electric current also flows, bringing with it the electric source. It is also the same with blood and blood circulation. The circulation of blood is simply the flowing of blood; it is not something other than the blood.
Therefore, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is God Himself flowing. When the flow is hidden, it is love. When love flows out, it is grace. When grace flows into us, it is fellowship. This fellowship is by means of the Spirit, and this Spirit is altogether in our spirit. Therefore, today we must learn to turn to our spirit, to enter the Holy of Holies. Only when we enter into the Holy of Holies can we contact the Spirit of fellowship; only when we are in the Spirit of fellowship can we enjoy the grace of the Lord; and only when we are in the grace of the Lord can we taste the love of God. Hence, if we want to enjoy this, there is no other way except to return to the spirit, to come back into the Holy of Holies. Once we come back, we are in Canaan enjoying the riches of Christ. With respect to the Lord, the enjoyment of these riches is grace; with respect to God, it is love; and with respect to the Holy Spirit, it is a kind of fellowship in us.
(The Spirit in the Epistles, Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)