V. THE BLESSING OF THE APOSTLE
In 2 Corinthians 13:14 the Apostle Paul also gives a pattern of blessing. This verse says, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." We have seen that a priest brings people to God. An apostle, however, brings God to people; he comes to people with God. In 2 Corinthians 13:14 we see a gracious visitation of the Triune God. In the blessing of the Apostle Paul, the Triune God comes to people for their enjoyment. This enjoyment is the love of God as the grace of Christ by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Love, grace, and fellowship are not three separate things; they are three aspects or stages of one thing. They are the three stages of God for our enjoyment. Love is within, grace is love expressed, and fellowship is the transmission of grace into us. Love is within God Himself. When this love is expressed, it is grace, and grace is transmitted in the fellowship. I may love a certain brother, but this love is within me. How can it be expressed? I may express it by giving him a Bible. The Bible represents grace as the expression of the love I have within me for this brother. In order to communicate this grace to him, I must actually hand the Bible to him. This is fellowship.
In the Old Testament the basic thought with respect to blessing is that of bringing people into God’s presence. But in the New Testament the Apostle, coming with God, not only brought people into the presence of God; he also brought God into them. There is a great difference between the Old Testament pattern of blessing by the priests and the New Testament pattern of blessing by the Apostle. The New Testament blessing is much higher and deeper. On the one hand, to bless others is to bring them into the presence of God; on the other hand, it is to bring God into them as love, grace, and fellowship.
All Christians are familiar with the word blessing. One hymn even says, "Count your blessings, name them one by one." Undoubtedly, the concept of blessing expressed in this hymn is that blessing is a matter of being given a good wife, children, education, promotions, houses, and cars. According to this hymn, these are the blessings we should count one by one. More than thirty-five years ago, I sang this hymn during the last few hours of the year. I would gather some together and say, "Let us count the blessings of this past year, one by one." But the blessing according to the pure Word is much different from this. According to the Old Testament pattern of the blessing by the priest and the New Testament pattern of blessing by the Apostle, the proper blessing is to bring people into the presence of God and to bring God into them as grace, love, and fellowship that they may enjoy the Triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Hence, blessing is a matter of enjoying the Triune God.
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 95, by Witness Lee)