THE CONCLUSION OF THE EPISTLE
In verses 25 through 28 we have the conclusion of this Epistle. Verse 25 says, “Brothers, pray concerning us.” Is it not surprising that Paul would ask those who have been in the Lord less than a year to pray for him? Would you have asked such young believers to pray for you? Paul’s request in this verse for prayer can be compared to a grandfather asking his young grandchild to pray for him. Nevertheless, Paul asked new believers, those who had been in the Lord for only a short time, to pray for the apostles. Paul knew that, no matter how little was their experience in prayer, it still would be helpful for them to pray. By this we see that we should not despise the new ones or the young ones. On the contrary, we should ask them to pray for us.
In verses 26 and 27 Paul says, “Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I adjure you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the brothers.” Some manuscripts insert the word “holy” before brothers. This would mean that since this Epistle is concerned with the holy life of the believers, the apostle in his concluding charge calls the believers holy brothers.
Paul’s concluding word is this: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Grace is God in the Son as our enjoyment. According to John 1:17, “The law was given through Moses; grace and reality came through Jesus Christ.” The law makes demands on man according to what God is, but grace supplies man with what God is to meet what God demands. No man can partake of God through the law, but grace is the enjoyment of God for man. Thus, grace is God enjoyed by man.
In 1 Corinthians 15:10 we have a further word concerning grace. Here Paul says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace unto me was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” Grace in this verse is the resurrected Christ becoming the life-giving Spirit to bring the processed God in resurrection into us to be our life and life supply that we may live in resurrection. Therefore, grace is the Triune God becoming life and everything to us.
The grace that motivated Paul and operated in him was not a matter or a thing, but a living Person, the resurrected Christ, the embodiment of God the Father becoming the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit, who dwelt in Paul as his everything. It is only when we enjoy the Lord as grace that we can live a holy life for the church life, a life that is genuine and proper for the church by the Lord as the life supply.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)