HOME PAGE   |   CONTACT PAGE   |   OUR CALENDAR 

OUR SITE MAP ... DOZENS OF BIBLE STUDY PAGES

RECENT MEETINGS

 STANDING WITH THE BAGWELLS 

 
 

To e-mail, call or write the Bagwells, just visit our "Contact" Page.

 
 

COMMUNION WITH GOD!

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2nd Corinthians 13:14

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

LESSON 1:

Once a study was made of the last paragraph in 2nd Corinthians, "Paul's greatest Benediction." Verses 11-14 of that 13th chapter, wholly inspired of God, are awesome!

"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. Greet one another with an holy kiss. All the saints salute 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." 2nd Corinthians 13:11-14

That Series of Bible Studies, all six lessons, may be accessed by "clicking" here on this link. Each word is studied in some detail.

However, that last verse cries for more attention!

Not this time as a "benediction," but as a "key," a "paradigm," a "pattern" of the saint's communion with his or her God!

Using 2nd Corinthians 13:14 as our Guide, our Text, our Map, let's investigate the greatest single privilege mankind has on earth! That is, knowing the Almighty God and communing with Him! Listen to Jesus Himself, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. " John 17:3

Communing with God is the very essence of eternal life!

Therefore, succinct as it is, for a few days we shall, Lord willing, be examining the ultimate verse in Paul's Corinthians correspondence. Here it is again: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

One of the very first things a Bible student must notice is that all Three members of the Triune Godhead are mentioned!

God, the Father, is clearly listed.

The Son or Lord Jesus Christ, equally God, is enumerated too.

And the blessed Holy Spirit, also divine, is not here omitted either!

Paul's desire in this context is obvious. He is ending his great Letter on a personal and gracious note. And his wish, his desire, yea his very prayer for the Believers at Corinth is that they might experience God fully!

That they might, using Jesus' words again, "know" the Almighty!

That we might consciously and deliberately live in the the Light of the blessedness and glory of God!

Paul expresses this possibility elsewhere in his writings. In Colossians 1:27 he mentions, "the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Christ in us, knowing this and interacting with the Lord ... that's glorious! Or the Apostle's prayer for us in Ephesians 3:19, "that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Now, that's communion with the Lord! But maybe the zenith of it all is found in Philippians 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ," says Saint Paul! Is that "walking" with God, or what? One more place, Colossians 3:4, "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." See it? Christ is our Life! He said that too, Jesus did! In John 11:25, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." And also in the very familiar John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Notice particularly Jesus' unique Claim, "I AM THE LIFE."

So, that for which we are searching in this single verse of Scripture is simply this, what particular aspect of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost does God in Heaven most want to communicate to me?

How can I best begin to know each Member of the Godhead?

Where does one start?

We shall in these studies not "guide" our Text! That's eisegesis, reading one's own ideas INTO a Text!

We shall let our Text "guide" us, drawing from it what is there grammatically and theologically and spiritually! That's exegesis, leading out of a passage the meaning that is built into it!

And the Lord willing, tomorrow morning we shall begin!

This should be exciting!

Meanwhile, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, THE LOVE OF GOD:

We shall begin with the First Person of the Trinity.

That's not the precise order of our Text, however. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2nd Corinthians 13:14

Paul, under divine inspiration, verbal inspiration, miraculous inspiration, Holy Spirit inspiration, has chosen one Quality of God, God the Father, to emphasize.

"The love of God!"

That's the Place to begin, for fallen men and women, no doubt!

As one begins to fellowship with God, pondering His great love, all kinds of good things start to happen.

Now I know what you are saying, some of you anyway. "Preacher Bagwell, you can't know God on any level until you know His Son, Jesus Christ! Don't begin these Lessons with God the Father!"

But, hear me. Without God the Father first showing His great Love ... we could have never known Christ Jesus ... on any level!

Here's why.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16, a summary of the Plan of Salvation, starts with God the Father! It all begins with His great Love!

Without God's Love, Jesus would have never come to earth!

Think about that kind of love, extended to you!

John adds more to this line of thought as well. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1st John 4:10 needs to be memorized by each of us. Study it from every angle imaginable. Pray Psalm 119:18 over it! "Lord, open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." And as you do, you will be fellowshipping with God the Father, directly with Him!

Any interaction with God, via the Blood of Jesus even, is enjoyed because ... "He first loved us!" Here's the proof: "We love him, because he first loved us." 1st John 4:19

John is overwhelmed! "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!" 1st John 3:1 begins with a descriptive phrase for God's love that is amazing! "What manner," that specific little term, is a translation of the Greek word "potapos," which means something like this: "from another country, from another world, from another place!" God loves us with a heavenly love! Now that's another Country!

And, as you ponder some of these verses about God's Love, doubts may be planted in your mind, "too good to be true" kinds of thoughts! Here's God's response to that. "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3 qualifies God's amazing Love! It is "everlasting!" "Olam," this love never vanishes! It never fades! It never wanes! It, like God, is eternal!

God reveals Himself, according to Paul, through His Love!

Today arm yourselves with a handful of verses about God's Love, get alone somewhere, and just meditate a while!

The communion you enjoy there, is directly linked to God the Father!

Congratulations!

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, MORE ON THE LOVE OF GOD:

Paul prayed, in 2nd Corinthians 13:14, for the saints in a little Greek church, a church with many problems. "The love of God be with you all. Amen."

Now that's not all his prayer, just a third of it. But it's certainly enough to occupy our minds and hearts today!

Yes, while Paul desired his converts to enjoy a conscious sense of God's very Presence, "The love of God be with you all. Amen," Jude worded the same desire a little differently. "Keep yourselves in the love of God." Jude 21

Our "point of contact" with God the Father is, apparently, His great Love! Now I realize that a sinner must be convicted of sin, convinced of the awful reality of Hell. He or she must have a palpable sense of lostness, hopelessness, doom, a fear of the coming judgment of God! "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36

But still, even with that fear and conviction being a part of the road to salvation, none of it would have any significance if this were not true, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Here, in Romans 5:8, we have God's Love again!

Conviction just is not necessary ... if God did not first love us!

John, elsewhere, had it right. "We love him, because he first loved us." 1st John 4:19

And the next time you're riding up the road, thinking of God's great Love, remember how very secure you are in that Love! If you are saved, nothing can sever you from God the Father ... and His Love! Paul himself took great consolation in this great fact! "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

Amen!

And Ephesians 2:4 even adds more! "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins ...." The expression "great love" translates from Greek "polus agape." That is, "many-sided" Love! "Multi-faceted" Love! The words are plural! The LOVES of God! He loves us in so many ways we can't count them! The poetess Elizabeth Browning once wrote a sonnet beginning with these words, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!" Well, God wrote one first! Yes, His many Loves!

Think about these great things today!

Get a Verse about God's Love. or just a part of a Verse! Mercy! Get just a phrase or clause, or even a word! That word "many" would do just fine! And think about it throughout the day! As you work, just a second here and there and again at lunch or on the way home tonight, reflect on it!

And as you ponder that great God of Love, you will not be doing so alone! Not at all! He will come to you! He will be "on the scene!" He will cuddle you and love you and warm your heart and "bear witness" that you are His!

Try it!

As you do, in reality, you will be fellowshipping with God the father!

Communing with Him!

What an honor!

Talk about living "high," really enjoying the Christian life!

Spending time with God!

Dear Christian friend, have a good day!

In fact, if God's Love is with you, you can't help having a good day! After all, and in this very sense too, "God is love." 1st John 4:8

The Love of God, the God of Love, be with you all!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, "SHED ABROAD," THE LOVE OF GOD:

When Paul prayed for the Corinthians, that the Love of God would be with them all, he tapped into an inexhaustible Reservoir!

The Love of God!

The old hymn-writer compared the Love of God to the Oceans themselves! Except that the oceans will be drained dry long before God's Love could have possibly been expended.

How can the Love of God "be" with us in such degrees of reality?

Here's one way. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:5 tells it right!

When we were saved, "justified by faith," says Paul ... we inherited many a blessing! Among those is something the Holy Spirit did for us!

He "shed abroad" the very "Love of God" in our hearts!

The verb here, "shed abroad," is spelled "ekcheo." It really means "poured out!"

It's as if the Holy Spirit pried opened all our hearts, and doused us full of the Love of God!

That's why the first word in Paul's great fruit-of-the-Spirit Text is "Love!" See Galatians 5:22.

Your heart, my heart, the hearts of all God's children have been saturated with this great Love!

"Shed abroad!"

"Poured out!"

"Runneth out!" As in "the bottles break, and the wine runneth out," Matthew 9:17

It's what happened, the exact verb, translated "shed" in Matthew 26:28. "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

Here it's "poured out," in John 2:15. "And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."

Unpleasantly, here think "gushed out!" Its in Acts 1:18, "Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out."

"Poured out!" As in empty buckets! "And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth." Revelation 16:1

If you're feeling "flooded" right now, rejoice!

It's just God the Father, being ably assisted by God the Holy Spirit, unloading buckets full of the Love of God!

Be filled!

Enjoy!

The more we commune, fellowship, adore the Lord our God, our Heavenly Father, basking in His Love ... the better we will know Him!

If you're really "saved," really "connected," really "born-again," each new month will bring an ever deepening knowledge of God's unfathomable Love!

May such Love be with you all!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, STILL GOD'S LOVE:

The whole verse is amazing. Second Corinthians 13:14 says, in full, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

It might be modeled after the Old Testament blessing found in Leviticus 6:22-27. "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them."

Both "benedictions" have three parts. Both seem to include a clause or phrase for each Member of the Trinity. Both are pronounced upon God's people by some very special and called men. Both are full of the very Grace of God!

But why, of all God's Traits, is "Love" particularly emphasized? The theologians list these among the "attributes" of God. He is righteous! He is just! He is sovereign! He is Love! He is eternal! He is omnipotent, all powerful! He also is omniscient, all knowing! He is omni-present, everywhere! He is immutable, unchanging! He is a God of veracity, truthful in every way! And much More, inexhaustibly so!

Perhaps Love is the way God has chosen to best communicate with men and women. A few select great verses of Scripture seem to indicate so. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Or, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." And, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Amen!

It is such Love that Paul "prays" upon the Believers at Corinth!

Hosea 11:4 suggests that when God saved us, he "drew" us with "bands of Love!" Here it is: "I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them." That's a sweet verse!

Proverbs 5:19 talks about being "ravished" with love! This is advice to a recently married young man about his wife, granted, but if human love can "ravish," what in the world can God's Love do? How should we respond to it? "Be thou ravished always with her love." That verb is spelled "shagah" and literally means "intoxicated!" To "swerve, meander, reel, stagger!"

And here's one to make you excited! "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 reveals God the Father, loving His children! See His Love?

And, truth be told, we have not discussed 1% of the Bible's vast treasury of verses about God's Love!

What of it, one may ask?

If saved, we are to think about His Love!

Daily!

More often, hourly!

Dare I say it?

Constantly!

Jude told us, "Keep yourselves in the love of God." The verb here, "tereo," really means "to guard!" To "maintain in custody!" To "pay attention to" God's Love! And the preposition "in" translates "en," which, when used with a dative case object, means: "on, at, near, by, before, among or WITHIN!" It grammatically is as if God's Love were a great sphere, one in which "we live and move and have our being!" We just are to always be consciously aware that we are objects, subjects, participants in such great Love!

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:35-37

"IN" HIS LOVE!

What a prayer Paul is praying!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, THE LOVE OF GOD, SONG OF SOLOMON STYLE:

Today's Lesson may seem more "poetic" than anything else. Perhaps that's because I'm using one of the Poetic Books of Scripture. That is, the Song of Solomon. I see it primarily as a Book of typology. Depicted here are Christ and His Church, the Groom and His Bride!

But Jesus, being God as He is, expresses to us the very Commodity we have been studying lately. The Love of God!

Here's an example of the very Love of God being mediated through Jesus Christ, God the Son. "And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." Jesus prayed those exact words in John 17:26. If we have Jesus "within," we have the Love of God there too! In fact, the Love of God to the very depth, height, breadth, whatever, that was expressed toward Jesus Himself!

How thrilling!

How invigorating! 

How comforting!

Here are those Song of Solomon verses:

Song of Solomon 1:2 ... "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine." Love that's better the wine! There's nothing sinful here, either! I'm quoting to you the Word of God. God's Love is pure and sweet and joy-inducing!

Song of Solomon 2:4, "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." First, Love I can taste. Now, Love I can see! Like a roof over my head! Think of the heavens with all their beauty, declaring the Glory (including the Love) of God! Think of the fiery cloud that hovered over Israel each night! It brought warmth and protection and witness!

Song of Solomon 3:10, "He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem." This is a description of a chariot, a royal chariot! It's the chariot that's taking the Bride to the Palace! And its flooring, its very foundation, its construction literally is built with Love! Tasting Love! Covered by Love! Then here, undergirded by Love!

Song of Solomon 8:6, "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame." Look at this Love! It's hot, like fire! It's flaming! It's relentless, like death or the grave! It "marks" a person for life! Strong Love! King James synonyms for "strong," in Hebrew "az," are: "fierce, greedy" and even "rough!" Like Francis Thompson's Poem "The Hound Of Heaven," this Love chases and pursues and outflanks the fleeing sinner! At least until it subdues him or her, "apprehends" them Paul says!

Song of Solomon 8:7, still on God's Love, "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." Now this Love is priceless! Everything a person owns cannot possibly buy it! Neither can all the gold in Fort Knox, if any remains there! Or money on Wall Street, again if any real currency is there. God's Love cannot be drowned, rivers that big and rapid do not exist! A torch of fire can be extinguished, thankfully! But God's Love? Never!

Once also, in Song of Solomon 5:8, the Bride sends a message to her dear Bridegroom: "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love." That is, love-sick! The expression can mean one of two things, depending on the context in which it's found. Either, "I've had quite enough Love!" Or, bluntly, "I need more!" She, an infatuated young lady, yet clearly still in all her godliness and purity, is longing for more and more and more! Love-sick she is! God's Love is that way, addictive!

Blend these half dozen verses into a synthesis!

Then remember Paul's great prayer, our Text for this Series of Bible Studies, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2nd Corinthians 13:14

The "Love of God" be with us?

Consciously!

Constantly too!

Mightily!

Love that can be tasted!

Love that's "over" me, like a roof!

Love that is "under" me, like thick and luxuriously comfortable carpet!

Love that's strong and hot and flaming, ubiquitous too!

Love that's also priceless, can't be bought for any amount of money!

And Love that is inviting! Addictive! Can't get enough!

Think of Love in those terms today!

And use these Bible "word pictures" as springboards to help ponder God's great Love, a love that He has "poured out" upon you and within your heart!

A Love which by now should also be oozing out of us ... toward others!

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, THE LOVE OF GOD CONCLUDED:

It's called a "string."

A string of words linked together in a certain way.

I asked my computer to find every time in the Bible the expression "love of God" appeared.

One second later I was viewing the list!

Some of these instances we've already studied. Others, just as exciting, remain!

Remember, we are focused on Paul's great prayer, maybe his greatest, found in 2nd Corinthians 13:14. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

The love of God!

That it be "with" us!

That's the preposition "meta," meaning "in the company of, among, in, by, on the side of," when used with the genitive case that is. Like we have here, "you all" being genitive plurals.

God's Love ... internalized!

Well, here are some of the "Love of God" Passages.

In Luke 11:42 Jesus says: "But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God." They "passed over," in Greek "parerchomai," the Love of God! Walked right by it! Came alongside it and never recognized it!

Jesus again, in John 5:42 declares: "But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you." God's Love just was not "in" them, "en" in Greek.

Paul now, 2nd Thessalonians 3:5, prays: "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." The verb "direct" is "kateuthuno," to "guide, to make straight," with an implication of "removing obstacles!"

John tells us of the relationship between the Word of God and the Love of God! "But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." 1st John 2:5 here uses two key words. "Keepeth" is "tereo," meaning "to guard, to observe and obey." It's a subjunctive here. "Perfected" is "teleioo," that is, "brought to maturity!"

And today let me add just one more. I've skipped several. Jude, verse 21,  excels here! "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." That's "tereo" again!

Ponder God's Love!

Enjoy God's Love!

Fellowship with God's Love!

Worship God the Father!

In so doing you will be honoring God the Son and God the Holy Spirit too. For, after all, They are One!

A Triune God!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

Don't "miss" God's Love! The Pharisees certainly did!

Be absolutely sure it is "in" you! Only the Holy Spirit can place It there!

Ask God to "direct" your heart into that very Love, removing all obstacles!

Study, adore, and obey God's Word, thereby perfecting God's Love in your life!

And never be careless where God's Love is involved! Make much of It daily!

So say today's Bible verses!

 

 

LESSON 8, THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST:

Paul prayed it upon those he loved. Again and again he did! Our Text for a few days, 2nd Corinthians 13:14, gives an example. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ ... be with you all. Amen."

Of course that great verse also pronounces the Love of God and the Communion of the Holy Ghost upon those Corinthian Believers as well. But today we are centering on Grace! "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

If Grace were to be reduced to a single word, "charis" in Greek, it would be defined as "that which brings ... favour!" Think of that! Favour in God's Eyes! An old ex-sinner like me!

Here's another King James Version synonym, "pleasure," but in a good and holy sense! Or maybe "joy!" In New Testament Greek joy is "chara" while grace is "charis!" When I think of Christ Jesus the Lord, could "pleasure" and "joy" be released in my heart? Absolutely!

Also, King James again, "charis" can be and occasionally is translated "thanks!" The presence of our Lord's Grace in our lives yields gratefulness indeed!

Also let's remember the classic definition for "grace," traditionally and historically "God's unmerited favor." Something I do not deserve! A Gift from God, here God the Son!

And Paul seemed to go even further with Grace. To him anyway it was "dynamic," power-producing! Through God's Grace the Apostle labored abundantly! Life changing Grace! "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." 1st Corinthians 15:10

Paul hungers for his converts to be saturated with the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ!

If you truly want to commune with the Second Person of the Trinity today, Jesus Himself, get immersed in thoughts and verses and hymns and definitions and quotes about Grace! Grace that, as Peter called it, is "manifold!" Multi-faceted! The word Peter uses, "poikilos," literally means "many colored!"

And here is how often Paul wishes, prays, desires, covets this amazing Grace to be "upon" God's people:

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Romans 16:24

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." 1st Corinthians 16:23

"Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." Galatians 6:18

"Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen." Ephesians 6:24

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Philippians 4:23

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." 1st Thessalonians 5:28

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." 2nd Thessalonians 3:18

"The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen." 2nd Timothy 4:22

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." Philemon verse 25

It was indeed Paul's constant life-long theme, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! In fact, he is even now still magnifying the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! "Worthy is the Lamb!"

May Grace be our song too!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, GRACE QUANTIFIED:

Loads of Grace!

Inexhaustible Grace!

Unending Grace!

We might use such terms today.

But when it comes to quantifying Grace, the Bible, of course, does so much better!

Here's the expression "full" Grace! "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 describes the Lord Jesus! The adjective "pleres" describes something that's completely full, full as opposed to empty! It is used around 17 times in the New Testament. No real Christian doubts that Jesus is full of Truth! It was impossible for Him to lie, Hebrews 6:18. Still is! And He is just as full of Grace too!

Here's another "hint" as to Grace's vast supply! "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." We who believe have been tapped into this Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ! "Charis anti charitos" says John 1:16. Grace in the place of more grace! Like gas in the tank! Wind in the sails! Christ in the soul!

Borrowing a Greek term, we have access to mega-Grace as well! In Jesus! "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all." Acts 4:33 utilizes two "mega" qualities! Great Power! Great Grace! There's no doubt a correlation! "Megas dunamis!" Then, "megas charis!"

Here's overflowing Grace! "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." Romans 5:17 says "abundance" of Grace! "Perisseia" means "that which is "'all around!'" "Peri" means "around." Surplusage! Overflow! Superabundance!

Get this verse! "And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you." This "exceeding" Grace is "in you," Paul reminds the Corinthians! Watch this Greek verbal adjective, "hyperballo," our very word hyperbole! Something "thrown far beyond" its expected boundary! Out of sight! Out of bounds! 2nd Corinthians 9:14

Then James enters the conversation! "But he giveth more grace." Our great God does so! "More" translates "meizon," meaning "greater, larger, stronger, elder!" What quality and quantity! James 4:6

Next, Peter to the saints of God: "Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." Multiplied Grace! "Plethuno," here "multiplied," means "increased." Its root, "plethos," means a "multitude" or "great number," an "assemblage!" 1st Peter 1:2

Today we've had a glimpse of the vast resources of Grace!

To pray Paul's prayer for each of you this Monday, "May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!"

Amen!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10, SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ABOUT GRACE:

One more Lesson about Grace!

Two days ago we defined Grace, or at least described it a bit!

Then yesterday we tried to "quantify" that matchless quality of the Lord Jesus Christ! It's supply is inexhaustible!

Now, let's "specify" Grace.

We're using 2nd Corinthians 13:14, the very last verse of that precious Pauline Epistle, as our Text: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. "

The Grace of our Lord Jesus, particularly!

In Psalm 45:2 we read a prophecy about the coming Messiah, about Jesus. "Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever." Note the capitalized words! Jesus, filled with Grace! That's what John said of Him too, later in his Gospel: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Luke also alluded to Psalm 45 I think, "And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?" Luke 4:22

When a saint of God is pondering Grace ... his or her thoughts will lead invariably to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Several thoughts must now follow.

Grace is given, never earned, in "levels." I do not understand that concept, but it's Biblical! "But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." Ephesians 4:7

Some may have experienced more Grace than others! Yet surely we can "grow" in Grace! Peter said so, his last words. "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2nd Peter 3:18

Some are even "strong" in Grace! That's what Paul is wanting, the Corinthian Believers to become more Grace-filled, better Grace-oriented, Grace-in-the-midst! Do remember our Text. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ ... be with you all. Amen." Listen also to 2nd Timothy 2:1. "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." That verb "be strong" is literally "endunamoo," that is, "in" plus the word we use for "dynamite!" The very POWER of Grace is again evident!

There is always too a "purifying" aspect to Grace! "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2:11-13 recognizes the fact that Jesus is God! Also that God's Grace always motivates us to turn from wickedness!

Jude, in a reverse picture, says: "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Now "lasciviousness," spelled "aselgeia" in Greek, means "unbridled lust!" Shameless sensual behaviour!

Then there is also available today, through our Lord Jesus Christ, "sufficient" Grace! For any issue of life! God to Paul in 2nd Corinthians 12:9. "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." The verb "arkeo" means "to defend, to ward off, to be enough!" It is likely derived from the basic verb "airo," which means "to lift." Grace "lifts" a barrier between us and the enemy! Unfailing sufficiency to overcome whatever would harm us! Praise the Lord!

And then, lastly, there is even dying Grace! Jesus had it! "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Hebrews 2:9 informs us that Jesus died "by Grace!" That's how He lived too!

Consequently, when we near the hour of death, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:4-5

No wonder Paul was transported into this beautiful doxology! Grace does so indeed!

For you today, dear Believing Friend, I pray: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11, THE COMMUNION OF THE HOLY GHOST:

"The communion of the Holy Ghost," that's how Paul said it. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2nd Corinthians 13:14

He has just wished, prayed really, the presence of God the Father, God the Son, and now God the Holy Ghost upon the Corinthian Believers!

But, what is "communion" with the Holy Spirit of God?

The noun is spelled "koinonia" and appears 20 times in the New Testament.

It is defined by the lexicons as "joint participation." Sharing something in common!

In viewing the New Testament instances of "koinonia," it most often seems to be translated "fellowship!" I will underline it in the following prominent verse, Acts 2:42. "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Think of that, fellowship ... but with the Holy Spirit of God!

Philippians 2:1 is classic! "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." The very expression "fellowship of the Spirit" is in Greek "koinonia pneuma," same as in our Text verse, 2nd Corinthians 13:14.

What an honor!

Fellowship with the Holy Spirit of God!

In consulting a scholarly journal or two, I found three "word pictures" for "koinonia." In the ancient Greek world if a man or woman longed for a close relationship or partnership with his god, Zeus or Thor or one of a thousand more, he sought "communion!" Via the Third Person of the Trinity, we are fellowshipping with our God too, the only real God!

Secondly, the word was used of "marriage." You know, one man, one woman, one lifetime! That sort of thing! The Bible does speak of a mystical relationship between us and the Lord Jesus Christ, a Bride-Bridegroom unity! Talk to your Heavenly Lover, the One Who "wooed" you to Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour!

Then it often meant a "business" relationship. Commerce and trading and other everyday activities for the entrepreneur. We are indeed servants of our great God, wanting to bear interest to His good Name!

One more thing too. "Koinonia" in the New Testament can also mean "distribution!" Giving! Sharing money! Watch this verse: "They glorify God ... for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men." 2nd Corinthians 9:13, love gifts!

When we enjoy the communion of the Holy Ghost then, consciously and deliberately and joyfully, we are being "given" something of Him! Like a jet fighter refueling in flight, we "link" to the Holy Spirit's boundless supply and draw from Him the very Fulness of God!

The communion of the Holy Ghost! What a blessing!

Reciprocally, what Fellowship!

Vertically, what Worship!

Horizontally, what a Love Feast!

Circumspectly, what Service!

Go ahead.

It's all right!

Tell the Holy Spirit you love Him!

Enjoy those moments of "communion" too!

They are precious!

He, the Holy Spirit, is precious too!

Do you know Him?

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12, THE HOLY SPIRIT "POURED OUT" UPON US:

Titus 3:5-6, that small portion of Scripture, contains an astounding Truth! Read it with me please. "The Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly," just that short clause will be our focus today.

Paul obviously is writing to Christians.

His Subject here, though not necessarily in the whole Book of Titus, is the Holy Spirit of God.

This is The Same Holy Ghost with Whom we are to have "communion" according to 2nd Corinthians 13:14. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

This "communion," consciously and perpetually, is the birthright of every born-again child of God. Yet so few enjoy its blessings.

Do not misunderstand me please. Every man or woman who is truly "saved" is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. That's for sure! Paul even told the sometimes carnal Corinthians this! "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" 1st Corinthians 6:19

But the "communion" of the Holy Ghost is not just His indwelling Presence, but also the awareness of that Presence and a willingness, even a hunger, to fellowship with him day by day, better yet, hour by hour!

An old Gospel song used these words, "constantly aware!" If a Believer ever gets to the place where he or she lives like this, he or she like Paul can truly say, "For to me to live is Christ." Or, "Christ is our life!" Philippians 1:21 and Colossians 3:4

The communion of the Holy Ghost!

You see, the Holy Spirit always "points" one to Jesus! He, the Spirit, evermore magnifies the Lord! Jesus taught this: "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; He shall glorify me." John 16:13-14

But, back to our "starting" verse today, "The Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly."

The verb that is used here, it's so very important! The Spirit of God has been "shed" in our hearts! It's spelled "ekcheo." The prefix "ek" means "out of." The verb stem, "cheo," means "to pour." Poured out!

Scripturally speaking, "ekcheo" is used in several contexts. When wine bottles are broken and the liquid "runneth out!" The blood of countless Christian martyrs that had been "shed." Of the Blood of Jesus, "shed" on Calvary! Of Judas' bowels, which "gushed out" when he committed suicide! Of God's action at Pentecost, when He "poured out" the Holy Spirit upon His people! Jude has it as "running greedily!" But the King of all "ekcheo" chapters is Revelation 16, incorporating the verb 8 times! Here's an example, "And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth." God's wrath "poured out" on earth!

It ought to be delightful for us Christians to commune with That Precious Holy Spirit! Certainly He is available! Poured out all over us! Living within us! Even "filled" with Him and His Person!

Then Paul, in Titus, adds one more word, an adverb. "Abundantly" translates "plousios." It actually means "wealthy!" Or "richly!"

God did not administer the Holy Spirit to us sparsely!

Not sparingly!

But generously!

Now, we can "quench" His Presence or "grieve" His Person ... but that's our sinful fault!

He is readily available today!

Enjoy Him!

Commune with Him!

Love Him!

See what a difference that little lifestyle change makes!

If He, the Spirit of God, is that welcomed in your life, He soon will be producing "fruit!"

We don't have time today to get into that thought! But here is that fruit anyway, "Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance!" Galatians 5:22-23

To each of you, sweet communion today!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13, THE HOLY SPIRIT "BEARING WITNESS" IN OUR LIVES:

The Holy Spirit, His "communion" with us, is today's subject. Such a thing is obviously important to the Believer in Christ, based on Paul's great closing benediction in 2nd Corinthians 13:14. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

But why is this so significant?

Many Bible reasons could be offered.

Here's one.

Romans 8:16 tells us, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."

The verb is based on the "martureo" stem, "to give testimony or bear record or speak a good report!" See in the word our English noun "martyr" or "martyrdom," the very highest form of witness! The root word here is "martus," a "spectator" or "eye-witness" at an event!

However, our specific verb here has a prefix, "sun," meaning "with" or "by one's side" or even "accompanying" something. The Holy Spirit regenerates our old dead human spirit. It, then being born from above, rejoices right alongside the Holy Spirit, both knowing that salvation has occurred! "Summartureo!" And get this too! The verb is in the present tense, also being indicative in mood and active in voice ... this "witness bearing" is constant, continual, habitual, durative, on-going, never-ceasing! Hallelujah! 

This is the only way to really know you're saved!

Let God the Holy Spirit tell you!

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

The Holy Spirit seems to use this compound verb, "summartureo," sparingly. Only four times does it appear in the whole New Testament, all 260 chapters! In each case the matter being "witnessed" or "confirmed" is vital!

In Romans 2:15, the very salvation of human souls being the issue, one's conscience is said to "bear witness" to the commandments of God! A soul can never get "saved" until he or she first gets "lost!"

In Romans 9:1 Paul the Apostle is burdened for the lost souls of Israel. He was even willing to die himself and go to Hell ... in their stead ... if only that little Nation could be saved! His very conscience "bearing witness" to that fact!

Heavy subjects!

But watch this one. In Revelation 22:18 John from Patmos warns us! Do not add to God's Word! Nor subtract! To do the former, to add, will bring upon the transgressor certain "plagues" from God! To do the latter, to delete, will bring loss of life! To the validity of these judgments, John, presumably alongside the Holy Ghost, bears witness!

You just can't get any more serious!

And, if you're counting, the fourth one is our Verse for today, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." I would say that Romans 8:16 here is vital to the Christian as well! The very assurance of one's slavation!

"We thank Thee, Holy Spirit, for Thy witness in our lives! May we commune with Thee more and more! In Jesus' Name, Amen."

Yes, I just prayed to the Holy Spirit. After all, He is God!

 

 

LESSON 14, THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE EARNEST:

I can't seem to come to a suitable "ending place" on our meditations about the precious Holy Spirit.

One reason we need to make much of His Presence in our lives is this: He is once called "the Holy Spirit of promise." Paul used that Title for God the Third Person in Ephesians 1:13-14. "Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

The verb "sealed" is "sphragizo," which means "to mark something, to set a sign of ownership" on it! The noun behind our verb is "sphragis," one of those "rings" with a "signet" facing outward, so that a "hit" with said ring will produce a "mark" upon its target, a mark of ownership for example. All of which may be derived from "phrasso," meaning "to fence in, stop up, block or close" something. And even this "root"may be taken from "phren," the midriff or diaphragm muscle deep within one's anatomy! Even the heart of man! The mind of a woman! One's innermost being!

And "promise" in "Holy Spirit of Promise" is "epaggelia." It means "an announcement, a blessing, a message!"

But the "key" word today just might be "earnest." The Greek noun "arrabon" means "money in a major purchase which is given in advance, a kind of down-payment, a sure indicator that the interested party is serious, a pledge that the rest of the commitment is indeed coming!"

The Holy Spirit is God's Foretaste of things yet to come!

Fellowship with Him, the Spirit of God!

Love Him much!

He is the Indicator, the very Guarantee, more though ... the Preview of God's future Plan for our lives!

A little bit of Heaven, sometimes a lot of It, dwelling deep within our hearts!

To ignore the dear Holy Spirit is detrimental to one's own soul!

Twice more in Paul the Spirit is labeled or named the Earnest! Speaking of God in 2nd Corinthians 1:22, the Apostle called the Father "God Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." Then again in 2nd Corinthians 5:5, "God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit."

Truth be told, every Christian you know, each real saint of God, carries within his or her being a "foretaste" of glory divine!

The Holy Spirit!

Not to commune with Him is like being a millionaire ... yet lacking the basic essentials of life!

Enjoy His Presence!

He's the Proof of things to come!

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2nd Corinthians 13:14

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Another quick note too! Just as the Godhead manifests Himself triunely, Father and Son and Spirit ... so is the Holy Spirit said to reveal Himself in a multiple manner! The "fruit" (a singular noun) of the Spirit is love and joy and peace and six more graces as well (a plural predicate nominative). "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance." And Galatians 5:22-23 may be loosely patterned after Isaiah 11:2. "And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD." Again a manifold manifestation! Furthermore, John in Revelation 1:4 and 3:1 and 4:5 and 5:6 calls the Spirit things like "the seven Spirits of God" and even the "seven lamps of fire burning before the throne" and "seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth" and finally "the seven Spirits which are before his throne." All these are obviously multiple too. He, the Spirit, is just too Great to be quantified or enumerated or contained! He, being God, is infinite!

 

 

LESSON 15, "EMBLEMS" OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:

They are sometimes called the "emblems" of the Holy Spirit. And it just seems right that they be mentioned in a series of Bible studies on "communion" with the Holy Ghost of God.

That's right. Our Text for several days has been 2nd Corinthians 13:14. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. "

The "fellowship" of the Spirit of God!

The "dove" in Scripture is one picture of the Spirit. Think of Jesus' baptism, for example. Mark 1:10 records this for us. "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." By the way, all Three Members of the Trinity are here present!

"Oil" in the Bible is another type of the Spirit. This is olive oil, having come from a crushed and bruised berry. The Holy Spirit also has been given to us because Jesus was bruised on the old rugged Cross! John 7:39 reminds us: "For the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." Think of the places oil was used in the Bible and compare them to the Holy Spirit's Ministry. There was oil in wounds! Oil in lamps! Oil for cooking! Oil to anoint the face! And for priests; oil on the head, ear, hand and foot!

"Fire" and the Holy Spirit are Biblically associated too! Fire that purifies and penetrates! Remember the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost."

The "rain" is an emblem of Him too! Especially in its abundance and its productivity! Often the Bible speaks of the "former" rain and the "latter" rain, likely speaking of the earlier days of the Spirit's powerful deeds, Pentecost, and the yet future times of refreshing too, the millennial rule of Christ on earth!

The "air" can be a picture of the Holy Spirit as well. I briefly saw an article yesterday in a Christian periodical about certain types of insects that grow more prolifically if the oxygen content of their air is increased! The richer the air around them, the more rapidly and consistently they grow! Perhaps even producing "giant" hybrids of their species! If a Christian breathes the atmosphere of Holy Spirit Power he or she will grow exponentially as well!

The "wind" must be placed on our list! Here comes the Holy Spirit, again Pentecost style: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting." Again, Luke says so in Acts 2:1-2.

"Water" especially moving water can typify the Holy Spirit also. Our Lord again: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." John 7:37-39 really shows us "rivers" as well as moving water being signs of the Spirit! Isaiah's great "peace like a river" verse comes to mind here, Isaiah 66:12.

"Dew" certainly is a symbol of the Holy Spirit too. In fact, Psalm 133 combines both dew and oil. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment (oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." This is fertilizing, fructifying dew! So is the Spirit!

Even one's very "clothing" suffices here! Listen to Jesus instruct His followers in Luke 24:49. "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." The "Power" He has in mind is the Holy Spirit. And the verb "endued" means "to wrap around oneself as with a coat or tunic or blanket! To literally "wear" the Holy Spirit! Furthermore, Judges 6:34 has the Holy Spirit "wearing" Gideon! "But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him." Yes, the verb "came upon" is "labash" in Hebrew, "to wear or dress or put on clothes!" That's beautiful!

Several others could be listed, but you all get the picture.

When I "commune" with the Holy Spirit of God, making much of Him in my life, there's no telling what blessings and benefits and wonderfully good side-effects will come my way!

Our Text verse is serious. It may be one of the "keys" to living a victorious life too. Ask God to help you practice it, making it a reality day after day. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

Go to sleep at night thinking about the Grace of Jesus, then the Love of God, and finally the Communion of the Holy Ghost!

Wow!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Probably a note should be added here about "grieving" and "quenching" the Holy Spirit, sure ways to "hinder" the precious communion Paul is seeking for the saints at Corinth!

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30 here is a serious warning! The verb "lupeo" means "to make someone sorry, to hurt him. to offend!" It illustrates the Personality of the Holy Spirit! Yes, He is the Third Person of the Godhead! One God, manifested truinely!

And 1st Thessalonians 5:19 simply asks of us, "Quench not the Spirit." This verb, "sbennumi," means "to extinguish," to let something like a flame "go out!" The fire of the Holy Spirit, in certain aspects of His Work anyway, must be cultivated and tended carefully! Here's another way Paul expressed the same truth. "Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee," 2nd Timothy 1:6 here is using the same word picture, a fire that occasionally needs stoked!

Communion with the Holy Spirit is a tender thing!

 

 

LESSON 16, CONCLUSION:

Three qualities of Almighty God!

Attributes of our Triune Lord!

The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Love of God!

The Communion of the Holy Ghost!

All of which Paul longs to flourish in the lives of the believers at Corinth.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2nd Corinthians 13:14

But I've noticed something while studying these three aspects of the Godhead. While Grace may here be predominantly associated with Jesus, Love with God and Communion with the Holy Spirit ... the same three qualities are at times linked to other Members of the Trinity as well!

For example, Hebrews 10:29 speaks of "the Spirit of Grace!" Look! "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" Not the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ now, but the Spirit of Grace! And 1st Timothy 1:7 speaks of "the Spirit of Power, Love and a Sound Mind! "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Wow!

Then Ephesians 3:19 talks about "the Love of Christ!" Notice, not the Love of God! Although, of course, Jesus is God. That we all understand, but I am speaking especially of the Trinity now.  "And to know the Love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Maybe Titus 3:4 is a better example. "But after that the kindness and Love of God our Saviour toward man appeared ...." The Father, Son and Holy Spirit obviously can not be limited to any single set of attributes!

Equally so, in Scripture, not only is the Love of God the Father mentioned, but also His Grace and Communion too! Colossian 1:6 is an example. "Since the day ye heard of it, and knew the Grace of God in truth." Or 1st John 1:3, which has us communion with the Father and the Son! "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." Amen!

My point today is this. Why does Paul here especially select Love for God the Father and Grace for the Lord Jesus Christ and Communion for the Holy Ghost?

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2nd Corinthians 13:14

The answer is twofold.

Firstly, because God the Holy Spirit wrote these words, not merely Paul the Apostle! Paul was just being a willing instrument in the hands of God! This is the Doctrine of the Inspiration of the Scriptures.

Secondly, because no doubt these three attributes, these specific personality traits of the Trine God, are paramount to our knowing Him better. That's HIM in His Triune Sense! As Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

These are therefore introductory and progressive in nature!

And now here we must use the precise order Paul did in the Text. The Grace of Jesus is where it all starts! Yes, while God loved us before the foundation of the world, we would have never known about it had Jesus not come! The Grace of Jesus begins it all ... on man's side anyway!

Then comes the Love of God! Experientially we only know God's Love through Jesus! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

The Grace of Jesus introduces me to the Love of God!

Yet I would have know neither apart from the Holy Spirit's ability to "communicate" the Truth to me!

They interact!

They eternally coexist!

Believer friend, just "jump in," God will take care of everything else!

Begin to meditate on the Grace of Jesus! Such thoughts will lead you to the massive Love of God! And, before you know it, really without even thinking about it, you will automatically be in "communion" with the Holy Spirit too!

What a Verse!

Thank you, Paul!

And we Thank Thee, Lord!

Now, let us pursue it!

What an honor!

To be be able to spiritually discern whether any given second you are fellowshipping with the Father (in His Love) or the Son (in His Grace) or the Holy Ghost (in His Communion)!

I can only close with this precious prayer one more time. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

I AM SO GLAD WE HAVE SPEND TIME IN THIS IMPORTANT VERSE OF SCRIPTURE! IF YOU HAVE JOURNEYED THROUGH THESE SIXTEEN LESSONS, YOU ARE INDEED A DILIGENT STUDENT OF GOD'S WORD! DUE TO THE POWER OF the scriptures, WE SHOULD NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!

 

 

Thank YOU for visiting our Website!

You are visitor number ...

Hit Counter

 

Copyright 2008 DrMikeBagwell.org  All Rights Reserved.

 

The Fundamental Top 500