Copyright © 2005 J. Neely. All rights reserved.
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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
2 John 1:3
3 Grace [charis] be [esomai] with [meta] you [humon], mercy [eleos], and peace [eirene], from [para] God [theos] the Father [pater], and [kai] from [para] the Lord [kurios] Jesus [Iesous] Christ [Christos], the Son [huios] of the Father [pater], in [en] truth [aletheia] and [kai] love [agape]. KJV-Interlinear
3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. NASB
To those who have believed in Christ, and we call them believers or Christians in our current era, Gods righteousness and justice have already been applied, and now salvation has permanently wiped away any possibility of death, or eternal separation from God, for them.
The next phase in the relationship that believers have with God comes through the application of His policy toward them. This policy we call grace. And since there is a common grace which applies to all people (believers and unbelievers alike), then grace provisions especially for believers can be referred to as spiritual grace just to distinguish it from the common grace that is applied to unbelievers.
Likewise, when believers advance to spiritual maturity, then another level, a higher level of grace, greater grace, applies to mature believers. Each level of grace carries its own level of blessings for each respective group or category of people.
In society, truth and love ought to be united. Truth without love becomes cold, stern, and even cruel. Love without truth becomes unstable and capricious.
What is truth? Truth consists of the content of the Bible. What is love? Love is the application of that content to ones daily life. You can have truth but not live by it and your life is more or less empty. On the other hand, a person can have love, or the application of good deeds and intentions in ones life, but without the truth of God (fellowship), then they are just as empty. Acting under the energy of their own flesh excluding the Holy Spirit (by being out of fellowship), is tantamount to living in the darkness and therefore living a lie. They are trying to exist on ones own good merits to the exclusion of the work of Christ and Gods plan.
Gods blessings - favor, compassion, and inner harmony and tranquility - are enjoyed in an atmosphere where 'truth' and 'love' are in control. We call this living in the fellowship sphere. John has already written about truth and love. Now he adds that grace, mercy, and peace, will be with us.
Mercy is grace in action, or the actual application of blessings from God onto the believer. Grace is the policy of commingling the principles of Gods teaching to ones life. Mercy is the reality of that blessing in ones life.
Peace is the resulting inner harmony, inner rest, inner poise, relaxed mental attitude, orientation and understanding of life, that one receives as a result of growing up in Gods word.
All of these come directly from God the Father who is the author of the divine plan, and through the Son, who is the one and only member of the Godhead who actually carries out that plan. And, in the power of the Holy Spirit (not mentioned here, but is equally important), which exists for believers who are in fellowship.
The results of living a spiritual life, or growing up to spiritual maturity, will yield these results with certainty - being a recipient of spiritual grace (and even greater grace - the book of James), of receiving mercy (Gods blessings which increase as you grow up spiritually, and resulting in a state of completion in your earthly spiritual life or peace of mind), contentment, no more worry, no more fear, confidence in God in ones present life and in ones destiny and so forth.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.