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Χάρις, Ἀγάπη, καὶ Κοινωνία
Grace, Love, and Fellowship

          I want to personally welcome you to my blog! I hope it will be spiritually and intellectually enriching for you to read. This blog is named, "Χάρις, Ἀγάπη, καὶ Κοινωνία" (Cháris, Agápē, kaì Koinōnía), which is a Greek phrase, meaning "Grace, Love, and Fellowship." The name comes from the beautiful Trinitarian benediction that appears at the end of Paul's second letter to the Corinthians. Paul comforted the Christians of first-century Corinth (and us today!) that "the God of love and peace" would be with them (2 Cor 13:11 ESV). Who is this God whose character is that of love and peace? Who is this God whose presence will be with us always wherever we go? He is none other than the one God of heaven who is manifest in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
          At the conclusion of 2 Cor 13, Paul prayerfully blessed his readers with a Trinitarian benediction. It is a threefold blessing, one blessing with three parts, just like the God we love and serve who is one God in three persons. Paul appealed to each one of the persons of the Godhead to provide a particular part of this threefold blessing. He called upon the Lord Jesus Christ first to give us χάρις (cháris) or "grace." By Jesus's voluntary death on the cross, a substitutionary supererogatory sacrifice of atonement was provided so that we could be the beneficiaries of such marvelous grace. And now, at this very moment, Jesus is in the holy of holies of the heavenly sanctuary, applying the gracious benefits of his death to each and every one of us, who have embraced him by faith. And as we receive, both individually and corporately, Jesus's grace, we are declared righteous and stand justified in the perfectly meritorious active and passive righteousness of Christ. Next, Paul called upon God the Father to shed upon us the wonder of his faithful ἀγάπη (agápē) or "love." God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and he profoundly loves faulty and frail human beings, such as us. How incredible is it that God passes over our sins and reaches down to touch us with his love, to make us his sons and daughters! But this love is not only to be kept for ourselves. Yes, God pours his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5) for our own assurance of his love and also so that we are enabled to love others with his divine love. Finally, Paul prayed to the Holy Spirit for the blessing of κοινωνία (koinōnía), that is "fellowship" or "communion." The Holy Spirit is the one who calls us into the body of Christ; grows and matures us; spiritually gifts us with talents, skills, and abilities to edify one another; empowers us for our mission to the world; and unifies us together as one church. All of this is done in an effort to create fellowship among us. I pray that each one of these blog posts will help to encourage "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit" to thrive in your life (2 Cor 13:14 ESV).

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