One man describes the prayer in this verse as “the richest and most comprehensive of all the benedictions of the New Testament.” In this prayer we find the Trinity at work for our salvation.
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” speaks of adequacy. The word grace is a special token of Paul in every epistle. Eight of his epistles close with some form of this request: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Grace flows unrestrained and unreserved upon those who have no goodness to plead and no claim to advance. If salvation comes not by grace, it can never be ours. As human beings we have many needs but none greater than our need for grace.
“The love of God the Father … be with you all” speaks of security. Paul does not pray for something that does not already exist. No, he prays that the Corinthian church would be made aware of that which already exists. The love of God for His people is eternal, free, undeserved, peculiar, and unchangeable, and it is dispensed in a sovereign way. Paul prays that this people might be directed into this love, that they might have this love in their hearts.
“The communion of the Holy Spirit” speaks of intimacy. The word communion properly means participation, fellowship, or having something in common. This prayer expresses the desire that we might participate in the views and feelings of the Holy Spirit. When we all commune with the Spirit of God, we will all be found in communion with one another. Praise God today that through Christ we have an adequate salvation, a divine security, and a heavenly intimacy—full salvation!
“It was the whole Trinity, which at the beginning of creation said, ‘Let us make man’ (Genesis 1:26). It was the whole Trinity again, which at the beginning of the Gospel seemed to say, ‘Let us save man’” (Matthew 3:16–17). —J. C. Ryle