Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Triad Blessing

2 JOHN 1-3 – The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  THE TRIAD BLESSING. When reading the New Testament letters, and yes, most of them are letters either to an individual, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Gaius are examples, or churches, Corinthians, Thessalonians, Philippians, there is a temptation to quickly get past the greeting to the “good stuff” or the body of the letter.  And if we do that, we are missing really important and encouraging spiritual food.  In the greetings are wonderful truths about God such as His work in us and His blessings to us.  Today’s scripture is a fine example.


The Apostle John is opening his letter to “the elect lady and her children.”  There are differing positions who this might be.  Some scholars believe it is to a literal woman and her children in a domestic setting.  Others take the position it is symbolic to represent a church and her congregation.  There is much support for the latter.  The church is recognized as the “bride of Christ” making sense of the elect lady.  “Children” are offered referred to as believers, children of the living God. And the shifting of pronouns throughout make the case this is a letter to a visible congregation.  Regardless of the position one takes, the meaning and application of the truths in the letter do not change.


As the letter unfolds, the writer sends the warmest of greetings in the words “grace, mercy, and peace” as they flow from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  We might rightly call this “the triad blessing” for it contains three of the most amazing expressions of God’s love to His elect children.  Let’s explore these truths and do so through the writers of two esteemed and Godly biblical scholars – John Albert Bengel and B.F. Westcott.  They provide very encouraging insights toward “grace, peace, and mercy” that make the hearts of Christians soar in praise and adoration.


John Albert Bengel writes, “Grace removes guilt; mercy removes misery; peace expresses a continuance of grace and mercy.”  Here are the fruits of the Gospel – grace deals with the problem of our guilt toward God for breaking His law and the penalty for such breaking; mercy doesn’t leave us in misery of our guilt by Christ’s undeserved sacrifice for us; and peace is what we always have with God because the grace and mercy of the Gospel puts us in a forever reconciled relationship of peace with the God of peace.


B.F. Westcott writes, “Grace points to the absolute freedom of God’s love in relation to man’s helplessness to win it; and mercy to His tenderness towards man’s misery. Peace stands for harmony, trust, rest, safety and freedom; it is God’s gift to man.”   What a triad of blessing indeed!


So, as we read the New Testament letters, remember every word is the Word of God.  Don’t “blow through the greetings” and miss the riches found in each word, and especially the many times the “triad of blessing” appears.


PRAYER: “Father, I so praise You for the abundance of blessings to me found in Your grace, mercy, and peace.”


QUOTE: “What a glorious God that enables us to call Him ‘Our God’ because of His grace, mercy, and peace.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim