This verse provides the most complete and explicit summary of the functions of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit on behalf of humans. For this reason it was known as the apostolic benediction and it became a part of church liturgy. Let’s look briefly at their work:
God’s love for sinners led Him to give all that He had for their salvation (Rom. 5:8). It is the essence of love to sacrifice self for others; selfishness is the antithesis of love (John 3:16). For this reason, Jesus taught that the believers are to pray directly to the Father acknowledging His infinite gift of love “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
After His great sacrifice at the Cross, Christ now serves as our great High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary “We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands” (Hebrews 8:1,2; 4:14…etc.). The Father will hear the believers’ prayers and grants them the merits and the grace of Christ to stand righteous before Him. But the believers’ prayers should be done only through Jesus’ Name: “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Christ is the only way to heaven. There is no other means of salvation (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5).
Christ is the intercessor and advocate with the Father (Heb. 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1). He is offering His merits and blood for the cleansing of sins to all the repentant believers. In addition, Christ performs a special work of cleansing to the heavenly sanctuary, which parallels the service performed by the high priest in the earthly sanctuary on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16).
The Holy Spirit
The blessings that God bestows on His children come through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who speaks (Acts 8:29), teaches (2 Peter 1:21), guides (John 16:13), witnesses (Hebrews 10:15), comforts (John 14:16), helps (John 16:7, 8), supports (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26-27), and can also be grieved (Ephesians 4:30).
The Godhead is composed of three beings who are perfectly united in their mission of saving and sustaining their creatures. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,
The BibleAsk Team
Before you go
Jesus loves you and has died for you so that one day you may live with Him forever.
If you’ve not accepted Jesus, you can do so right now. All it takes is one simple prayer, such as this: