Question: "What is a benediction in the Bible?"
Answer: A benediction is a declaration of blessings from God upon His loved ones. Benedictions are found at the close of some New Testament epistles (e.g., 2 Corinthians 13:14 and Ephesians 5:23-24). Benedictions, though brief, offer words of assurance or precepts designed to bring joy, peace, comfort, and security to those who place their trust in God.
Benedictions from Scripture are often read or recited near the close of a worship service. In this context, benedictions embody a call to unity, faith, and joy among the brethren. Reciting a benediction is meant to encourage believers and stimulate joy and commitment to God. Additionally, many believers find mediating on benedictions during their “quiet times” is a soothing balm which deepens the spirit, provides succor for the ailing heart, and strengthens the faltering soul. Benedictions can be a remarkable source of healing because the words themselves are life (John 6:63, 68).
There are many benedictions recorded in Scripture. Here are a few examples, starting with one of the most well-known:
“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
“The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalm 121:7-8).
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
“Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13).
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).
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