Tag Archives: communion

Part 1 - We have communion with God, but our communion is specific - we have a distinct fellowship with each Person of the Trinity.

Christians are assured by John that the fellowship of believers (the invisible church) is "and indeed (or truly) our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ." (1)

John uses the "indeed" or "truly" to give us the force of his declaration. He doesn't just want us to know this, he wants us to absorb this.

The next paragraph I'm going to do backward:

The world will ask: Why should I want communion with "them" (believers). Communion with them will bring nothing but trouble, shame, mocking and all sorts of bad things.

But believers do invite the world to join them in fellowship, they invite unbelievers to partake with them the precious things of eternity.

To the world, these believers looked like the were the dregs of society, "very mean and contemptible". Their leaders were counted as filth and rubbish. Why would the world want fellowship with them?

The Text of the book: Part 1. Of Communion with each Person distinctly - of Communion with the Father

Chapter 1.That the saints have communion with God — 1 John i. 3 considered to that purpose — Somewhat of the nature of communion in general.

IN the First Epistle of John, chap. 1, verse 3, the apostle assures them to whom he wrote that the fellowship of believers “is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ:” and this he does with such an unusual kind of expression as bears the force of an asseveration; whence we have rendered it, “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

The outward appearance and condition of the saints in those days being very mean and contemptible, — their leaders being accounted as the filth of this world, and as the offscouring of all things, — the inviting others unto fellowship with them, and a participation of the precious things which they did enjoy, seems to be exposed to many contrary reasonings and objections:“What benefit is there in communion with them? Is it any thing else but to be sharers in troubles,reproaches, scorns, and all manner of evils?”

(1) 1 John 1:3

Communion With God, by John Owen, Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Communion with God (my intro)

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

From "Puritan Paperbacks"

I've been working through a study on the Lord's Supper - leaving one church, looking for another - I find kinship in those congregations with a rich liturgy, could find a place in a Lutheran church (LCMS), but I cannot and will not be in a church with closed communion.

What does the "Lord's Supper" mean and what is it supposed to represent?

I've just finished reading the "Epistle to the Reader" (the message in the beginning of the book from Watson).

When I contemplate the holiness and solemnity of the blessed sacrament, I cannot but have some ache upon my spirit, and think myself bound to hold this mystery in the highest veneration.  The elements of bread and wine are in themselves common but, under these symbolical representations, lie hid divine excellencies.  Behold here the best of dainties, God is in his cheer.  Here is the apple of the Tree of Life; here is the "banqueting house" where the banner of free grace is gloriously displayed, "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me is love" (Song of Sol. 2:4)

Watson strove for the "correct middle" - between two extremes that he thought should be avoided - transubstantiation (which he believed was contrary to reason and Scripture and that - he thought - profaned Christ's institution of the supper; and mere symbolism, which aimed short of the mystery and fell short of the comfort.

According to the forward, Watson built on the teachings of Calvin, who believed that this sacrament was a means of grace, through faith - in which Christ works effectually within the believer.

As I listened to Issues Etc. on closed communion, I heard the message come through loud and clear...we must be in lockstep on the smallest of doctrines, or you are a false teacher.

The speaker also added that the reason for closed communion is that those who do not believe in the "real presence" of Christ in the elements are not able to "discern the body" - Lutherans defining "the body" as the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the communion elements, other Protestants defining "the body" as being able to discern whether or not the "self"/person partaking of the supper is a part of the body of Christ (the church).

I cannot see that. Scripture tells us to examine ourselves, it does not tell the church leadership to examine the flock.

The "selfish" reason I cannot see it is that I will not belong to a congregation that would deny my parents access to the meal that Christ gave us, because they are not in total agreement on doctrine.