Communion? What Is It?

1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 1:3; 1 John 1:7  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
"This must take its character from the nature of Him who forms it for His own delight and glory, and in grace calls us into it, with Himself. For example: 'God is faithful, by whom ye were called into the fellowship (communion) of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.' " (1 Cor. 1:99God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9).)
"Again: 'That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.' " (1 John 1:33That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3).)
"God, who forms this communion, and has created us anew in Christ Jesus for its participation and enjoyment is also its rule; 'If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ. His Son cleanseth us from all sin.' " (1 John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7).)
"As regards ourselves, 'We know the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children keep yourselves from idols.' " (1 John 5:20-2120And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:20‑21).)
"This communion must be maintained by us and all saints, not only on what suits the nature of God, with whom we are called to hold it, but by the exclusion of everything which forms no part of it, and which would be inconsistent with its character of light, and truth, holiness and love.
"These considerations of what real communion of saints consist with the Father and the Son, through the Holy Ghost and by the word of God, give us also the ground and object of all practical fellowship with one another in the assembly of God.
"Another point must be touched upon as giving a character to all true communion now amongst saints. The peculiar nature of God's dealings since the death of Christ and His rejection by the Jewish people, is, that the Holy Ghost is on earth, forming and uniting to Christ as Head in heaven, a body. (Eph. 4:44There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (Ephesians 4:4).) 'By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.' " (1 Cor. 12:1313For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13).)
"Now a body is not composed of a union of assemblies, but of 'members'-and if there are different assemblies of these members of Christ it is only local separation, the result of the members being scattered over the earth and not yet (as will be in glory) gathered into one place. All these members who practically own the Head, necessarily own each other as members of His body; they are one, and as needful to each other as the hand to the eye, the foot to the head. (1 Cor. 12:2121And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. (1 Corinthians 12:21).) Therefore all the members in one locality who thus own the one Head, must own each other as His 'members' and assembling themselves together unto the name of the one Head, represent and act in that place as members of the body, Christ being in the midst. (Matt. 18:2020For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20); 1 Cor. 5:4, 14: 23; Heb. 10:2525Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25).) So it would be, and was, in each locality, thus there are not many bodies but one. The members, normally, in each locality represent the body in that locality, there being but one body. These would constitute different local assemblies, but could they be together (as they will in glory) they would not be many assemblies, but one assembly, Christ being the one Head of all. Each particular assembly when acting, (I speak of the principle, not man's failure in it) having Christ in the midst, and the 'binding and loosing' on earth being the binding and loosing of heaven, the act is valid for every individual that owns the Head, and every assembly that has Christ 'in the midst.' It is very evident that 'Christ in the midst' of an assembly, is enough to make an act valid for all who own His Headship. Observe, I speak not of human infirmity now, but of the principles themselves. Man may fail in everything, but his only security is in holding to God's principles, which cannot fail.
"There may be but a few in one locality who seek to be faithful, yet they find that the Lord has provided for the faithful few in all times in that word that where only 'two or three are gathered together unto my name there am I in the midst of them.' Now this paper has reference to these, what may be called remnant-assemblies rather than to denominational or independent assemblies, which practically, if not in word, allow that the body of Christ can be divided. I take then Scriptural principles (a departure from which, and unfaithfulness, have brought in the ruined state of things which we see around us) not with a view of restoring the ruin, which would be to ignore it, or of setting up anything corporally, but of showing what faithfulness in individuals must lead to, if Scripture be gone back to." (G. P.)