John 14:9-11, “Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”
Matthew 10:19-20, “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
Have you ever just thought about a word, not so much about its dictionary definition, but its usage in our social or personal settings? As Christians, or as church-goers and/or religious people, we often use what I would term “churchy” words; words or terms that are common to how we honor and/or worship the Lord.
We often toss these words around without giving them much thought, but when they are part of Scriptural “doctrine” it stands to reason that as followers of “The Living Word,” we should have more than just a perfunctory understanding of what we talk about.
While trying to “capture” sleep the other night, for whatever reason, the word, communion, kept coming to mind. So, as I in a habit of doing, I just let my mind and thoughts start to dwell on this word. I was praying as I was reflecting and just letting the Lord know that I was open to what it might be He was trying to teach me. It wasn’t just communion as a sacrament that my mind considered, though eventually I did give that some serious thought also.
There is a communion that the Holy Spirit is creating in a very deep way among His people. It is almost like the Holy Spirit is trying to show, that the true spiritual communion is not dependent upon the presence of the flesh, or the body, but rather, our spirits are being joined together in a spirit of unity just as the Bible commands us to pursue it.
So, in my mind, I started considering what I know of the word, communion, based on life experience and practical application. It dawned on me (and I can’t say there isn’t some dictionary definition stored in the memory lockers trapped in my brain) that the word actually breaks down into basically two words; common unity. Common unity? Common union? Communion? Yet when I started to think about it along those lines, it made perfect sense in many ways, and in ways that we who talk and write about the Lord have a tendency of taking for granted!
Think about it, the perfect example of communion can be found in the verses that I posted at the start of this exposition. The Father and the Son are in constant communion, they are UNITED in purpose and mission, in other words, they have a common goal; to impart truth and Redemption to mankind whom they created and love more than anything!
So it is in the natural AND the spiritual. When we commune with one another, we are coming together with the same purpose or goal of relating to one another in unity. Whether that goal is to accomplish something beyond ourselves or to just strengthen our individual relationship with one another, we have something in common and it takes our unity to accomplish that!
We have that same thing happening when we pursue a relationship with the Lord. We are acknowledging a commonality between the Lord and ourselves and are pursuing it with the goal of being united in that endeavor. Whether it be as the Son and Father whose authority is based in the Son’s relationship with the Father or it is with us and the Son where walking in His authority is based on our relationship, intimate relationship with Him, and through Him, with the Father!
We have all heard that adage, that, “no man is an island to themselves.” In the light of the Word of God, and the need for each of us who follow after God, we see the truth in that and understand the importance of “fellowship” or communion with others of like faith as well as intimate communion with our Heavenly Father, through Christ Jesus, the Son and empowered by the Holy Spirit!
As in the community that the Holy Spirit is creating in Church Set Free, as well as in other online spiritual communities that are developing over the internet, the importance of having that spiritual connection, the commonality of pursuing the Spirit of God, in and with the unity of other believers is what makes our communion together so special. It wouldn’t and couldn’t happen if we first didn’t experience the same thing with our Spiritual Father.
The sacrament of communion is a step up from this lifestyle communion that we have with one another. At the Last Supper, the disciples of Jesus didn’t fully understand at that time what He was referring too, when He broke the bread and poured the wine and passed it around to each of them. It was brought back to them later as the Holy Spirit reminded and inspired them in the importance of remembering His sacrifice, by the symbolism of breaking the bread, signifying the Living Word being broken and fed to them, confirming the Scriptures that state, “But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'” – Luke 4:4, Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3. Jesus was and is the living Word of God and He was telling the disciples to remember what He was imparting to each and everyone who remembers.
He was also confirming and fulfilling the Word from Leviticus 17:11 that states, “’For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’” His blood was being given, freely for the atonement of all those who remember His sacrifice. This is why He reiterated the importance of remembering and doing when He said, “Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:53-54.
Now just one clarification; just as there is misunderstanding of the sacrament today, the disciples found it a hard thing to understand and Jesus had to speak to them simply, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63. Please read chapter 6 of the Gospel of John in its entirety to understand the “communion” that Jesus was espousing to His immediate disciples and all those that would be disciples thereafter.
The importance of this communion becomes Holy or sacramental because when we partake the symbols of the flesh and the blood, the bread and wine, we are demonstrating to all others in this spiritual community that we have bound ourselves with Jesus, in spirit and truth, in that we are uniting with His Spirit AND His sacrifice in common with all others who are also joining in the remembrance. Our spirit is joining, bonding in unity with the goal, in common with other brothers and sisters, of being one in Christ, just as Jesus and the Father are One. This is what Jesus meant when He told the disciples to “eat” His flesh, and “drink” His blood. We accept the life His blood gives us spiritually, AND we accept the Living Word that His body reveals to us!
This is another reason why when the Apostle Paul speaks of remembering the sacrament, we need to reflect and judge ourselves to be worthy of partaking, “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” – 1 Corinthians 11:27-29.
1 Corinthians 10:15-17, “I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.”
In essence, the communion we have with one another spiritually, stems from the communion we have with the body of Christ Jesus. Because it is a deeply spiritual and intimate communion with the Lord, it is a spiritual communion that is deep between ourselves also, when we have the Spirit of the Lord in common and are united in that bond with the Lord and with one another!
So next time you have “fellow-ship” with your brothers and sisters, whether face to face or spirit to spirit, remember the deep spiritual importance that the Holy Spirit is creating in that communion!