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Keep my eyes on Heaven and help me to make this goal the guiding force and motivation of my love for others. I give myself to You, dear Lord. Use me to save souls. Jesus, I trust in You. More Divine Mercy Reflections.

Daily Gospel Reflections. Series My Catholic Faith! And even the Saints at Ephesus, who are addressed as if they had made great advance in the understanding of the mysteries of the faith, are warned to abstain from lying, violent anger, stealing, foul speaking, and unkind behaviour Eph. From which we learn to give a very wide meaning to the word "Saints;" and to understand by it, Christian people who, with many imperfections and frequent falls, are seeking to gain a better knowledge and deeper love of God; and are striving to be led by the Holy Spirit to resist sin and advance in holiness.

And what is "The Communion" which such persons enjoy? They are declared to be united with God, as a branch is united with its stem; deriving spiritual life -- a new and higher life than the natural life which belongs to all -- from Him. They are "begotten again" 1 Pet. John i.

Reflection 301: The Communion of Saints

The closeness of this union or communion with God in Christ is expressed more fully by the figure of the body and its members. The Saints together form the Body of Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" 1 Cor. Christ is the Head: and the Church is the Body.

So intimately connected are the Saints with their Lord that they are the members of Christ -- yea, S. This is a great mystery; but when faith has accepted it, it is seen to be the ground of the Christian's strength. He is strong through grace, because his strength is not his own, but is derived from Christ his Lord, with Whom through the Spirit he is united. The importance of the two holy Sacraments of Christ is in connection with this truth. Holy Baptism is the means ordained for uniting us with the Body of Christ 1 Cor.

Holy Communion is the means of maintaining this union, and of drawing supplies of grace from Him 1 Cor.

In the Anglo-Saxon Church

Thus through a right use of the means ordained by Christ Himself the Saints are His own members [30]. And they have the good hope to cheer them, that when the great day of judgment comes, whilst to some who address the Judge, "Lord, Lord," as if they had always served Him, it will be said, "I never knew you, depart from Me" S.

The meaning of "The Communion of Saints" becomes clearer when we know that "Communion" is the same word as that which is more often translated "Fellowship.

The Communion of Saints Explained!

John speaks with great clearness about this Communion or Fellowship. Referring to the good tidings delivered by himself and the other Apostles about the person and work of the Saviour, he saith, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us. And this assertion of the Communion of the Christian with God agrees with the words of the prayer of our Lord for His people, recorded by the same Apostle; wherein He prayed, "That they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one" S.

All Divine Mercy Reflections

John xvii. These thoughts of the Communion of the Christian with God -- the Father and the Son -- would be incomplete, did we not also think of our Communion with the Holy Ghost. For inasmuch as the whole spiritual life of the Christian is due to the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, this Communion with God, which the Christian enjoys, is in reality the work and gift of the Holy Ghost.

And this is testified to us by the familiar words of blessing, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the Communion" or Fellowship "of the Holy Ghost, be with you all" 2 Cor. Furthermore, "The Communion of Saints" describes the fellowship or tie of brotherhood which unites Christians together, one with another. For if all Saints have Communion with God, it follows that all have Communion one with another in Him.

If Christians are really striving to be, what they are called to be, holy, they are all one family; united together by the common bond of sonship; "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" Gal. I would like to see Her; I would like to be Her. We commune with the saints above. But, of course, the great emphasis of the New Testament is on our communing with one another in the here and now. And that's the third thing I want you to see. The believer's unity with other believers on earth. Believers are in communion with all other saints, and thus, have a responsibility for them by virtue of our union with Christ.

Turn back now to 1 Corinthians, chapter 12, and we will end where we began our reading. God gave you that gift for the common good. In the same way that he can say in that mystical passage that the husband's body belongs to the wife, and the wife's body belongs to the husband, so also, all of My gifts belong to you, and all of your gifts belong to Me and all of our gifts collectively belong to one another; they are for the common good.

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We belong to you. God has gifted us, not so that we can raise our own estimation in your eyes, but He's gifted us in order to minister to you.

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  • That's why, my friends, I want you to know that Brad Mercer, and Derek Thomas, and Ligon Duncan—this whole pastoral staff—when you come to us rejoicing about the way another minister on this staff has ministered to you, we are going to rejoice in that; we're going to revel in that. Paul speaks to this same truth in 1 Corinthians 12, doesn't he? So also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all are baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

    Is that the way we are at First Presbyterian Church? Do we manifest that reality? We are so close that we can be called a body? We glory when our friends in Christ in this fellowship are being exalted. We glory as if it were our own exaltation, and we grieve when they are enduring trial as if it were our own grief? We care for them; we love them? We give to them in time of need? We pray for them; we reciprocate offices of kindness?

    Belief in the Communion of Saints Isn't Optional

    We enjoy common blessings when we are sundered from them? We grieve and we long to be brought back again? My friends, if we are the communion of saints, and we are, then we live for one another and we belong to one another and we glory in one another and we're responsible to one another and we're to care for one another. You see, we share mutual obligations to one another; and we have fellowship in one another's gifts and graces, and we share a mutual concern for our temporal well being and we have a common mission and we have a common destiny.

    The Communion of Saints and the Kingdom of God

    Do you realize that when one member of this body is at odds with another, a grievous wound is born by this body? My friends, if we took care to assure the peaceable relation between ourselves, I don't doubt that revival would break out. We love one another in word and deed and so we help one another in time of need. How far do we have to go? We can't, just off on our own, just do our own private thing and it have no effect on the body.

    It's one member of this body sinning when sin is done. Even the University of Alabama understands that principle. The action of a head coach reflects upon a university. How much more does that action of one member of a body; knitted together by the Spirit, in Christ, united and communing, how much more does the action of that one member impact the whole body? We must remember that in our pursuit of holiness, brothers and sisters. We are not islands; we are all part of a continent—of the main, of a communion of the people of God. Because we've prayed a prayer? Because we've signed a card?

    Because we've made a decision?