“I believe an holy catholic church, the communion of saints.” These words we hear read every Sunday, and yet, do we really believe what they mean? Or do we just believe them to be true? Everyone believes something. But, do we really believe in the communion of saints? Who are the true saints? Can we be sure? Are we all saints as we unite to worship? The apostle Paul says, “Not all have the faith.” Or, do we believe in a group, that we pick out and wish to join as a communion of saints? Is that true?
We know that a saint is and must be an holy one, for God says, “Be ye holy: for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16. And again, “For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.” Heb. 2:11. Now Paul says, “That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.” Gal. 4:1, 2. For when it pleases the living God to regenerate and convert His elect, they are under the command of God to obey Him according to His precepts, and to serve Him with all their heart and mind. And when the Holy Spirit breathes His life in us, we want to do His will, and love Him with all our heart. And He will write His law in our heart and conscience, so that we want to walk in love and faith, and glorify the name of God only.
Oh, how good it is that we cannot have anything to say or do to make one saint, or bring one into that communion of saints. How bad would it be if we could. For the communion of saints is not of the flesh, but of the Holy Spirit. And we do not have each a little piece of that Spirit, but it is one whole, one breath, one life, one mind, and one faith in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ. One Body, one Head, one Spirit. They speak one language, which is the language of the Scriptures and of all saints, through the Holy Spirit. Whether we are young or old. We cannot join the communion of saints, but the living God must through His Spirit unite us in that communion with all His people. John 14:26; I Cor. 12:12.
But, oh, the beauty, and glory and love and mercy of God, it is not ye that choose. It is only and alone the living God and Father that elects and regenerates, calls and justifies us and sanctifies us to become saints in Christ, “because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” II Thess. 2:13.
It is impossible to believe in the communion of saints than only by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we believe first of all in God the Father, and in Him through the sacrifice of the Son of God, or God in the flesh, and through the workings of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. And those saints are in all parts of the world, as one invisible yet becoming manifest in time in the church visible, or in the individual saint, young or old as they will be revealed in time, or are hid in Christ wherever they are. For it is a spiritual communion of saints as members of one Body in Christ.
Holiness cannot be just learned or put on at will, for than you have a voluntary will worship, thinking that godliness is gain. Col. 2:18. But it is a faith that can never be broken, for we belong to Christ only, and to His saints forever more. No one can bring one into the communion of saints, nor take one out. Christ alone has the keys, not the church visible which is impossible, but the church invisible has the keys in that communion of saints, through the Holy Spirit of Christ. For it is a spiritual bond that cannot be broken. The visible church can only judge what is seen.
If those saints sin against each other and pervert their way, the Lord will surely rebuke and chastise them, until they are again restored into the fellowship of the saints. Otherwise they would be lost and that is impossible. So long as they continue in sin, they grieve the Holy Spirit and God’s name is blasphemed, and not glorified, Heb. 10:25, Gal. 6:1.
For, you see, if you and I have really been born again by God, and have known each other as true children of God, because of that tie of the Holy Spirit, and then walk in sin against each other, than it would be impossible for you to be saved without me and I not without you, without returning and repenting before the face of the living God. Therefore, we may not grieve the Holy Spirit, for John says, “If any man see his brother sin, a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them who sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” 1 John 5:16, James 5:19,20.
The Lord leads His own in whatever way He chooses, we cannot choose our own way. He gives us His Holy Spirit according to the measure He chooses not we. And according to that way He will glorify us. Not according in the way we want to go, or whatever we choose. For the Lord instructs His people by His word and Spirit to walk in His way and to teach them His precepts. But His Word also judges those that are not of Him. God is righteous.
Oh, what power and glory and honor comes through the communion of saints unto God forever and ever. For they are all one as their cryings and supplications and prayers come before the throne of God. Rev. 8:1-5. But if they sin against each other, they dishonor God and all that is holy. For sin is shame. 1 Cor. 3:13-17; Dan. 9:3-19; Isa. 63:7-9.
The living God knows His own. And we should make known His glory and power and greatness, and testify of Him for His name sake. That His name may be glorified. Otherwise the stones will have to speak. Luke 19:40.
0 you that are the Lord’s, let there be no silence among you, but testify and be witnesses of the living God, for there is no other God beside Him. Isa. 44:8, 62:6.
I believe an holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.