15 March, 2009

Sabbath a'Brakel: Communion of the Saints

How refreshing it is for God's children, being hated by the world, to have communion with each other, to make their needs known to each other, and in love and familiarity to have communion with each other! They exercise communion with God's church in general (which is dispersed over the entire face of the earth), as being the sole people of God, as being the sole adherents to the truth and the way of salvation, and as confessing Christ alone to be their Head. Since they have the very same Spirit in common, as well as the same interests, they thus rejoice when the church prospers, and likewise grieve when elsewhere the church does not fare well. Their prayers and thanksgiving are for the church in general. They exercise communion with the church within the kingdom or republic in which they are subjects, as well as with the specific congregation of the city or village in which they reside. Yes, their communion is most specifically with the godly, doing so, however, within the context of the church. They may have a special relationship with some, which, however, does not cause them to separate themselves from the church or to cause schism within the church, since they cherish the church above their chief joy upon earth (II: 100).

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