1 Corinthians 10:16-17
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break…
I. THE SUBJECTS of this communion.
1. The designation "saints" is often applied, in modern usage, as a term of reproach.
2. The term applies to sincere believers only — those who, whatever may have been their former characters, are washed and sanctified. They are partakers of a "holy faith," they are called with a "holy calling," and they are distinguished by a "holy conversation": in a word, they are wholly set apart for God.
3. These, and these only, are the capable subjects of this sacred communion. All communion springs out of union. It arises out of certain sympathies which we have in common one with another. You cannot have communion with plants, with minerals, etc., etc. Hence there can be no communion without spiritual affinity. "What fellowship hath light with darkness?" etc. There must, in order to this fellowship, be a Christian state of mind, in order that we may hold converse with Christians as such. As none but these are capable subjects of this fellowship, so all these have a right to participate in this communion, in despite of minor differences and distinctions.
II. ITS NATURE. It embraces within its sphere —
1. All the holy and happy intelligences in the heavenly world.
(1) The Father, in the purposes of His grace, the provisions of His mercy, the communications of His love; the Son, in the nature He assumed, the obedience He rendered, the sufferings He endured, the blessings He procured; the Holy Ghost, in His light, purity, and consolations.
(2) Unfallen angels. We come, in the exercises of this communion, to the "innumerable company of angels."(3) The disembodied spirits of "the just made perfect."
2. All the disciples, followers, and friends of Christ, who are now living in the present world. They have communion with each other —
(1) In the belief of the same truth (2 John).
(2) In the participation of the same spiritual privileges: justification, adoption, regeneration, hope, consolation, joy.
(3) In the pursuit of the same objects: the glory of God, the advancement of Christ's kingdom, and the happiness of the whole human family.
(4) In the celebration of the same ordinances: reading, singing, praying, preaching, and sacramental commemoration. This ordinance of the Supper, referred to in the text, is at once the badge, the seal, and expression of this fellowship.
III. THE VALUE AND BLESSEDNESS OF THIS COMMUNION. Consider —
1. How it has been purchased. It became necessary to this end, that "one man should die for the people;" that He might "gather together in one the children of God" — "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me."
2. How it is produced. The Holy Spirit visits the heart to purify it, and thereby lay a foundation for the existence and interchange of this charitable fellowship.
3. How malignantly it is grudged and envied by apostate spirits. The great design of Satanic policy is to divide the people of God, and to interrupt their communion.
4. How inexpressibly sweet and refreshing it is, and how helpful and strengthening.
5. What it foreshows and prognosticates.Conclusion:
1. Let us be thankful if we know anything of this subject.
2. You who are strangers to this bliss, come and enjoy it.
(G. Clayton, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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?