Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 26
II. Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification [d]; as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their several abilities and necessities. Which communion, as God offers opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who, in every place, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus [e].
[d] Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Ver.25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Ver.46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.
Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. [see also Micah 4:1-5 ]
1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
[e] Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; Ver.45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
[2 Corinthians 8-9]
Acts 11:29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Ver.30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Westminster Confession of Faith
III. This communion which the saints have with Christ, does not make them in any wise partakers of the substance of His Godhead; or to be equal with Christ in any respect: either of which to affirm is impious and blasphemous [f]. Nor does their communion one with another, as saints, take away, or infringe the title or propriety which each man has in his goods and possessions [g].
[f] Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Ver.19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.
1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Isaiah 42:8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
1 Timothy 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Ver.16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Psalm 45:7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
With Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Ver.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
[g] Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Acts 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.69. What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification [t], adoption [v], sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him [w].
[t] Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
[v] Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
[w] 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Q.82. What is the communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is in this life [w], immediately after death [x], and at last perfected at the resurrection and day of judgment [y].
[w] 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
[x] Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
[y] 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.83. What is the communion in glory with Christ which the members of the invisible church enjoy in this life?
A. The members of the invisible church have communicated to them in this life the firstfruits of glory with Christ, as they are members of him their head, and so in him are interested in that glory which he is fully possessed of [z]; and, as an earnest thereof, enjoy the sense of God’s love [a], peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and hope of glory [b]; as, on the contrary, sense of God’s revenging wrath, horror of conscience, and a fearful expectation of judgment, are to the wicked the beginning of their torments which they shall endure after death [c].
The members of the invisible church have communicated to them in this life the firstfruits of glory with Christ, as they are members of him their head, and so in him are interested in that glory which he is fully possessed of [z];
[z] Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Ver.6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
[a] Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
compared with 2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and hope of glory [b];
[b] Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Ver.2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
as, on the contrary, sense of God’s revenging wrath, horror of conscience, and a fearful expectation of judgment, are to the wicked the beginning of their torments which they shall endure after death [c].
[c] Genesis 4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Matthew 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Romans 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Mark 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
End of Lesson, Day 101
For Further Study:
CHAPTER XXVI. - Of the Communion of Saints - Commentary by Gordon H. Clark
Chapter XXVI. Of Communion of Saints - Exposition by Robert Shaw
Chapter 26: Of Communion of Saints - Commentary by A.A. Hodge