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 NATURE OF THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS AS ONE BODY.
1. Who are the members of this communion?
(1) Some in show only. The openly wicked of course are excluded (Galatians 5:19-21). But hypocrites are seeming visible members of it (Galatians 2:4; 1 John 2:19).
(2) There are three sorts of real members.
(a) Real members in God's design, but not yet formed.
(b) Real members already perfected — the saints triumphant (Hebrews 12:22, 23).
(c) Real members formed, but not perfected yet — all saints on earth, whatever visible Church they belong to (1 Corinthians 12:12). These are they whom our text speaks of.
II. WHEREIN THIS COMMUNION CONSISTS, or how they are one body.
1. They have all one Head (Ephesians 1:22, 23; Colossians 2:19).
2. They are all animated by one Spirit (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
3. One grace of faith wrought by the self-same Spirit in them all (Colossians 2:12) terminates in and knits them to one head, the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 3:17).
4. They have all one heart and one mind in respect of fundamentals (Ephesians 4:5).
5. They are united to one another in love (Colossians 3:14; Ephesians 4:16).
6. They have a communion in one another's gifts and graces, as the case stands in the natural body (Ephesians 4:16).
III. THE PROPERTIES OF THIS COMMUNION.
1. It is a most honourable communion, for it is a communion with the Holy Trinity (1 John 1:3).
(1) The Father is the Head and Father of the communion (Ephesians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 11:3).
(2) The centre of this communion is the Son, the blessed Mediator. In Him all meet (1 Corinthians 11:3).
(3) The Holy Spirit is the internal original bond knitting all the members to Christ and among themselves (Ephesians 4:4).
2. It is a most rich communion. There are companies joining stocks together to advance worldly wealth; but the richest of them have nothing but trifles in comparison with the company of saints.
(1) They have communion with Christ, a common interest with Him who is Heir of all things.
(2) They have communion with God (Psalm 144:15), and with Him all things, since all is His, and He is theirs (1 Corinthians 3:21-23).
3. It is a most extensive communion. It extends —
(1) Over the earth; and so is called the Catholic Church (1 Corinthians 1:2).
(2) To the heavens (Hebrews 12:22, 23).
4. It is a holy communion. It is a fellowship of saints (Ephesians 2:19).Conclusion: One's partaking of the sacrament is a declaring himself to be of that communion.
1. It is a sign and badge of the commumion of saints. "We are one bread" — the one bread signifying that we are one body.
2. It is a seal of the communion of saints, and seals it effectually to all those that do sincerely take hold of the covenant (Romans 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
3. It is an engagement to the duties of this communion of saints (Ephesians 4:1-5).
(T. Boston, D.D.)
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?