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Summary: We are called to more than just being ’the holy catholic church’- we are aclled to communion with one another. But we are also part of the great commuion of saints with those who have gone before us. They are watching and willing us on.

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I believe in… the communion of saints WBC 25/11/01am

Jn 15:9-17, Heb 11:32-12:3, 12:18-24

INTRO

= a progression from “the Holy Catholic Church”

- cf last Sun pm

- God only sees one church. Has one church

- = holy. Set apart. Called out to be sent back in

- = catholic: diverse, broad, varied

- acknowledged that those who love Jesus are

- our brothers and sisters

- fellow workers for the KOG

- doing it in different ways

so- why is it necessary for the creed to repeat this by saying “the communion of saints?”

Well- an acknowledgement of the Holy C Ch IS important

- but can be an acknowledgement with reservations, limitations… incomplete picture or commitment

- eg “I acknowledge they are… we are Christians…and we worship together-….. but that’s as far as it goes!”

in this statement of belief there is no escaping that being a Christian goes much further…

- demands more of us wrt relationships with one another

- it necessitates COMMUNION

COMMUNION WITH ONE ANOTHER

This word is in the Bible. It’s koinonia, and it means ‘fellowship’

- lives in intimate overlap (rather than minimal involvement)

- it’s the kind of thing you see in Acts 2:42, where the believers dedicated themselves to

- each other

- fellowship

- THE fellowship.

- It’s the kind of love and commitment that is encouraged (commanded?) in Jn 15

- It’s the kind of word that is used of fellowship in marriage and partnerships in business, education, society

It’s the kind of relationship we are called to with each other

- the fellowship of the saints. Fellowship with people made HOLY by God

- not made PERFECT! You’ll have plenty of opportunities to

- learn that… forgive that!

But it is the kind of relationship we are called to…crying out for

- and maybe too busy, unaware or distracted to know it!

Folks can easily be

- isolated and crying out for it OR

- so overwhelmed with superficial diary driven events, responsibilities and meetings where we don’t really ‘meet’

Need to realise that it is a strategy of Satan to keep you from real, refreshing relationships… friendship… koinonia

What can I say? Is asked the Lord about this- “What can I say, Lord, to a busy and diverse people?”

“Invest in relationships. Make room for meetings where you can MEET. In your hearts/spirits. Be more relational (rather than organisational). Be more fluid… fun… fellowshippy…

… and make room to meet in your hearts with people

- love one another deeply from the heart (1 Pet 1:22

- practice hospitality. Hang out with one another”

Others will see this and want to join you

Today: take one step forwards towards the “communion of saints”

- let’s build a community

- come into this community! You will be v welcome, here

- a community, here… united by Jesus

But there’s another aspect to this “communion of saints” in the creed. A v important aspect. An oft neglected aspect- but a v clear Biblical aspect.

- we are united with one another because of Jesus… and that communion is not severed by death

COMMUNION WITH THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE

Hence the Heb 11 reading

- the ‘Holy Catholic Church’ refers to the church MILITANT, here


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