Communion? Why the Name?

Many churches have named themselves after a landmark, a street location, a city, a number, or a theological concept. We did the latter!

Communion means: to share, to participate, to contribute, and to fellowship. Although today, "communion" is immediately associated with the observance of the Lord's Supper, the original use for the word extends well beyond this setting.

There is an important Greek word in the New Testament (koinonia) which is most often translated into the English word, "fellowship." This word is used to describe our relationship with God and others -- our primary relationships must reveal our love for God, and love for others. This kind of relationship requires sharing, participating, contributing, and fellowship.

A Little Background

In the Garden of Eden, before their fall, Adam and Eve had complete fellowship with God and with each other. They lost this fellowship with God and each other when they rebelled and sinned. God decreed to re-establish this fellowship throughout the history of the entire Bible, and to His glory alone, sovereignly restores this fellowship with humanity through the person of Jesus Christ.

Now, please re-read the previous paragraph. And for each mention of "fellowship" insert the word, "communion." In fact, when reading the Bible, this same task can be performed. This is why the name "communion" is important to those who want to restore proper relationships to life. Here is another Bible example: 1 John 1:3 "... so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ."

Church History

The English Reformers of the 17th century (who are a part of our "spiritual ancestry") chose the word "communion" as THE WORD that best expressed our relationship with The Triune God and fellow believers. A word search of the Westminster Standards of 1647 demonstrates this reality as the word "communion" appears 25 times. Here is one example:

Westminster Longer Catechism; Question # 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, adoption, sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him.

Now, many of these words require some unpacking, but if you understand what they represent (mainly, that our relationship with Christ permits us to share in all his goodness and righteousness for all eternity!) you will have a greater appreciation of the whole of the Gospel message. This concept is the core of the Good News that we preach and is the foundation for our hope.

God extends to every member of His church the promise and assurance of salvation in Christ. The Bible says, "in Christ" because Jesus earned for himself, in his sinless life, the unbridled love that a Father has for a completely obedient son. God loves Christ, not simply because he was His son; but because Jesus was always pleasing to Him 100% of the time with 100% of who he was (and is). By grace, through faith, we are get to "share, participate, contribute, and fellowship" in that love = Communion!

What we share with Christ, we share with others...

Since we now have "communion" with Christ, we likewise share in a common fellowship with fellow believers: If you have any encouragement from being [united with Christ (communion)], if any comfort from his love, if any [fellowship with the Spirit (communion)], if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being [like-minded (communion)], having the [same love (communion)], [being one in spirit and purpose (communion)]. -- Philippians 2:1-2

We believe in the "Communion of the Saints" -- come and share!