True CommunionBy Todd Bentley

A great thought for the day. This verse gives true hope, assurance, and peace. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love" (Ephesians 1:4 KJV). God chose us and secured us by His blood, before the beginning of time, that we be holy and without blame (guiltless) abiding in His love. It's always been in His purpose that we are in His love. It is His purpose that we are in love and communion.

"So that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ" (see I John 1:3).

What is True Communion?

Communion is a relationship of shared (or mutual) affection. To experience communion, there needs to be fellowship and communication - e.g., shared affections, response, delight, and satisfaction. It needs to be an active communion (union) and not just a state of passivity.

John Owen writes, "Communion relates to things and persons. A joint participation in anything whatever, good or evil, duty or enjoyment, nature or actions." Communion refers to God's communication and presentation of Himself to us, together with our proper response to Him.

Look at this quote by John Piper. "Communion with God is the end for which we were created. The Bible says that we were created for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:7). Yet glorifying God is not something we do after communing with Him, but by communing with Him. Many human deeds magnify the glory of God's goodness, but only if they flow from our contentment in communion with Him."

True Communion

There is no love of the Father separate from Christ, as we cannot love the Father without Christ! The love of God is poured out through the Holy Spirit because of Christ's sacrifice. True communion (union) is rooted in abiding love. "And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:5).

In true communion, there is always two parts. It's a mutual communication. First, we are secure and abiding in the revelation of His love for us. Then we respond with our mutual love and affection for Him.

We cannot truly love Him unless He loves us first. "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10). Again, we have full confidence is His love, because He chose us and loved us first. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Our love for God is in response to His love.

Assurance of the love of God for us is key to unbroken fellowship. The security of His love is the very foundation in which we walk with God. How do we truly know we are in this fellowship with the Father? "If we say that we have fellowship (communion) with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" (see I John 1:6). "He who says, 'I know Him' (I have communion with Him), and keeps not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:4 NKJV). The greatest mistake we make is to think our fellowship with the Father, without holiness and obedience, as a fruit of faith, grace, and love, can be achieved. To keep His commandments serves only to prove the false to be liars. The love of the world and of the Father do not dwell together.

Communion in Fullness

I was thinking about a statement I made in earlier writings about knowing the fullness of God. In my understanding that God is one but yet three distinct persons, I believe to know God in fullness we must have communion with all three persons of the Godhead (Trinity). Here are some passages to consider on fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, clearly seen working in unity as one but yet three distinct persons.

"For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father" (Ephesians 2:18).

"Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness" (see Revelation 1:4-5 KJV).

The seven Spirits before the throne is the Holy Spirit of God. We see here again that the three members of the Godhead (Trinity) are joined together working in this verse. All of them mentioned are distinguished in their communication of grace and peace unto the saints. Grace and peace be unto you, from the Father, faithful witness (Jesus) and seven Spirits of God. Again we see in Corinthians God's desire for us is to have communion with each one of the distinct persons of the Godhead.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and THE LOVE OF GOD, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" (II Corinthians 13:14, emphasis mine).

We see here again the three distinct persons of the Godhead. It is the "love of God" that Paul peculiarly assigns to the person of the Father.

We see the fellowship of the Spirit is mentioned with the grace of Christ (Calvary). It is through faith by grace alone that we are saved. The cross was a manifestation of the love of God in action. It is through the Holy Spirit alone now that we can have fellowship with Christ in grace and with the Father in love.

"And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21 NKJV). - "manifest Myself in all My grace, presence, beauty, glory, and loveliness; you will know Me as I am." The real communication of grace in Christ is found in sending the Holy Ghost to save us. Then to create in us a habitual abiding grace that empowers us daily in our hearts and life with favor.

The word "communion" in this verse is referred to in the Greek text as "koininia." Communion in this context means unity, a close association, fellowship, close bond, or a partnership. The underlying message is sharing. So Paul was saying, "May you experience and share the intimate bond, the closeness, the unity, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, Father and Son. Paul infers there is something a whole lot deeper to the Holy Ghost here than just gifts and anointing. We can now know koininia with God.

I have a koininia relationship with the Holy Spirit. I dialogue with Him constantly. There is a bond that is so close I can't even describe it. We share, talk, ask questions of each other, and communicate openly. I ask Him questions and He gives me answers, and vice-versa. There is freedom in our fellowship. He's like a close buddy and accompanies me everywhere. I keep in step with Him (see Galatians 5:25). I don't have to wait for Him to come upon me or manifest in some way; I just know He's there.

Our communion with Jesus is greater. "Now, this is in GRACE. This is everywhere ascribed to him by the way of eminency (John 1:14). He dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; grace in the truth and substance of it. All that went before was but typical and in representation; in the truth and substance it comes only by Christ. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, verse 17; and of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace, verse 16; - that is, we have communion with Him in grace; we receive from Him all manner of grace whatever; and therein have we fellowship with Him."-John Owen

Fruit of Communion

There are many benefits of communion with the Lord. Some of these reminders will make you truly hungry for more. Remember the beauty of the Holy Spirit!

He is my friend, peace, and God-the fire and wind beneath my sail. Through His mighty power, we will prevail. He is my rain, my love from above-the fountains of the deep, and the restorer of my soul. He is the mighty witness power within. He is the Spirit of Christ, gifts, and graces.

"But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know" (I John 2:20).

"As for you, the anointing which you received from Him "abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him" (I John 2:27).

I love that He is my teacher, discerner-the one that leads and guides me in truth. He is the Spirit of wisdom and revelation-the one who quickens the living word and brings to remembrance all the words and works of Jesus. He teaches and reveals the mind of God, my counsel and understanding. He is abiding, adoption, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. The Holy Spirit is my comfort, assurance, and joy.

My Helper

"But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God" (see I Corinthians 2:10-12 NKJV). He sends us His Spirit as He promised to make known His mind unto His saints, and to lead them into all truth. And then the apostle concludes, "We have known the mind of Christ" (see I Corinthians 2:12). There is nothing in the heart of Jesus where His friends are concerned that He does not reveal to them. All His love, goodwill, the secrets of His covenant, direction, and the mysteries of the gospel, are told to us. And all this is spoken in opposition to unbelievers, with whom He has no communion. These know nothing of the mind of Christ as they should. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God" (see I Corinthians 2:14 KJV).

"There is a wide difference between understanding the doctrine of the Scripture as in the letter and a true knowing of the mind of Christ."-John Owen

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, 'And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:26-27 KJV).

Dwelling Place

The greatest privilege of communion is His abiding, dwelling, habitual presence. "The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us" (I John 3:24). This is the true union of communion-we abide in Him and He in us by the Holy Spirit. He has made us a habitation.

In Him,

Todd Bentley