As a part of a Wednesday night class at my church, I am reading The Communion of Saints: Living in Fellowship with the People of God, ed. Philip Ryken. The book has some really good points. One can be seen in the quote below which states well that the church is not simply a ‘good idea’ but the communion of saints within a specific congregation is a necessary part of Christian living.
“We are not “united in love,” as Luther put it, simply because once we are saved it then makes sense to engage in communal duties. The Christian church is not merely a convenient way for individuals to practice their social piety. Rather, we are united in love because we are united to Christ by the Holy Spirit through faith. The Puritan Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) put it like this: ‘As we are knit to Christ by faith, so we must be knit to the communion of saints by love.’ There is no other kind of new life but common life, because fellowship with Christ in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory is communal. We enjoy his graces by sharing our gifts. We participate in his sufferings by carrying one another’s burdens.” (p. 60)