Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints

  1. All saints are united to Jesus Christ their head by his Spirit and by faith. Although this does not make them one person with him, they have fellowship in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory.1 Also, being united to one another in love, they have communion [fellowship] in each other’s gifts and graces,2 and are obligated to discharge their public and private duties in an orderly way, so as to bring about their mutual good, both in the inward [spiritual] and outward [physical] man.3

1 1Jn 1.3; Jn 1.16; Phil 3.10; Rom 6.5-6 2 Eph 4.15-16; 1Cor 12.7; 1Cor 3.21-23 3 1Thes 5.11, 14; Rom 1.12; 1Jn 3.17-18; Gal 6.10

  1. Saints by their profession [open testimony to Christ] are bound [obligated] to maintain a holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God and in carrying out other spiritual services which tend to their mutual edification [building up].4 They are also to relieve [ease or assist] one another in outward things according to their several abilities [capacities] and necessities [needs].5 According to the rule of the gospel, the saints are especially to exercise [carry out] this communion in the relationships in which they stand, whether in families6 or churches.7 Furthermore, as God gives opportunity, this fellowship is to be extended to all the household of faith, to all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. Nevertheless, their communion with one another as saints does not take away or infringe [violate] the title or individual ownership which each person has of his goods and possessions.8

4 Heb 10.24-25 with Heb 3.12-13 5 Acts 11.29-30 6 Eph 6.4 7 1Cor 12.14-27 8 Acts 5.4; Eph 4.28