Creation 2.0: Unity with God

We are familiar with the countless passages that urge Christians to be one with each other, but we’re uncomfortable when the text urges us to become one with God. After all, God is just too big, too powerful, too other …

And yet there is clearly a sense in which such unity is urged as one of God’s purposes in saving us through Jesus.

The thought is implicit in more familiar images. We Christians are the body of Christ — making us, in some sense, one person. The church is the bride of Christ — which surely implies a unity comparable to the “one flesh” unity of husbands and wives described in Genesis 2.

And then there are such cosmic passages as —

(Eph 2:4-7 NAS)  4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Paul pictures Christians as united with Jesus in his resurrection and therefore on his throne.

This imagery is likely borrowed from Daniel 7 —

(Dan 7:13-14 ESV)  13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.  14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

In verses 13-14, the kingdom is given to the Son of Man, the Messiah. But later in the same chapter, the “saints” (or holy ones) possess the kingdom.

(Dan 7:18 ESV)  18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’

(Dan 7:21-22 ESV)  21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,  22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

(Dan 7:27 ESV)  27 And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’

Paul interprets these these passages as, of course, both true — the Son of Man and the saints will reign together as one.

Now, it would be a huge mistake to imagine that this unity with God and Jesus somehow makes us part of the Holy Trinity. We are repeatedly pictured as spending eternity worshiping and serving God, not as being God.

And yet the idea of being united with God should not be dismissed merely because it might be taken too far.

The Orthodox call this unity theosis. They also call it “deification,” which is a term I find more misleading than helpful. To become like God is not the same as becoming God. Will we be divine in the afterlife? It’s a matter of definition, I suppose, but to most people, words like “divine” and “deity” distinguish the Trinity from all others, and that distinction is eternal, as even the Orthodox concede. Therefore, I prefer theosis to mean becoming united with God and like God in the scriptural sense but not being elevated to the same level as the Trinity.

As explained in the OrthodoxWiki

Through theoria, the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ, human beings come to know and experience what it means to be fully human (the created image of God); through their communion with Jesus Christ God shares Himself with the human race, in order to conform them to all that God is in knowledge, righteousness and holiness. Theosis also asserts the complete restoration of all people (and of the entire creation), in principle. …

All of humanity is fully restored to the full potential of humanity because the Son of God took to Himself a human nature to be born of a woman, and takes to Himself also the sufferings due to sin (yet is not Himself a sinful man, and is God unchanged in His being). In Christ, the two natures of God and human are not two persons but one; thus, a union is effected in Christ, between all of humanity and God. So, the holy God and sinful humanity are reconciled in principle, in the one sinless man, Jesus Christ. (See Jesus’s prayer as recorded in John17.)

This reconciliation is made actual through the struggle (podvig in Russian) to conform to the image of Christ. Without the struggle, the praxis, there is no real faith; faith leads to action, without which it is dead. One must unite will, thought and action to God’s will, His thoughts and His actions.  A person must fashion his life to be a mirror, a true likeness of God. More than that, since God and humanity are more than a similarity in Christ but rather a true union, Christians’ lives are more than mere imitation and are rather a union with the life of God Himself: so that, the one who is working out salvation, is united with God working within the penitent both to will and to do that which pleases God.

Theosis is thus a doctrine repeatedly and plainly taught in scripture that is largely ignored by the Western church. In the West, the goal is to get saved and so go to heaven when we die, which is accomplished through faith actuated in baptism (or the sinner’s prayer, in some denominations). The saved person then lives a good, moral life, attends church, contributes tithes, and tries not to mess up so badly as to fall away (or demonstrate that he was never really saved in the first place).

A more mature approach to life after baptism is for the church to call the Christian into the mission of God, so that the Christian is no longer merely trying to be a good, moral person and church member, but the Christian is actively seeking the realization of the Kingdom through serving those in need and evangelism. This is surely one step toward becoming like God, because we share in God’s mission.

The Orthodox call the Christian to become like God by being transformed into the image of Christ. In Protestant churches, this is sometimes called “spiritual formation.”

In contemporary Protestantism, discussions of spiritual formation tend to run toward such practices as meditation, prayer, and lectio divina, that is, toward highly individualistic spiritual disciplines designed to create “disciples.”

In Orthodoxy, theosis is achieved by very different means —

First, [theosis] is not something reserved for a few select initiates, but something intended for all alike. …

Secondly, … [theosis] always presupposes a continued act of repentance. A saint may be well advanced in the way of holiness, yet he does not therefore cease to employ the words of the Jesus Prayer ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.’ …

In the third place, there is nothing esoteric or extraordinary about the methods which we must follow … : go to church, receive the sacraments regularly, pray to God ‘in spirit and in truth,’ read the Gospels, follow the commandments. The last of these items — ‘follow the commandments’ — must never be forgotten. Orthodoxy, no less than western Christianity, firmly rejects the kind of mysticism that seeks to dispense with moral rules.

Fourthly, [theosis] is not a solitary but a ‘social’ process. We have said that [theosis] means ‘following the commandments;’ and these commandments were briefly described by Christ as love of God and love of neighbour. The two forms of love are inseparable. A man can love his neighbour as himself only if he loves God above all; and a man cannot love God if he does not love his fellow men (1 John 4:20). Thus there is nothing selfish about [theosis]; for only if he loves his neighbour can a man be deified. ‘From our neighbour is life and from our neighbour is death,’ said Antony of Egypt. ‘If we win our neighbour we win God, but if we cause our neighbour to stumble we sin against Christ’ (Apophthegmata (P.G. 65), Antony 9). Man, made in the image of the Trinity, can only realize the divine likeness if he lives a common life such as the Blessed Trinity lives: as the three persons of the Godhead ‘dwell’ in one another, so a man must ‘dwell’ in his fellow men, living not for himself alone, but in and for others. ‘If it were possible for me to find a leper,’ said one of the Desert Fathers, ‘and to give him my body and to take his, I would gladly do it. For this is perfect love’ (ibid, Agatho 26). Such is the true nature of theosis.

Fifthly, love of God and of other men must be practical: Orthodoxy rejects all forms of Quietism, all types of love which do not issue in action. [Theosis], while it includes the heights of mystical experience, has also a very prosaic and down-to-earth aspect. When we think of … Saint Basil caring for the sick in the hospital at Caesarea, of Saint John the Almsgiver helping the poor at Alexandria, of Saint Sergius in his filthy clothing, working as a peasant in the kitchen garden to provide the guests of the monastery with food. …

Finally, [theosis] presupposes life in the Church, life in the sacraments. Theosis according to the likeness of the Trinity involves a common life, but only within the fellowship of the Church can this common life of coinherence be properly realized. Church and sacraments are the means appointed by God whereby man may acquire the sanctifying Spirit and be transformed into the divine likeness.

In fact, the Orthodox approach sounds a lot like a combination of the spiritual disciplines and missional living, with a much healthier emphasis on living as part of the Christian community and participating in the Lord’s Supper. That is, the Orthodox have managed to avoid the taint of radical Western individualism, and yet I think even they’ve missed the heart of theosis. They’re very close, but not quite where the scriptures call us to go.

It’s not that they’ve entirely missed the idea, but like the Protestants, both talk around the idea and never really get to what strikes me as the key point.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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28 Responses to Creation 2.0: Unity with God

  1. Jerry says:

    One of the favorite passages in our plea for unity (meaning that all denominations we”re to come into our fold) as I was growing up and in my early years of preaching was John 17:20-21. “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You that they also may be one in us that the world may believe that You sent Me.” I never heard the emphasized portion of this text stressed, at least not to my recollection. Nor did I often hear the following two verses, which amplify the point:

    And the glory which You gave Me I have given them that they may be one just as We are one. I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

    This, I believe, is the point you are making in this post. Thank you for pulling this not so obscure point from texts often used, but in which we have neglected this “oneness” with God.

  2. John says:

    Jerry, thank you so much for you comment. I too preached it to mean that the denominations had to become one with us. And, I have to admit, that I have a few “old time religion” memories of sitting in country church buildings when I was a child listening to relatives preach it that way and feeling so proud.

    But, amazing is it not, that once the real meaning of out unity in God becomes clear how embarrassed we feel about the superficial way we treated it? But, then again, that is what happens in growth. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child…” I do not preach anymore, but I still ask God each morning to help me through the growing pains.

  3. Zach says:

    I was always confused about the exact theology CoC has concerning the Lord’s Supper, but do you consider it like we do as an act that literally brings you into communion with the whole catholic church(read as all Chrisitans) and in communion with God(being a foretaste of heaven and becoming one with God in communion and worship)?

  4. Ray Downen says:

    We sometimes feel only distaste for ones who do not share our views. Jay does well to point out that we in God’s family are not all alike and yet we are to love one another! And if we DO love others whose views may be sometimes conflict with our own, surely we will seek to learn from them as well as to teach them. We are not always already right. Are we teachable?

  5. Ray Downen says:

    In my previous post I revised a sentence and left in it a “be” which doesn’t belong. It should read “And if we DO love others whose views may sometimes conflict with our own . . . “

  6. Ray Downen says:

    Zach speaks of the supper which we share to honor Jesus. I’ve heard that Paul’s admonition concerning “not discerning the body” might be concerning the Lord’s church rather than the physical body of Jesus. Some make the meal something very private and personal. Should it not be instead a time of loving the living body of Christ and seeking fellowship with all that body? We are called to love, and surely that love should encompass not only our own physical family but also all who form the family of God. Do we really love those whose opinions and practices differ from our own?

  7. Ray Downen says:

    John and Jerry correctly point out that the Lord’s call for us to be united with other believers is not limited to only those who share our every opinion and practice. Can a person be our brother or sister without agreeing with us in every matter? Is it possible that we might be wrong in some opinion about what the Lord wants from us? Should not every observance of the Lord’s Supper be a call to each participant to love all others who also love Jesus? How diligent we should be to encourage others to learn what we have learned from Bible study. But when will we have learned it all perfectly? Only then can we believe others have to join US in order to be serving Jesus acceptably. And how grateful we should be when others do seek our company or accept our joining with them in service to Jesus Christ.

  8. Jerry says:

    Zack,

    Generally speaking, I’m afraid the Church of Christ does not have a very robust view of the Lord’s Supper, even though we strongly emphasize its weekly observance. I appreciate what Ray said above, and there is a growing awareness of communion with all of the saints and with the Lord in many pulpits – and to a lesser extent among those in the pews. Most of our teaching on the Supper has been on how to partake of it than it has on the why. The focus has been more on the physical suffering of Jesus on the cross than it has been on Him as the King of His Kingdom and the fellowship of the whole Church and the heavenly hosts.

  9. Alabama John says:

    Zach,
    In the COC around here, children nor folks that are not a member in good standing are not to partake of the Lords Supper. That means no visitors and its your job if they came with you to inform them of that before hand.
    If you observe someone that is a member of the congregation not taking it, you can bet they are going down front at the invitation song.
    It is not to be taken unworthily.

  10. Larry Cheek says:

    Alabama John:
    I hope that you are just poking fun into the conversation. But, I think not. I would be very interested if you can provide a New Testament example of the actions that you describe. I have always understood that the scriptures placed the responsibility of the worthiness in this action, into the participant, the Christian individual. I have never seen instructions for anyone to analyze another Christian’s heart or relationship with Christ prior to participating in this memorial. Suppose that there was one in the assembly that was not worthy, not yet a Christian, or a christian that is not observing it correctly, what effect would that have on anyone else in the assembly? Could your correct observance be made void by the one setting beside you? If that could be true than you could never participate in an assembly unless all assembled were totally obedient in all things, otherwise you would be contaminated. In fact, you could be the contamination for another. I have understood that we are to become Christ like. I am sure that you will agree. Is there anyone that can show us from the scriptures how many of the people that Christ associated with or fellowshipped with, ate with that were perfect? Christ like means that we would do as he did.

  11. Terry says:

    Zach can’t speak for all congregations but where we attend there is no one observing who should or should not take communion. Anyone that wants to or their parents allow take communion. We encourage all believers to participate. It is a holy rememberence of our Lord death and his gift of salvation. The scriptures speak of it heing a communion with God and I believe it to be so vs. a ritual we observe. It is a heart to heart moment with God, thanking Him for His Son, His Love and and our gratitude for being loved and saved through Jesus Christ.
    God Bless

  12. Zach says:

    Alabama John– out rules for who can take communion is all Christians which is defined as those who are baptised by water in the name of the father son and holy spirit. If you really dont allow all Christians including visitors than that makes me very sad and misses the entire point of it.

  13. Alabama John says:

    Zach,
    Christians are those who heard, repented, confessed, obeyed, were baptized and then added to the church by God, not by a church board. Only those members that have done this, and church of Christ does, are Christian, others are not.
    “There’s not one example in the bible where it is taught that a non-Christian could take of the Lord’s Supper. You will not find where a child under the age of accountability partook of the Lord’s Supper. First off, yes, a non-Christian and a child could take of the Lord’s Supper, but it would be in an unworthy manner. Even if a Non-Christian took of the bread and cup and knew what it represented and did it with sincere intentions, it would serve no purpose. They would be going through the motions of what a Christian is supposed to do but yet they are lost. They can take the Lord’s Supper all day long, but it won’t make them a Christian. For the Lord’s Supper to have meaning and to be done in a worthy manner, you have to be a Christian. The only reason a child under the age of accountability should not take of the Lord’s Supper is that they are not mature enough to reflect on the true meaning of Christ’s Death and be in remembrance of what He did and represented. Now heed the warning of this verse:
    1Corinthians 11
    27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink “this” cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of “that” bread, and drink of “that cup. 29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”
    This last was from a paper on this subject from COC preacher Cougan Collins 2002
    We should keep them from doing this unworthily as I said above.

  14. Zach says:

    Yes I agree it’sbaptized Christians who should partake i was referring to not letting visitors who are baptized Christians not and I do beleive that is unfounded.

  15. Larry Cheek says:

    Alabama John:
    You state; “There’s not one example in the bible where it is taught that a non-Christian could take of the Lord’s Supper.” Equally, There’s not one example in the bible where it is taught that you are to supervise those taking the Lord’s Supper.
    We can see that you chose to be a judge of the minds of people, where God never gave you authority. You state that it is your or our duty to control the actions of those that we are not aware of their relationship to Christ. A visitor that comes to your service is refused the opportunity to participate in the observance of The Lord’s Supper until you have a knowledge of their proper obedience and commitment to the Lord. How dare you to administer such personal judgment, with out any example from the scriptures that supports the action that you describe. You have confirmed exactly what I stated earlier, you believe that you will be held responsible for someone in your service, possibly setting next to you, committing a sin in their observance of our Lord’s instruction “Do this in remembrance of me”. Neither you or no other man has been given authority to set a rule that treats a visiting Christian in this manner. You have quoted this verse in support of your actions. 28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of “that” bread, and drink of “that cup. 29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” Yet, this verse defines who is to do the examining and it is not you or any other than the one eating and drinking. Teaching and instructing is your duty, not control. I realize this is probably the most blunt of all the posts I have ever made, but this is how I have seen your comments. If you think that I would not apologize, just prove what I said as wrong with the instructions in the scriptures and notice my reaction.

  16. BeABerean says:

    So if a Christian has not been baptized they are not worthy to partake the Lord’s Supper with you guys? Wow…Jesus shared the Lord’s Supper with His disciples…would you say Jesus was wrong? If baptism makes someone worthy to partake the Lord’s Supper, His disciple’s baptism must be recorded somewhere in the Bible…

  17. Alabama John says:

    Larry,

    I would also be so bold as to jerk a person from falling into a fire and hurting themselves.

    Any time we can keep someone from doing something wrong or unworthily we should. In the right and kind attitude of course.

    Stopping someone from:1Cor 11:29 He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

    Now is a big issue made or a scene caused if they do? No.

  18. Alabama John says:

    BeABerean
    The one you describe would not be a Christian. All things are not recorded in the Bible.
    If all that happened was written, the world could not hold the books.

  19. BeABerean says:

    Baptism being the Bread of Life you guys teach…there wasn’t any room to record Jesus’ disciples baptism..not even Peters?

  20. Terry says:

    Ok I will wade in:
    John 3 NIV

    22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

    John 4 NIV
    1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.

    as to communion, here is the practice of the early Followers:
    Acts 2 NIV
    42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

    are we breaking bread daily, giving our possessions to others?

    There is a passage saying: they worship Me but their hearts are far from Me.

    Let us encourage each other and all around us to worship God with our Heart.

    I saw a woman at the back of the building in worship she had her hands raised in praise and then she bowed low before God in worship. She didn’t so this for show because she was at the very back. I only saw her because I walked in at that time.

    It was clear this woman was worshiping with all of her Heart and praising Him. I felt like I was on Holy ground at that time.

    Praise God, let us adore Him!

  21. Alabama John says:

    No one does Acts 2:43 anymore either.

    Giving possessions to others? You should think about how much we Americans pay in taxes to support food stamps, welfare, and so many more that they could not dream of back then. Americans are the most charitable people on earth.

    My point is same as Acts 2:47 praising God and enjoying the favor of ALL the people. (emphasis mine)
    The Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
    Doesn’t say all were saved does it?

    Also note the Lord added to them, not a board of a denomination of some new named religious group of which today there are thousands. Added to them is based on their requirements so varied as to be absurd. Seems pretty obvious they are trying to be as like God in authority of adding as they can. They deserve no respect, only disdain.
    EGOs cause a lot of our divisions!

  22. Larry Cheek says:

    Alabama John:
    I see that you missed part of my point, maybe I wasn’t clear enough as I explained it. First, you had mentioned that some one that was not a Christian might partake and be guilty of, “He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” When in reality it is only a Christian that can receive this damnation. A non-Christian is already there, you mentioned he cannot be made a Christian by partaking, which is true, but it is also true that he cannot be pushed any closer to damnation by participating; participating cannot change anything about his relationship. You cannot pull him out of the fire by your actions.
    Second: As a Christian is the only one that can be affected by this participating, and you have no abilities to read his mind and discern if he is going to partake in a worthy manner. Therefore, you have absolutely no authority to interfere with any Christian’s participation in the Lord’s Supper. If you chose to continue doing that you will be the one that is eating and drinking unworthily, eating and drinking damnation to yourself, not discerning the Lord’s body. It is not the Lord’s body that hung on the cross that is being discerned, it is the Lord’s body the church, your Christian brethren.

  23. Alabama John says:

    Larry,
    Our difference is who is a christian and who is not.
    All Christians can partake. You and I are in agreement on that.

  24. Jerry says:

    How sad that comments on a post calling for Unity with God have degenerated into a discussion of open or closed communion! It was exactly the customary “closed communion” of the Presbyterian Church that caused Barton Stone to leave that fellowship after the Cain Ridge Camp Meeting in frontier Kentucky in 1803. It was a similar attitude in 1809 that led Thomas Campbell in Pennsylvania and his son, Alexander, in Scotland simultaneously to leave the Old Light Seceder Anti-Burgher faction of the Presbyterian Church (which was just another faction among many within Protestantism, which was itself a split from other believers – probably with good reason) and to seek a better way. Now, it seems that some of us have come full circle.

    Because we misunderstand a phrase in 1 Cor. 11:29, “not discerning the Lord’s body” we are ready to try to judge who is or is not welcome at the Table. May I remind everyone that it is the LORD’S Table, not ours. He is the host; we are His guests. If you are invited to my table and you object to another guest at that table, I will be most displeased with you – and may even invite you to leave if you cannot be reconciled to the fact that I have friends of whom you may not approve.

    Several comments back, Ray observed

    Should not every observance of the Lord’s Supper be a call to each participant to love all others who also love Jesus?

    This is absolutely true. You see, the context of 1 Corinthians 11 points to “the body” we are to discern at the very least including the body of Christ, the church. In 1 Cor 10:16-17, “the body” is the church; in 1 Cor 12:12-27, “the body” is the church; in 1 Cor 11:17-22 (which is sandwiched between the two passages mentioned), Paul addresses division in the Corinthian church and even says some despise the Church of God because of their activity involving the Lord’s Supper. His corrective was to remind them that the Lord commanded us to “do this in memory of me.” He did not say “in memory of my horrible crucifixion.” He said it was to be in memory of HIM, not of His “death on the cross” which is the way many people introduce the Lord’s Supper in our congregations today.

    Now, His death is certainly a PART of remembering Him – but we also need to remember His life of love, mercy, and compassion – and of inclusiveness. We are to remember His service to His disciples as He washed their feet (including the feet of Judas) – and His instruction to us “to do as I have done” and wash one another’s feet. This is what is involved in “discerning the Lord’s body” – to remember that Jesus has washed me, and that I am to wash the feet of all who are my brothers and even to extend this attitude of service to those who are not children of God.

    The rest of 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 is equally misunderstood: “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” The NIV here has “in an unworthy manner,” which reflects the fact that this is an adverb, not an adjective. It does not say, “whoever is unworthy and eats….” but says, “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup… unworthily….” This suggests to me that it is the attitude in which we partake, not whether or not we are “worthy to partake” that matters. In fact, it is likely when we feel unworthy that we partake most worthily. Which of us could ever stand before God in the presence of Jesus and the holy angels and declare that we are worthy to be with Him at His table?

    Now if we are unable to do that, what makes us qualified to judge whether someone else is “worthy” enough to sit with us at the Lord’s Table?

    Come on, brethren! Let’s remember the Lord – and act accordingly.

  25. Larry Cheek says:

    Jerry:
    Amen, Amen….

  26. Alabama John says:

    Unity with God?
    We’ll never achieve it on this earth. It s never been done and never will by mortal man. All we do is use our imaginations and minds that only know and understand a limited amount of facts and do what we feel at the time is what Gods wants us to do. Those around for any length of time have adjusted or to be more blunt, changed our minds, on what it takes to be totally or closer to Unity with God, sometimes many times. To feel we have it all right now is to overlook how many times we have felt that way.
    Then we have the other extreme where we believe in partaking of the Lords Supper at any time and with anyone that wants to do so. Also don’t believe its only for !st day of the week nor any special time. Actually that is how I feel and believe.
    You see, in the final analysis, we stand alone to be judged in regard to our unity with God.
    Our judging others is not our appointed task and we shouldn’t do it.

  27. Jerry says:

    AJ said,

    Unity with God?
    We’ll never achieve it on this earth. It s never been done and never will by mortal man.

    We need to consider 1 John 1:3. “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (ESV). John follows this with “But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    Fellowship, in this context, implies unity. Our fellowship with one another, if we are walking in the Light, is also fellowship with the Father and the Son.

    A.J. is right in saying that we never achieve this, but we do receive it as a gift from our Father and His Son.

  28. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Zach,

    The original Church of Christ/Restoration Movement policy on communion was stated by the early Restorers in the 19th Century: “We neither invite nor debar.” We don’t judge. This has been the prevailing rule in every church I’m familiar with.

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