Love is defined by sacrificial giving. God gave His son; Jesus gave His life; the Holy Spirit gives His comfort and counsel to the children of God. These three forms of the triune God have sacrificed a portion of their perfected existence for the benefit of man. Now, in order to continue that cycle of love in the earth, mankind must be given something to give. To speak a common language and Illustrate a common love, we must have common ground, and that ground can only be founded by God, Himself. So, the Lord decided to share the things that enable Him to love. To replicate His painting, He gave us His paint, and this is the purpose for communion. Communion was instituted as the solution to God’s communication dilemma.
When it comes to communion, the trained religious mind will immediately think of bread and wine served at a religious gathering, but it’s much more than that. Communion is academically and most basically defined as “the act of sharing or holding in common.” It is “the sharing of intimate thoughts or emotions, especially on a spiritual level” or “a group of people having common faith (belief).” It is also “intimate communication.” Biblically, we will discover that communion is most broadly depicted as “having or making all things common.” The benefit of those with things in common is empathy, understanding and a foundation of familiarity for intelligible communication. Let’s observe how the Lord accomplishes communion in scripture.
“26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”
“18And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.“
In the beginning, when God created mankind in His image, He voluntarily shared of His own power and authority in the earth. He could have named everything and ruled all things directly. He could have continued to produce everything directly from His word with no in-between rulers, but He didn’t. He shared His creative and authoritative power with mankind and provided a direct, open line of communication to heaven. He could have also prevented our volition, but that would have still fallen short of complete communion, since He has the power to choose or choose otherwise. For this reason, He included an alternative choice to obedience which is symbolized and represented by the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
We were given access to everything about God’s power but to a lesser degree and dimension. This enables us to project the image of God much like any mirror presents a two-dimensional image of a three-dimensional original. All of these things have been given to us that we might understand His position and glorify His essence. We were even made to experience the same emotional satisfaction that the Lord encountered after seeing His image multiplied, and this is shown through Adam’s reaction to the woman who was created from him.
Genesis 2:18; 21-23
“18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” 21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
God experienced us come from Him, Adam experienced Eve come from him and mankind continues to experience life regenerated in their image. Perhaps the joys of childbirth—seeing a child come into the world bearing the physical attributes of its parents—can be likened to the joy that the Lord must experience as men and women are ‘born again’ into His loving image.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
It is evident that God has gone to great lengths for us to identify with His experience so that it’s easier to understand what He shares about Himself. In doing so, the Lord deemed communion essential for the communication of love. We’ll continue by summarizing the areas of communion into five R’s; they are foundational elements, shared from the Lord, that equip and empower us to reflect His image. We will also see the degree to which these five R’s were lost as a penalty of sin. And finally, we will discover how they will be restored upon the completion of God’s plan and what it means to walk in communion with with Lord. ****
The Five R’s of Communion are:
God shared Knowledge and awareness of truth.
When revelation is shared and perfected, God knows us and we know Him. There are no barriers blocking our awareness of His omnipotence and omnipresence. God sees us, and we are able to see Him for who He really is. We also see the world and each other with clarity, without the veils of darkness and deceit. 1 John 3:2
God shared access to unhindered communication.
When relationship is shared and perfected, there are unobstructed, open lines of communication. As is already existent within the triune God, nothing prevents our requests from being heard and nothing restrains God from communicating His intentions for us. Faith is seen in its purest form as doubt can no longer prevent belief in any word from the Lord. Communication is perfected with God and with men. John 16:23-24
God shared authority and dominion.
When rulership is shared and perfected, God can trust us with authority over His creation, and He can witness His loving image being reflected in the domain He has graciously given to us. He has total command, yet we are given authority within His authority. We are able to truly appreciate the greatness of God’s sovereignty within His infinite domain. Revelation 20:4
God shared the means and wherewithal to live and rule.
When resource is shared and perfected, we have access to God’s kingdom wealth, especially the creative power of God’s Holy Spirit. Angels are our protection and defense, and we are directly connected to the One who can create absolutely anything from absolutely nothing. Revelation 2:7
God shared Ultimate Purpose.
When reason is shared and perfected, there is a consensus of purpose. Our future is intertwined with God which ensures our eternity in Him. There is no such thing as multiple agendas, and everything and everyone works for the glory of the Lord. In that glory we are exalted by association, and the power of all humanity is greater than the sum of its individuals. Revelation 22:1-5
These 5 R’s highlight the strongest components of love. Revelation is essentially mutual transparency. Relationship is reciprocated communication, rulership is mutual trust, resource is equal benevolence and reason is unified purpose. This wholly shared experience constitutes communion, and it is humanity’s access to these things, shared from God, that enables us to perceive and regenerate His image. These 5 R’s are the common ground whereby we can intelligibly commune with God.
Communion was created for the purpose of expanding the love of our Creator, but realizing the value of these components of love can only happen if they are put in an environment to be used. We would never discover their value if they were never tested. How appreciable is the power of rulership if its authority is never challenged? How strong is the bond of any relationship if its loyalty is never proven? How efficacious are the resources we possess if there is never an occasion to use them? Because of the need to put love under trial, God would allow communion to be tested; He would allow it to come under attack.