Where There is Fellowship, There Is Strength

 William Gurnall (d. 1679) has a great paragraph on the fellowship of the saints in his book, The Christian in Complete Armor. In one section, he discusses what he calls “recovery of declining grace.”  In other words, if a Christian is not wielding his armor as he should, or if it is getting rusty, what is he to do?  How can he grow in grace after languishing?  He mentions repentance, faith, and meditation upon Scripture.  He also mentions Christian fellowship, the “communion of the saints” in the language of the Creed.  I’ve modernized the words to make it a bit easier to read.

“Join the fellowship and communion with the saints in your area.  It is no surprise to hear that a house gets robbed when it has no other houses around it.  He that walks in communion of saints travels in company, he dwells in a city where one house keeps watch over another.  The devil knows the damage he does in hindering this great ordinance of communion of saints – in doing this he hinders the progress of grace, indeed, brings that grace which Christians have into a declining, wasting state.  The apostle couples these two duties close together, to ‘hold fast’ our ‘profession,’ and to ‘consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works’ (Heb. 10:23-24).”

“Indeed, it is a dangerous step towards apostasy to forsake the communion of saints; so it is said of Demas that he ‘hath left us, and embraced the present world’ (2 Tim. 4:10).”

There are many good illustrations that show that Christian fellowship is good for our faith, spiritual strength, obedience, and sanctification.  A soldier is weak apart from his unit, a coal gives off little heat alone, the ship that strays from the convoy is often sunk, predators go after the prey who has left the flock, and so on.

In another place Gurnall summarizes it well.

“God so orders things that we should need one another.”

These quotes were taken from The Christian in Complete Armor (or Armour depending on where you live!), pages 241 and 350 of the Banner of Truth one volume edition.

shane lems

4 thoughts on “Where There is Fellowship, There Is Strength”

  1. What would you say to someone who’s only been able to visit churches once in a while, and is having trouble locating a biblical church in his area? I’ve been lacking this biblical fellowship for a long time, and it’s absolutely horrible.

    If I may ask, do you know of any God-glorifying, reformed churches in the Montreal, Canada area?

    Thanks,
    Chris

    Like

    1. Chris – not belonging to a solid biblical fellowship is tough on a person’s spiritual life and growth. It’s hard to give advice without knowing the details, but we have more than a few families that drive from 20 to 45 miles to worship with us each Sunday (and I know of solid Reformed churches where people drive even greater distances). If you want specific advice or more details, send me an email – you’ll find it there on the front page our church’s website (www.urcofsunnyside.com).

      To find a good church in the Montreal area, I’d strongly recommend contacting Farel Reformed Theological Seminary in the downtown area. I’m sure they’d be able to help you. Website: http://www.farel.net

      By the way, it’s encouraging to see you desire to be part of the fellowship in a solid biblical church.

      Blessings,
      shane

      Like

      1. Thank you very much for this, Shane.

        The Farel Theological Seminary’s building is one I’ve walked by many, many times, and I never even noticed what it was! I’ll seek them out and ask them for direction as soon as possible.

        Thanks,
        Chris

        Like

  2. Good to hear, Chris, and many blessings! If you think about it sometime in the future, let me know how it all turns out. I’ll pray for you and this situation as well.

    shane

    Like

Comments are closed.