The word “communion” means “an instance or act of sharing.” When the Apostles’ Creed talks of the “Communion of the saints,” it doesn’t restrict that to the Lord’s Supper or the Holy Communion where believers come together to commemorate Jesus’s sacrifice through the wine and the bread. The communion of the saints is deeper than this ordinance.
The communion of the saints incorporates the believers in the past, believers in this present era, and believers in the years to come. The believers share a common salvation in the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers who have passed on from this world with their faith in Christ, are termed to have the same salvation as the present believers who are alive today. Also, those who will come after the current believers will have the same salvation that we have.
The communion of saints is what every believer of Christ share in common. Together, they believe that through his death and resurrection they have been forgiven and saved by Jesus’s life, set from death and law of sin, and will pass the spiritual death to eternal life. The death and resurrection of Christ made them permanent children of God. They also believe that they are God’s tools and workers to do the good deeds as those of Christ the Lord. After good service on earth, believers know that they will be given an eternal home in the New Jerusalem where they will live with the Lord. These are just but a few blessings that believers have in common.
Here are five communions:
Communions in the faith
This is the faith of Catholic Church that they received from the apostles.
Communion of charisms
These refer to the ”manifestations given by the Holy Spirit for the common good of believers.”
Communion of the Sacraments
Sacraments link all the faithful believers to each other, and together they remember the body of Christ that was presented as a form of salvation.
Communion of common goods
All Christians share in the belief that they should be agents of good deeds. It is their responsibility to be the salt of the world.
Communion in Charity
The communion of saints believes in oneness. In that, if one member suffers, everyone suffers because all believers are just but parts of the same body. In the same way, if one member is honored, all believers rejoice together.
The concept and idea of the communion of saints are linked with Apostle Paul’s teaching that all Christians form a single body. You can find these teachings in 1st Corinthians 12 and Romans 12;4-13.
For an in-depth look, watch the following course: