Heavenly Communications in the Body of Christ

In his sermon on 1 Peter 3:18, John Flavel presents several “deductions of truth” from the doctrine of adoption. All of are worthy of contemplation but it there is one which, in my estimation, is greatly neglected in our time: namely Christian conversation. Note that I did not speak of conversations amongst Christians (which could be on any particular subject) but Christian or better Christlike conversation. Flavel presents many scriptural reasonings why this should be our regular practice and I encourage you to read through them. Most of all, may this meditation stir up your souls to speak with grace in the fellowship of the saints. 

How comfortable and sweet should the converses and communication of Christians be one with another, in this world! Christ is bringing them all to God through this vale of tears: they are now in the way to him; all bound for heaven; going home to God, their everlasting rest in glory: every day, every hour, every duty brings them nearer and nearer to their journey’s end, Rom. xii.11. “Now (saith the apostle) is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” O, what manner of heavenly communications and ravishing discourses should believers have with each other as they walk by the way! O, what pleasant and delightful converse should they have with one another about the place and state whither Christ is bringing them, and where they shall shortly be! What ravishing, transporting, transforming visions they shall have that day they are brought home to God! How surprisingly glorious to them the sight of Jesus Christ will be, who died for them to bring them unto God! how should such discourses as these, shorten and sweeten their passage through this world, strengthen and encourage the dejected and feeble-minded, and exceedingly honour and adorn their profession? Thus lived the believers of old, Heb. xi. 9, 10. “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” But, alas! most Christians are either so entangled in the cares and troubles, or so ensnared by the delights and pleasures which almost continually divert and take up their thoughts by the way, that there is but little room for any discourses of Christ and heaven, among many of them: but certainly this would be as much your interest as your duty. When the apostle had entertained the Thessalonians with a lovely discourse of their meeting the Lord in the air, and being ever with the Lord, he charges it upon them as their great duty, to comfort one another with these words, 1 Thes. iv. 17,18.”[1]

1. Flavel, John. The Works of John Flavel, Volume II. “Sermon XIX: The Saints Coming Home to God by Reconciliation and Glorification, Opened and Applied.” (1 Peter 3:18) Carlisle, Pennsylvania: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1968, page 285.

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