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 Sermon on Communion Service

Our Need for Each Other

By Brian Pepper

John 17:21 says,  "That they all may be one..."

Today I would like to take up another aspect of the Lord’s Supper.

There are two fundamental needs in the life of every person. One is the need to be an individual; to learn to stand on one's own feet. We can never be responsible member of a community until we are first of all an individual.

Our Need to be a Member of a Family

But there is another need equally as important. It is to learn to be a member of a family or community. This is very important for each one of us for we belong to a very close family, that is, the family of God.

Jesus Himself was very much an individual yet He was a member of a family also, and that is the kind of relationship He must have had with the disciples.

The burden of Jesus' prayer following the Last Supper with the disciples was "that they all may be one." That is why He had come; without it His kingdom would fail. He sought to bring men together into a brotherhood they had never known before; into a close family relationship men had never dreamed possible.

It is very important that we should understand that Jesus had not come to save men by snatching one up from here, another from there.

The Kingdom of God is not made up of individuals but a family of God; a congregation of people who are bound to God by the closest tie, and who are just as closely bound to Christ.

Just as an individual does not lose his individuality in the family so it is with those who become one with God and Christ.

A Deep Need to be Loved

Jesus recognized in the lives of men and women there is a deep hunger and thirst to know and to be known, to love and  be loved, to feel oneself to be a part of other people. 

A well known doctor made a study of a thousand people who and committed or attempted suicide. He listed some facts about each one and put these facts together. One thing that stood out and that was that those who did not have any strong ties to other persons or group of person were most likely to commit suicide.

He also discovered that a Protestant is more likely to commit suicide than a Catholic or Jew, since Protestants do not have the same sense of “belonging," or being members of a larger community of faith, as do Catholics and Jews.

A Need for Friendship or Fellowship

One of the deep hungers in every human being is for fellowship, or friendship and friendly association.

During the Christmas holidays we spent a week in Hobart camping in a caravan park and traveling on day trips to various places. One of those trips was to Port Arthur, and we joined a conducted tour of the ruins. The guide told us of the floggings the convicts were given, but far worse was the solitary confinement, for in pitch darkness the man had to stand alone. Few of us would be able to stand that for very long.

A Desire to Live Happily Together

Deep in our souls we desire to live together happily. False pride, stubbornness, resentment, an unforgiving spirit, often builds up a barrier that separates us from not only our own flesh and blood family but our heavenly family.

"Keep together!" said Jesus, and He prayed, "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are."

How sad that because of our waywardness this prayer has not been fulfilled as Jesus would have wished it to be.

Hundreds, yes thousands have lost that togetherness, that heavenly family relationship. That is why it is so important that on this solemn occasion as we celebrate together the Lord's Supper we should consider this aspect of Christian relationship.

Difficulties in Achieving Togetherness  

Almost the first words that a small child learns to say "I," “me,” “mine.” Many people are never able to learn to say “us” or “our” with any sincerity or conviction. They never get beyond “me”, “my job,”  “my house,” “my wife,” “my children,” “my town.”

This reveals that that person has failed in the task of becoming individuals and can never achieve real membership in a community.

It often shows up in our church relationship, for you will find church members who become very parochial. Their church, wherever that church may be becomes "my church," and they lose sight of the fact that they are members of the universal church of God. (The Catholic Church means World Church).

One of the biggest problems the missionaries face is to get the people to recognize this family relationship. For instance, Fiji, where the Fijians dislike the Indians so intensely.

It was not intentional that Jesus when asked to teach His disciples to pray should have told them, "When you pray, say, Our Father…our daily bread…our debts.”

Unless we can live together right here in our church at …. (a town in Tasmania) there is no use of us trying to live together in Heaven.

I read an interesting statement in a book. A barefoot man makes a poor shoe salesman.

That We All May Be One

"I pray," said Jesus, "that they all may be one." We must be one. It is only as we see the implications of this statement of Jesus and make it a reality in our lives that we can become part of God's great family.

One of the supreme tragedies of the world, a kind of miscarriage of the truth, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be a source of division instead of union. (Ireland Protestant/Catholic) Often the case is that instead of uniting men it divides them.

Because the Hebrews missed and obscured the truth that we were meant to be a community, a family of God; they forfeited the right to be the apostles of salvation to the entire world.

"Have we not all one father? cried the prophet. "Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?" But he cried in vain, even as did another prophet and Saviour centuries later when He said weeping, "0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.”

Getting Right With Our Fellow Men

We have often thought of salvation as man getting right with God but Jesus said that it is also a man getting right with his fellow man.

Not only the thief on the cross, but also the prodigal son returning home; is the complete picture of Salvation as Jesus taught it.

So when Zaccheus saw God through Christ he said, "Lord the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I  restore him fourfold."

How often have we missed the truth that we are saved only as we are saved in relation to others.

Church Meant to be the Family of God

The church, the fellowship of those who know God through Christ, was never meant to be a collection of individuals only lightly held together in an organization.

It was meant to be a congregation of souls who know themselves to be the family of God. “A colony of heaven,” as Paul put it. The measuring rod of discipleship is "that we love one another, as I have loved you." "That they all may be one."

Let us take the Supper together today with this prayer of the Lord ringing in our hearts.

Let us be conscious of the spiritual presence with us of our brothers and sisters in Christ who love the same Lord in sincerity and truth.


The Bible in Song Sermons category is expected to be enlarged over time as hard copy sermon notes are scanned, typed and edited in webpage format. Visit Sermons Page for the complete list of sermons and Bible Commentaries

  PDF Sermon Files
Click image for sample. The Complete Sermon Collection is available at the Store Page. It includes 169 sermons which are listed on the Sermons Page, plus several audio visual sermonettes and a number of incomplete sermons. Original typed sermon notes have been scanned in PDF files on a DVD.


  PDF Revelation Files
Easy access to all the uploaded Revelation Bible Commentaries written by Brian Pepper. Also a CD of the complete Book of Revelation consisting of 22 PDF files scanned from original typed documents. These files can be downloaded by Adobe Acrobat to view on computer screen, or printed in booklet or other format.


  SDA Prophecy Chart
Bible in Song Sermons and Commentaries pages have exposed flaws in the "2300 day" prophecy chart most notably used by Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day Adventists in their biblical interpretation have favored the tradition of their founding fathers over Scripture and the "divine revelation" of their own prophet Ellen White. Read more.


Thank you for posting some of (Brian Pepper's) sermons. It's like reading the very words Jesus has spoken to me and is a great encouragement. I cannot say that about many Pastors but I can say that about (Pr Pepper). Thank you. Robert (USA) ... more testimonials.



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