Brethren Archive

The Uniting Syllable

by Inglis Fleming

The syllable “com” at the beginning of words frequently means “with” and designates association and identification. Some of these words having reference to our Christian life and course come before me and I pass them on to others.

First of all


As sinners without righteousness, without strength and without hope of saving ourselves we may commit ourselves to Christ for salvation. The shipwrecked mariner leaves the wreck and trusts himself to the lifeboat. So the believer of the gospel sees Christ as the true Lifeboat and gives up all confidence in self and confides in Christ. He who does this “he that believeth on the Son” commits himself to Him “hath everlasting life” (John 3:36). Christ never fails. We may trust Him fully. So the Apostle Paul could say, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). Paul had placed all his soul’s well-being—all his interests for time and for eternity in the Lord’s hands and was assured of their security.

The Psalmist could cry “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring to pass” (Ps. 37:5). (We should omit the preposition “it”, as supplied in the Authorised Version). Leaving ourselves as to our whole course in the hands of infinite goodness and wisdom and love, trusting in Him altogether we may know that “He will bring to pass”—He will act in His own ways on our behalf for our true and lasting benefit.

Being assured of our salvation and blessing we should


with our Saviour. When He chose the twelve apostles it was first of all “that they should be with Him” (Mark 3:14). He desired their company. This was at the beginning of His ministry. At its close He could commend the apostles as those who had “continued with” Him during His time of trial here and for this He promised reward of high degree (Luke 22:28-30). He calls us in our measure today to this companionship in spirit. As Enoch of old “walked with God” and “pleased God,” so it is ours today to walk so as to please God (1 Thess. 4). If we do this any service He may have entrusted to us will be coloured by our being much in His presence. There we shall catch His spirit and be moulded and fashioned aright for our ministry. In His company we are privileged to


with Him. He speaks to us in His Word, the Scriptures, and we speak to Him in prayer.

It is said of an old servant of God that on one occasion when reading the Bible he was overheard to say “I think Thy thoughts after Thee, O God.” Communion, or fellowship with the Father and with the Son by the Holy Spirit, is our highest privilege, as the children of God. To have thoughts in common with the Father about the Son and His interests, and to have thoughts in common with the Son about the Father and His interests—this is high honour indeed

And amid all the breakdown in the Church as set up in responsibility here, this communion is available for us. In Laodicean days of lukewarmness and of indifference as to Christ, we may hear His voice as He knocks in grace at the door. Then opening to Him and He will come in and sup with us and we with Him. He will enter into our need and meet us where we are, and then conduct us into the realm of His own delights where need is unknown.

Following this it is ours to


to others of that which we have received. And as we do this we shall find enlargement for ourselves and enjoy in a new way that which we minister to others.

It has been said that we can “only really claim that which we proclaim.” Certain it is that blessing for ourselves is wrapped up in our seeking the blessing of our fellow Christians and in the gospel-presentation to the sinful and sorrowing in a stricken world. “For we must give if we would have [Such is the law of love].”

I remember that on one occasion when I was feeling the need of comfort, the word came to my mind “Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people, saith your God.” Others needed more comfort than I and in seeking to comfort them I was comforted.

So it will always be. Watering others we shall be watered ourselves.

May each of these “coms” be known by us all. So shall we be blessed and made a blessing to others.


S.T. 1938

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