Wilhelmus `a Brakel was a pastor and theologian from the Netherlands. He lived from 1635 to 1711. He is perhaps one of the most noted and loved theologian among the reformed churches in the Netherlands. His four volumes on Dogmatics are titled “The Christian’s Reasonable Service” (published by Reformation Heritage Books, Grand Rapids, MI.). His works are renowned for depth of theological understanding, clarity of style and practical experiential insight. The following quotes are taken from chapter 26 in volume 2 of his works. I hope that you will find these a blessing as I certainly did.
Union with Christ Will Necessarily Result in Communion with Christ
As a consequence of belonging to each other and the resulting union, there will of necessity be communion; that is, the exercise and utilization of this relationship. This communion is both with the Person of Jesus Christ and with His benefits.
First, believers have and exercise communion with His Person. A temporal believer concerns himself only with the benefits and has no interest in Christ Himself. Believers, however, have communion with the Person of Jesus Christ, but many neither meditate upon nor closely heed their exercises concerning Christ Himself. They err in this, which is detrimental to the strength of, and impedes the growth of, their faith. Therefore we wish to exhort them to be more exercised concerning the truth of belonging to each other, and the union and communion with Jesus Himself. They will then better perceive the unsearchable grace and goodness of God that such wretched and sinful men may be so intimately united with the Son of God. Such reflection will most wondrously set the heart aflame with love. It will strengthen their resolve to put their trust in Jesus without fear. It will give them strength and liberty to obtain everything from Him to fulfil the desires of their soul, causing them to grow in Him, which in turn will generate more light and joy (II: 90-91).
Exhortation to Seek Communion with Christ
Since believers are partakers of Christ and all His benefits, how heartily and continually they ought to be exercised concerning this union! (II: 92).
The Manner in Which Believers Exercise Communion with Christ
This communion is exercised in the following manner: In beholding the Lord Jesus in his beauty, desirability, and fullness. In doing so one attentively contemplates upon the Counsel of Peace, in which the Son of God out of love for His elect willingly offered Himself as their Surety. From there one descends to meditate upon His assumption of the human nature, His bitter suffering in its entirety, and then His cursed death. From there one proceeds to His resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God. In all of these one beholds His love, His willingness, the efficacy of the atonement, and all His fullness unto the salvation of the sinner. Here the soul pauses with longing eyes desiring a further, clearer, and closer view of His perfections. He desires to find delight in such contemplation, to be ignited with love, to joyfully acknowledge and approve of Him as such, and to praise and to magnify Him. In this manner a believer beholds Jesus (II: 94-95).
The soul who thus beholds Jesus, the heart going out in love towards Him, will share with her Beloved the frame of her heart, her love, and her grief for not loving Him more. She will bring all her needs to Him, reveal her desires to Him, make supplication to Him, plead affectionately with Him, and beg of Him sweetly for the fulfillment of her desire. She listens to what Jesus has to say to her, turns herself to His Word, deeming it to be the voice of her Beloved (II: 95).
Exhortation to Remain Steadfast in Exercising Communion with Christ
Rather, acquaint yourself with Him. Let the exercise of this communion be your daily task when you are alone, when you are in company, and when you are engaged in your profession. May Jesus always have your ear, and may there always be a view upon Him (II: 96).