My brother is rather that other person who has been redeemed by Christ, delivered from his sin, and called to faith and eternal life. Not what a man is in himself as a Christian, his spirituality and piety, constitutes the basis of our community. What determines our brotherhood is what man is by reason of Christ. Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us. This is not true merely at the beginning, as though in the course of time something else were to be added to our community; it remains so for all the future and to all eternity. I community with others and I shall continue to have it only through Jesus Christ. The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ, but through Christ we do not have one another, wholly, and for all eternity.
That dismisses once and for all every clamorous desire for something more. One who wants more than Christ has established does not want Christian brotherhood. He is looking for some extraordinary social experience which has not found elsewhere; he is bringing muddled and impure desires into Christian brotherhood. 25-26
Because God has already laid the only foundation of our fellowship, because God has bound us together in one body with other Christians in Jesus Christ, long before we entered into common life with them, we enter into that common life not as demanders but as thankful recipients. We thank God for what He has done for us. We thank God for giving us brethren who live his call, by His forgiveness, by His promise. We do not complain of what God does not give us; we rather thank God for what He does give us daily. And is not what he has given us enough: brothers, who will go on living with us through sin and need under the blessing of His grace? Is the divine gift of Christian fellowship anything less than this, any day, even the most difficult and distressing day? 29