Fellowship, 'koinonia' in the Greek, comes from the word 'koinos' which means 'common.' We can therefore conclude that fellowship is a sharing of what we have in common.
To have fellowship with one another, we must both be walking in the light. We cannot be unequally yoked spiritually. We must both first be in fellowship with God the Father because of the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Life in Christ is the foundation upon which fellowship is built.
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship (koinonia) with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
We are partners with other believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This yields an appreciation and cooperation with one another in seeing our common life shared with others.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership (koinonia) in the gospel from the first day until now. (Philippians 1:4-5)
Acts 2:45 describes the early church -- "Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need." They recognized that all we have is from God and should therefore be used for His purpose in our life together. Their fellowship extended beyond their local bodies to contributing to the needs of other church bodies. It also involved more than the sharing of their material resources but also their time, talents, and spiritual gifts.
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing (koinonia) with them and with everyone else. (2 Corinthians 9:13)
A common life promotes relationship with one another.
A common purpose promotes unity with one another.
A common stewardship promotes serving one another.
Hence, fellowship is sharing in our common life in Christ by relating to one another in oneness of heart through various means of serving each other in love.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:1-7)
Fellowship is not. . . standing around talking with a cup of coffee in your hand.
. . . a one way street wherein one believer gives to or helps another.
Fellowship is. . . the mutual, reciprocal sharing of our life in Christ.
. . . the fulfillment of the one-another commands of Scripture.
Fellowship requires a depth of expression toward one another. You can find some suggestions for how to help people get below the surface in the Body Life Ministry Manual.Share This with Others:
More on Fellowship:
- Does True Fellowship Need to be Restored in the Church?
- Church Fellowship Ideas in a High Tech, Low Touch World
- Getting Disillusioned People to Open Themselves to True Fellowship
- Ideas for Getting Busy People to Engage in True Fellowship
- Stressed Out People Need True Fellowship
- The Church is a Community
- The Church's Purpose to Love People Is Expressed Through Fellowship
- Resources & Ideas for Fellowship