Monday, November 29

What is Fellowship?

Fellowship. What is fellowship?

Is it just Wednesday night supper at church? Is it just gathering to enjoy the company of other believers?

What is the meaning of fellowship in the New Testament?
The Greek word used most often is koinonia, which means partnership, joint participation, to share in common, community, communion, communication, distribution, contribution, intimacy, and so on.

Here are a few scriptures using koinonia...

* joint participation
“They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.”
(2 Cor. 8:4 NIV)
* sharing in common
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” (Acts 2:44-45 NIV)
* communication
“As you share your faith with others, I pray that they may come to know all the blessings Christ has given us.” (Philemon 6 CEV)
* contribution
“For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.” (Rom. 15:26 NKJV)

These scriptures describe fellowship in terms of outward expressions of action.
Another one describes the gathering of believers in the early church, “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47 NLT)

But there is another side to fellowship. It is not only an act but also an experience. It is having an intimate relationship with the Lord, as Paul said, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:9 NKJV)

Paul wrote of his desire, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” (Phil. 3:10 KJV) We share in the intimacy of Christ’s fellowship, participating in the benefits of what He accomplished at the whipping post, in the judgment hall, on the cross, and through His resurrection.

But what happens when life’s events, trials, and sorrows invade our hearts, straining that scarlet cord of fellowship?

* Do we loosen our hold on that cord, putting a distance between God and us and hindering our flow of intimacy with Him?
* Or do we shorten that cord, drawing closer to Him?
* Do we draw near to Him with our lips while our hearts yearn for other things?
* Does God then say to us as He did to the Israelites, “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” (Is. 29:13a NIV) If we do this, we miss out on the most precious of all relationships and all it offers us.

What keeps the passion and intimacy going? Sound like a marriage? Guess what? It is! A holy marriage. We are the Bride and Jesus is the Beloved Bridegroom. Just as it is necessary to keep the communication door open in our earthly marriage, it is necessary, and even more so, to keep the communication door open in our heavenly marriage.

Is intimacy with the Lord missing in your life? Do you long for those tender whisperings of the Holy Spirit?

Spend time sitting at your Beloved’s feet, fellowshipping with Him, for only then will love deepen, resulting in that intimate relationship with Him.

I pray you will draw in that scarlet cord of intimacy that you may experience the Lord’s presence in a new and special way this glorious Christmas season.

~~This post is part of the One Word Blog Carnival at Hop on over to read the other blog posts on Fellowship.~~

17 Responses
  1. Thank you Lynn for another excellent post. Fellowship in His sufferings... we don't use that one much indeed!

  2. Awesome post Lynn. Love the Bride & Bridegroom analogy. Fellowship is often so misapplied in today's language as it relates to the original Greek & Aramaic writings. I love how you tied the Old & New Testaments together using "fellowship" and believers uniting in love & purpose. Thanks!

    (Heb. 10:23)

  3. Glynn Says:

    You're right, Lynn, we did travel in similar paths on this post. I like how you asked the question and then moved deeply into fellowship as an experience with Christ. Well done.

  4. You have gently reminded us to honor God not just with our lips, but with our heart, our hands, our feet and our fellowship with Him and with other believers.

  5. caryjo Says:

    I am reading Revelation over and over right now... and today I was reading the portion re: the wedding. Every time I read that part, I just breathe with great joy, and so look forward to it.

    Lots of great bits pointed out by your wisdom and insights.

  6. L.L. Barkat Says:

    Over at Glynn's the other day, he was talking about this word. And I said I had this fun picture in my mind, suddenly, of all of us "fellows" aboard a ship, delightfully sailing. I like that picture, and I'm going to try to keep it. :)

  7. Melanie Says:

    Wonderful post and information on the true meaning of 'fellowship' -- thank you!


  8. Unknown Says:

    Thanks so much, my sweet friend Marja! So glad to see you! Love you!

  9. Unknown Says:

    Thanks for your wonderful comment, Deborah! Glad you made into the carnival! :D

  10. Unknown Says:

    So honored to be following behind you, Glynn! Thank you so much for taking time to read this and comment. You bless me!

  11. Unknown Says:

    Hazel, Thank you so much for visiting. Makes my heart happy!

  12. Unknown Says:

    Caryjo, I'm with you! Isn't it an exciting thought? Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Unknown Says:

    LL, I'm honored to have you visit. I read that comment of yours. I loved it! Such a great thought! Thanks for commenting!

  14. Unknown Says:

    Thanks so much, Melanie, for commenting. I deeply appreciate it!

  15. Laura Says:

    They will know us by our love for one another, right? I love this in depth word study, Lynn! Wonderful stuff here.

    Thank you for stopping by the Wellspring. You know what? I do have an email subscription to my blog. It's on my sidebar under the heading "Something Good for the Inbox".

    I hope it is, and thank you for asking!

  16. lynnmosher Says:

    Oops! Laura, how did I miss that? Am now a subscriber! Yay! Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting. I'm honored! Blessings to you!

  17. Excellent description.

    I like how you move from act to shared experience.

    And taking LL's thought of all of us on a ship a little further. We might sail through calm and rough waters, but we've got an experienced Captain.