Fellowship means sharing things in common with others and this can only thrive where love (Philippians 2:1-4) is present.
The word “fellowship” comes from a Greek word “koinonia” with root meaning “common” or “shared.” At times koinonia is translated to mean “contribution” as in (“Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints” (II Corinthians 8:4 KJV );
or “communion” (having something in common) as in “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (II Corinthians 13:14 KJV) – indicating having something in common or interacting with the Holy Spirit. It could also translate to mean “communication” “distribution.”
Dictionary.com defines “fellowship” as, “community of interest, feeling, etc. communion, as between members of the same church.”
Who to fellowship with:
Spiritually speaking as Christians we can and ought to fellowship, i.e., share things in common, with God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and other believers.
1. Fellowship with God:
a. He shares Father-Child relationship with us – John 1:12-13
b. He raised our status and shares His greatness with us by making us sit together with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus – Eph. 2:4-7
A writer by name of James Packer wrote in Your Father Loves You, published by Harold Shaw, 1986 that “Fellowship means common participation in something either by giving what you have to the other person or receiving what he or she has. Give and take is the essence of fellowship, and give and take must be the way of fellowship in the common life of the body of Christ.” He also wrote that this type of common relationship can only be fostered with people if it is first established with God. That is, without being in fellowship with God, it is not possible to have fellowship with people. This is affirmed in 1 John 1:3.
2. Fellowship with Jesus, the Son: We share his life, crucifixion and resurrection – 1 John 1:3
This makes us perfect in Him – John 17:23
It also our privilege of staying with Him where He is – John 17:24
3. Fellowship with the Holy Spirit: 2 Cor. 13:14
4. Fellowship with other believers in Christ: Acts 2:42, 1 John 1:3,7
It is in this type of fellowship that it is made clear that we are Disciples of Christ (John 13:35)
Who NOT to fellowship with:
Christians are not to fellowship with unbelievers, this means, we are not to share in common this world’s sinful lifestyle with them. 2 Cor. 6:14-18 says, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:14 KJV) – This statement indicates that light should not have anything in common with darkness. This does not mean we should pray to die or start living in our closets, but that we should abstains from the sinful deeds of the world.
Further Practices of fellowship:
- In fellowship, we find love and acceptance, where we share with each other information, substance, material, etc., or share and bear each other’s issues / burdens without judging (Eph. 3:17-19, Gal. 6:1-2).
- In fellowship we confess our faults one to another and pray for one another– James 5:16. Here we do not allow for gossip, tale bearing and back biting, etc to hinder commonality.
- In fellowship we do not run away from each other or from gathering. The bible says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25
The truth of God’s word is:
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (I John 1:6 NASB)
“But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7 NASB)
In John 17:21 Jesus prayed that His disciples should be one as He and His father were one
This is exactly the center of this discussion we are having today: that we may be one in all things, leaning, praying and breaking bread together.
May we be drawn closer to God as we endeavor to draw closer to people in Jesus name.
Do you have a sermon notebook for yourself? I have customized one for you. You can also request for my book “Chosen But Naughty” if you call 516-8605729. Also available for your benefit is a daily devotional that you may obtain by calling 718-658-8981