Caring and sharing with 'one another'
So, what does this true fellowship Koinonia look like in practice?
This growing in fellowship with each other is aided by spending time together and by having meals together. We need to stop holding others at arm’s length. This is a natural defence mechanism that we need to overcome.
You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs, and you cannot make a true Christian Fellowship without getting involved with each other and with the Lord in the first instance.
We are of God’s family and household and like all human parents he wants his children to love one another.
The only one who gains from Christians not getting on is Satan! We need to walk in the light.
Philippians 2:1-2 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.
Koinonia is agreeing with one another, being united in purpose, and serving alongside each other. Our koinonia with each other is based on our common koinonia with Jesus Christ. What more can Christians have in common, One Lord, One faith, One baptism…
1 Corinthians 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
There should be such a complete identification with our brothers and sisters so much so, that whatever touches or affects them also directly affects us. We are members of the same body, the body of Christ.
How good are you at Christian fellowship, do you find it difficult, I confess I do, but I see need to obey the Lord in this? What will you do when a member from your church turns up at your doorstep needing help?
1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Today we are going to look at other ways in which we as brothers and sisters can interact with each other.
Just before moving on however, it is necessary to say something about smaller groups within a church fellowship.
Importance of smaller groups
As a church grows it often becomes difficult to get to know everyone and this can make it more difficult to have true fellowship with each other.
This problem can be overcome by forming smaller groups within the church.
These small groups may take the form of house groups but also may include ministry teams such as praise bands, children’s workers etc. The key thing in terms of developing koinonia fellowship is to get to know the people in your group, seeing them as close brothers and sisters.
In these groups we should really be taking care for each other, developing friendships, encouraging each other, praying for each other etc. etc. As industrious as our church leaders are, and they are, we can all play a part in caring for each other, with the more difficult situations and problems being passed to one of the elders.
‘One another’ scriptures
A powerful example of what koinonia should look like can be found in a study of the phrase “one another” in the Bible. Scripture commands us to be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10), honour one another (Romans 12:10), live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8), accept one another (Romans 15:7), serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13), be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32), admonish one another (Colossians 3:16), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13), spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24), offer hospitality (1 Peter 4:9), and love one another (1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11; 3:23; 4:7; 4:11-12). That is what true biblical koinonia should look like.
1 Pet 1:22 KJV) Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.
All these instructions in scripture can be summarised by saying the Lord commands us to live together in love as part of his family in a sincere, a committed and involved way. Each one of us,
needs a sense of belonging and being a functioning part, together with our brothers and sisters, in the body of Christ. If we do this our church fellowship will be pleasing to the Lord.
God is calling each church fellowship today become a true fellowship, a true koinonia, that is an intimate sharing of lives. Amen
1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion (koinonia) of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion (koinonia) of the body of Christ?
17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
(The Greek word for fellowship is κοινωνία.) One of the places we find this word is in 1 Corinthians 10:16 where the bread and cup of the Lord’s Supper are described as a “communion” in the body and blood of Christ. This word gets translated differently according to which Bible you use. Some say communion, others participation, and others sharing. I find “participation” to be the most helpful description of what communion is.
Roger Price, Chichester Christian Fellowship, Fellowship Life Series #1 (Koinonia) and #2 (Commune or community?) See 'Additional Resources section of this website.