What comes to mind when someone mentions the word “fellowship”?
Coffee at church? Small talk?
In the New Testament, “fellowship” was a robust, meaning-soaked word. In the original Greek it’s koinonia. In Acts 2:42 we read, “They [believers] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship [koinonia], to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Whatever fellowship is, it’s definitely something to be taken seriously.
At the time of Jesus, it implied a sort of business partnership. Think of a few people banding together for a new fishing business, pooling their resources, and embarking on a shared venture that had a direct impact on their livelihood.
That’s a true fellowship, a true partnership.
With that in mind, Professor D.A. Carson says, “Christian fellowship… is self-sacrificing conformity to the gospel.”*
It involves banding together with others, sacrificing your own personal ambitions for your collectively shared vision: the world-changing and hope-saturated good news of Jesus.
Coffee and small talk is great. But don’t stop there.
True fellowship—banding together with other believers under the banner of Jesus—is a gift you both receive and give at the same time.
Friends, in this age of isolating individualism, take your fellowship—your koinonia—seriously. Give. Receive. Support. Repeat.
We’re in this together. Not because we’re the same, but because we have the same Saviour.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Ever wonder what the word “Fellowship” means in the New Testament? One thing’s for sure. It’s much more than the watered-down version it’s often thought to be. Click here to listen to my latest sermon about this. It’s called “Proactive Partnership” and is Part 1 in the “Mature” series.
–I’m a part of FabFeb with Fight4Freedom this month (hence the red bow tie you see me wearing), raising awareness and funds to fight human trafficking in the sex trade. Click here to learn more about the campaign or to donate.
–*D.A. Carson, Basics for Believers: The Core of Christian Faith and Life (BakerBooks: Grand Rapids, 1996), 18.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.