In review, I suggested in a previous article that ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î± (koinÅnia – often translated “fellowship”) is not produced by various activities, i.e. “fellowship” meals. Instead, ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î± is a common sharing among believers that results in various activities such as shared meals. While the distinction may seem merely semantic, it is important for the life of the church. Does the church rely on activities to produce ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±, or does it recognize that ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î± should be a part of the life of all believers, because of the source of ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±.
What is the source of ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±?
That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship (ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±) with us; and indeed our fellowship (ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±) is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3 ESV)
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation (ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±) in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, . . . (Philippian 2:1 ESV)
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship (ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±) of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship (ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±) of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV)
ÎšÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î± is the common union between believers that is produced by God through the Holy Spirit. Our ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î± with other believers is a direct result of our ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î± with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As such, ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î± cannot be produced by believers through activities. Instead, all who are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, share a common connection with other believers: “There is one body and one Spirit…” (Ephesians 4:4 ESV) “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…” (1 Corinthians 12:13 ESV)
As God produces ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î± in the believer, the believer will naturally demonstrate that ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î± through various activities – specifically through sharing their life with others. This type of sharing may include meals, conversations, contributions, etc.
Therefore, the church should not attempt to create ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±. Instead, it must teach believers how to “devote themselves to … ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¯Î±” as described in Acts 2:42. This will be the topic of the next article in this series.