FELLOWSHIP - 20 Amazing Bible Words To Know: (KOINONIA) Part 1
One of the most central ideas of the New Testament church is the idea of fellowship. The Apostles taught the followers of Jesus to think of themselves as brothers and sisters, like a family or a community of believers. How do you get such a diverse group of people to think that way? The Hebrews had many words for family, kindredness, brotherly love and such but the Greeks had a word that really zeroed in on exactly what the life of the church was all about. That word was “koinonia.” Koinonia means “fellowship” or “a partakering together.”
“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.”
To the Greeks, it described someone who entered into a business partnership with another person whom they didn’t really have a relationship with before. It was even used to describe two people who become married. Koinonia described the relationships that develop when men and women who come from different cultures, backgrounds and communities had to learn how to make life work together.
That’s especially difficult when there is little common ground to start with. But the church had something special that made koinonia what it is today: the Holy Spirit.
Tomorrow: How the Holy Spirit makes fellowship and community different from the world.