What Is Fellowship?
Fellowship is not just spending time with someone. The New Testament word koinonia (Strongs 2842) literally means partnership. The Philippians were partners with Paul in spreading the gospel (Philippians 4:15-17). How? They supported Paul to do the work. As we can be partners with each other, we can also be partners with God. We are Gods fellow workers in His work (1 Corinthians 3:5-9; 2 Corinthians 6:1).
I. Partnership (in a work)
II. 2 Cor 6:14 ~ In this verse, fellowship is partnership or communion with light. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
- 1 John 1:1-4 ~ John was working with God and Christ in their work. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us); that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
- Acts 2:42 ~ They were partners in Gods work. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
- Romans 15:26 ~ Contribution was partnership in the sense of 2 John 2:11 (partner) in their work. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
- 1 John 1:6 ~ Fellowship is partnership in walking in light. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.
- Walking in light is walking according to Gods commands.
- Walking in darkness is walking without the knowledge of God.
- Galatians 2:9 ~ The right hand of fellowship is partnership in taking the gospel to the world. And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
- Philippians 3:10 ~ Here fellowship is partnership in Christs suffering. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
- Hebrews 13:16 ~ Fellowship using the term communicate is being partners by supplying basic needs so they can serve God. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
- 2 Corinthians 8:23 ~ (Strongs 2844) Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
- Philemon 17 ~ If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
There is the same basis (and condition) for fellowship between man and man as between God and man.
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen (2 Corinthians 13:14).
The condition for fellowship is walking in the light.
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:4-7).
What does walking in the light, mean? We know several things about walking in the light. We know that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). We also know that the life of Christ is the light of men (John 1:4). We should understand that our deeds must be wrought in God (John 3:19-21). And finally we should remember that God severs fellowship with those who turn to darkness.
We see in Amos 3:1-3 that God would no longer walk with Israel because they were not agreed anymore. Another passage speaks about God divorcing Israel (Jeremiah 3:6-8). We must also sever fellowship with those who turn to darkness.
If we walk in the light, we have fellowship. (1 John 1:7).
Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11).
What communion (fellowship) can there be between light and darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14)?
Darkness includes false doctrine (2 John 1:9-11).
Darkness also includes sinful behavior: A brother who will not repent of sin against another brother must be as a heathen man and a publican to the church (Matthew 15:15-17). There is no more partnership there. The church must withdraw from those who are guilty and unrepentant of immorality (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The King James Version.
Published in The Old Paths Archive