The Greek word koinonia means “that which is in common.”
Fellowship often denotes membership in a local Christian church or in the Church [Body of Christ]. Acts 2:42 tells us that believers who were present at the Pentecost “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
In his thank-you note to the Philippians, Paul exhorts them to have their confidence in Christ. Chapter 3, verse 10 says, “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” He knew that identification with Christ was the key to pressing “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” In this instance, Paul wanted to share the commonality with His Savior, in the sufferings that would produce righteousness in him. The fellowship he spoke of was an intimacy he longed for, that the church might also embrace.
John also spoke of fellowship in his epistle, which was most likely written to the Asian churches. In I John 1:3-4, John writes, “…that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” John had personally seen Jesus converse with His Father, and heard the heartfelt prayers He uttered on behalf of His disciples and all believers. His desire was for the church to have that same intimate relationship with the Savior, and enjoy the full benefits of true sonship.
* This post is part of the One Word Blog Carnival at BridgetChumbley.com . Please visit her site to read the other blog posts on Fellowship *