This and the next two posts will deal with these three subjects.
What do we learn about these subjects
simply from statements
in the New Covenant scriptures where they are addressed
and apart from any teachings of men?
What is fellowship?
-The Greek word KOINONIA is something shared by 2 or more people….shared partnership, shared
participation, shared social intercourse or shared financial resources. It is translated in the NT as
“fellowship”, “communion”, “communicate”, “communication” or “distribution”.
-The Greek word METOCHE is very similar…. It denotes participation, intercourse or fellowship.
– The Greek word SUGKOINONEO denotes “fellowship together”, “partakers together” or “communion together”.
With whom can we have fellowship?
We can have fellowship with other people (saved or unsaved)
-participating in bloodshed, Matt.23:30
-participating in a business partnership, Luke 5:10
-participating in eating food offered on an altar, I Cor.10:18
-participating in other men’s sins, evil deeds, or in the unfruitful works of darkness. Eph.5:11; I Tim.5:22; II John 1:11; Rev.18:4
We can have fellowship with divine persons
-having fellowship with the Father, with the Son and with the Holy Spirit, I John 1:3-7; II Cor.13:14
-in Christ’s sufferings, I Peter 4:13
-in partnership in the work of God, and I Cor.3:9
-in the glory at the revelation of Christ. I Peter 5:1
We can have fellowship with other believers
-having fellowship with God, I John 1:3
-partnership in spiritual things, Romans 15:27; I Cor.8:23; Philemon 1:17;
-participating in suffering for righteousness, in affliction and II Cor.1:7; Ephesians 4:14
-participating in comfort or consolation. II Cor.1:7
We can also have fellowship with demons! I Cor.10:20
As Paul asked the Corinthians, what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? What
communion hath light with darkness? what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
However, a believer may participate in evil deeds with others and thus have fellowship with the ways
and the works of the ungodly and of demons! But one cannot walk in darkness and at the same time
have fellowship with God!
As far as scripture is concerned, fellowship is NOT a STATE or STATUS into which one can be
received or out of which one can be rejected by others. Nor is it a CONDITION OF PRIVILEGE
which can be GRANTED or DENIED by other people!
So, contrary to popular opinion, fellowship is NOT something one can be “in” or “out of” according
to whether or not one meets a set of criteria established BY OTHERS! No one can ever receive another
believer “into fellowship” nor can anyone or any group “put another believer away from fellowship”!
Rather, HAVING fellowship is something that is determined by one’s own choices and actions! 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. But if we SAY that we HAVE
FELLOWSHIP with Him and WALK IN DARKNESS, WE LIE and do not the truth.” I John 1:6,7
When a company of believers refuses to eat with or to have company with a believer who is walking in
immorality (as in I Cor.5), they are not “putting that believer out of fellowship”! They are dealing with that
believer as one who evidently does not have fellowship with God because they are walking in the darkness
of an immoral life!
Thus we see from scripture that fellowship is always something we have or do not have (it is something which we possess or do not posses). It is not something which we can be “in” or “out of”!