In the previous episode (#52), I mentioned that fellowship is one of the highest forms of prayer. But what is fellowship and what “type” are we to have? In this episode, we discuss the Greek term koinōnia and the seven types of fellowship found in the New Testament and how each of them draws us into greater intimacy and oneness with Jesus Christ.
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Episode 053 Overview
In this episode …
- you will learn what the Greek word koinōnia (fellowship) means
- you will discover the 7 types of fellowship in the New Testament
Show Notes / Additional Resources
- BlueLetterBible’s definition:
- fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse
- the share which one has in anything, participation
- intercourse, fellowship, intimacy
- the right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship (in fulfilling the apostolic office)
- a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship
- One Greek scholar defined koinōnia as: “joint participation in a common interest or activity”
- Fully invested and given to the same end
- Common purpose, focus, unity, and intention
- Communion (see 1 Cor 10:16) – sharing and celebrating the death and life of Christ with the body
2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship (metochē – to take part in, participate) has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion (koinonia) has light with darkness?
7 Types of Fellowship (Koinōnia) in the Bible
1. The fellowship of the Gospel
- Philippians 1:3-5 – I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,
2. The fellowship of the Body of Believers
- Acts 2:42 – And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
- Galatians 2:9 – … and when James, Peter, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
- 1 John 1:3 – … that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; …
3. The fellowship of the Spirit
- Philippians 2:1-2 – Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
- 2 Corinthians 13:14 – The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
4. The fellowship of the Son
- 1 Corinthians 1:9 – God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
5. The fellowship of the Father
- 1 John 1:3 – … 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.
6. The fellowship of His sufferings
- Identitying with Jesus
- Philippians 3:10 – … that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, …
7. The fellowship of the Mystery
- Ephesians 3:8-11 – To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, …
DeVern F. Fromke (worked with T. Austin-Sparks) – quote from his book: The Ultimate Intention
“So our Father is ever seeking to move man beyond the shallows to the ocean depth itself—from living only in our purposes, to become alive to His purposes. Notice the progression of our fellowship with Him and with others. First, we are called into the “fellowship in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5). This is wonderful, for we share in the common experience of God’s wonderful grace. But it is only a beginning. Then as we learn to walk, we are led into the “fellowship of the Spirit” (Phil. 2:1), and thus we recognize the call to walk after and be filled with the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit lives only to make Christ more real, and so we are called into a (deeper) “fellowship with His Son” (1 Cor. 1:9). What could be more wonderful? But as we share His mind and grow in this fellowship, we are, like Paul, called into a “fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil. 3:10). Here is the call to those who would enter into a fruitful ministry, like the Lord Jesus, living unto the Father and sharing His resurrection power and authority. We are convinced that none will continue long in this “fellowship of sufferings” unless they have, as Paul exhorted Timothy, moved into a larger fellowship in the Father Himself and His own purposes. Accordingly, Paul unveils his own deepest concern in calling “all men to see what is the fellowship of the mystery” (Eph. 3:9). Here is the ultimate in fellowship. Yet there are many who are content to leave it a mystery.”
1 John 1:6-7 – If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
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The difficulty with podcasts is that they are one-sided—so each week I ask one question for you to participate in the conversation. Head over to the deeperChristian Facebook page to leave a comment and join in the conversation. This week’s question …
Question: What type of “fellowship” is your favorite and which is the hardest to live in your life? Leave a response or ask a question and we will try to address it in a future episode.
About NRJohnson & the deeperChristian Podcast
NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
The Deeper Christian Podcast is the podcast to help you study God’s Word, know Jesus intimately, and discover how you can build your life around Jesus Christ. This weekly audio program, hosted by NRJohnson, dives into Scripture and encourages Christians to keep their focus upon Jesus Christ—equipping believers in how to study the Bible and know God’s Word, grow in their spiritual lives, and change the world. Main discussion topics center around practical advice on Christian living, Bible study, prayer, the Gospel, freedom from sin, evangelism and how to share your faith, the Christian disciplines, and the lives and messages from the Christian heroes from yesteryear such as A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, Major Ian Thomas, Oswald Chambers, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, C.T. Studd, George Müller, Andrew Murray, Leonard Ravenhill, E.M. Bounds, and others. Learn more about the deeper Christian life.