Aren’t good friends amazing? Believing friends are the best of all kind. So much so that God defined them in His word. There is as many different kind of people as there are molecules in the world. We’re all different. So how can we create friendships that will last throughout eternity?
Today we’re going to talk about fellowship and how good fellowship is at the center of any good friendship. We’ll talk about what kind of fellowship makes the best friendships. What kind is most profitable to us?
Here is our verse for today in bold.
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;” Philippians 1:5
Paul was obviously many hundreds of miles away while writing this heartfelt statement to the Philippians. He couldn’t be close physically, but one word in this verse indicates that he had an extremely close friendship with these people.
The word “fellowship” is the Greek word koinōnia. This word is intensely important when you want to talk about friendships. Koinonia means full sharing. I go over this word in greater depth in my book called the “5 Basics for Growth” in the chapter 6 called, “Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone lived this way?” What does God mean when He says full sharing? Full-sharing is a safe place to open your whole heart on any matter. God wants full sharing with us, and in fact He should be the only one who gets the fullest sharing in your life. But there are people who won’t condemn, complain or criticize you. You can share your dreams, your outlooks, your goals and your failures with. They do the verse above. They fellowship, koinonia, in the gospel to you and vice versa. This kind of fellowship is rich with possibilities and incredibly powerful.
Granted, there will be people in the world who never come close to this kind of sharing. Partial sharing around a craft, talent or skill can be very helpful, but it is only a partial sharing because you may not be able to share the gospel back to this person. Or, they may take offense if you start full sharing and they are only willing to partially share. There are also those who want you to full share just so they can use the information against you. These kind of full-sharings are not koinonia they are the devil’s twisted agenda and extremely dangerous. Why? Because the sacrifice is your heart. If the person with an evil agenda gets a fiery dart deeply embedded in your heart, you can lose everything. God says in Proverbs to…”guard thy heart with all diligence,”
It’s incredibly important to check in with God on who will genuinely koinonia with you. The element that is always present in koinonia is accurate, godly communication. They will point you back to the Word of God.
Let me show you what I mean. Each of the verses below has translated word from the Greek word koinonia in bold.
“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Philemon 1:6
“If [there be] therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.” Phil. 2:1
“If we say that we have fellowship with him (God), and walk in darkness, we lie , and do not the truth:” 1 John 1:6
“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 1:7
Wow! These verses definitely help define koinonia for me.
The book of Philippians should almost be a study on friendships and fellowship. We’ll get in to that as the book unfolds but it’s helpful to know the scripture build-up. As we go along you’ll learn more and more Greek words. They will define and expand on themselves as the Word unfolds. I know for me, doing a little extra study helped to add layers upon layers of understanding. For instance, look up any scripture about David and Jonathan in the Old Testament. They are a perfect example of friends operating in koinonia or full sharing.
“Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
We counsel with many,
We koinonia with few,
In the end we alone decide with God
which way we should go.
God Bless You Today!