Fellowship is a treasure which often gets taken for granted in the Christian life. It’s spoken of in the New Testament as the quality of spiritual partnership which participates with the other members. Benevolence is at its core; that is, intentional actions expressing kindness and good will to each other. The Greek language of the original New Testament speaks of fellowship (koinōnia) which participates in intimacy of a spiritually united relationship. Now that’s rather special in this dark world of selfish and temporary friendships.
This unnatural relationship begins with God who “is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). Notice that we didn’t initiate this relationship, but God graciously calls rebellious people to it based on His mercy. So, a believing sinner is called into the highest relationship imaginable through the Son of God. Establishing a surrendered faith dependent upon Jesus Christ as your Lord is the starting point of God’s benevolence in your experience.
Fellowship and salvation
While salvation is the beginning of your new spiritual life; for God, your salvation was the culmination of His loving plans which He initiated before He made the world (Eph 1:4-5). The Lord pre-planned your adoption which is the fulfillment of His specific will for your life. You see, having an association with you, or even a friendship with you, was not good enough. No, God desired the very best of all relationships, and fellowship as a Father intimately engaged with His child was His goal for you.
This unimaginable spiritual connection God has made possible through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Always remember that “you have been saved through faith. And this [faith] is not your own doing; it [faith] is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). From beginning to end, as a believer in Christ, you are never alone and you are never left to your own devices. God knows we lack the resources needed for this fellowship relationship, so He supplies them, and you experience them through faith in action (Jas 2:14-17).
The beauty of fellowship is further seen through the intention of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for His children. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). No believer is excluded from God’s loving desire for intimacy with them. However, there is responsibility for God’s children to respond appropriately to His grace. Regardless of life’s circumstances; nothing “in all creation will be able to separate us [you] from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). His inseparable love means security, comfort, and peace for believers.
First generation Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer” (Acts 2:42). In this single verse lays the essence of a healthy Christian life. Self is excluded. Dedication to actually attending the apostles’ teaching of God’s Word was primary to being able to experience the next blessing, fellowship. Intimacy of relationships in Church life grows out of members mutually sitting under the teaching of God’s Word with humble attitudes. This is foundational to authentic fellowship in the body of Christ.
I encourage you to embrace the blessing of fellowship. Draw from the Lord’s strength and determination in making whatever changes are needed to your daily and weekly routines which will grow genuine fellowship.