Koinonia (Koy-no-nee’-ah) is a Greek word, occurring 20 times in the Bible, which means “fellowship” or “brotherly love.”
It carries with it the meaning of a committed, trustworthy, and dependable relationship. Such a relationship can be experienced through participation, sharing, giving, and contributing.
The first occurrence of koinonia is Acts 2:42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
But the rest of the passage reads: “ 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement.
The essence of koinonia: “one another”.
Scripture commands us to be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10), honor one another (Romans 12:10), live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8), accept one another (Romans 15:7), serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13), be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32), admonish one another (Colossians 3:16), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13), spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24), offer hospitality (1 Peter 4:9), and love one another (1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11; 3:23; 4:7; 4:11-12).
Koinonia is translated many different ways in English Bibles:
-fellowship (koinonia), to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
-contribution (koinonia) for them and for all others.” Paul writes to the believers in Philippi: “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share (koinonia) his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Phil 3:10).
– Christian living– the dynamic whole of it. It describes an interactive relationship between God and believers who are sharing new life through Christ. It captures the entirety of this relationship. It involves active participation in Christian community: sharing in spiritual blessings and giving material blessings.
How does this idea fit into the theology of ‘And’?
Acts 1:8—it empowers us with the chisomo—the grace to DO—the all-inclusive–
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
And they will know you by your love. (John 13:35) “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”