Once upon a time, at a church I used to attend, Pastor Dustin delivered a message on Koinonia. I used to hear that word when I was in the Lutheran Church, but hadn’t heard it in many years. It is from the Greek and is indicated in several forms in the Scriptures. Koinoneo, Koinonikos, Koinonos.
This word is so interesting because it has several different meanings and references such as partnership, participation, communicate, communion, distribution, fellowship.
There is a word close to Koinonia and it is Koinos. Koinos has the negative slant on it meaning profane, common, defiled, unclean, unholy. We cannot confuse the two.
Koinonia is a respected term, highly encouraged throughout Scripture. As Christians we should have communion and fellowship with each other. We should be able to share our burdens and our bounty. Our joys and our sorrows. That is the kind of relationship we are meant to have with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We should be able to trust and rely on those around us that share our faith in Christ. We should be acting like we are preparing for eternity with each other in Heaven. We should be acting like we really care about each other….like we really want each other to succeed spiritually and otherwise in life.
Pastor Dustin had an unusual way of approaching the Gospel message at times. Sometimes when he is witnessing to people he asks “are you SURE you want to become a Christian?” As if he is issuing a kind of warning. It is a warning. Becoming a Christian is not merely ‘fire insurance’. It is a way of life and a way unto life eternal. Narrow is the road. It is not an easy life, nor was it promised to be. Being a Christian does not guarantee a life of abundance and joy in the terms of the world. It may mean sacrifice, ridicule, heartbreak, isolation, poverty, and much more ----at least in earthly terms.
The world is cruel to the Christian and sometimes the Christian community is cruel to each other. That is why God brought Koinonia into our vocabulary. He knows what is it like trying to live for Him. He knows we need each other. When we are woven tightly together by the love of Christ, it is harder for the Enemy to break through the fabric.
As we mature in our Christian faith, we come to realize that the ‘abundant life’ as promised means far more than rubies and riches. Grace, peace, hope, strength, promise, and LOVE far more precious abound in life with Christ. And a future with God in a mansion built especially for me is well worth the effort.
So you have a new word today. Look it up in your handy Greek dictionary. Study your Bible concordance. See if you come to the same conclusions that I have. We need each other!!!