Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
“Let’s have a good time of fellowship together.” Ever heard that statement? Many professing believers today believe that “fellowship” consists of getting together and having fun during football games, barbeques, and various other types of events. Although fellowship may be implied, and sometimes can truly occur when Christians come together in those various types of events, biblical fellowship is not defined by believers coming together and simply “hanging out.” And even though there is nothing wrong with coming together to have fun or hang out, Christian fellowship has a much deeper and richer application.
When we see Acts 2:42 mentioning fellowship, we must remember that “fellowship” is in the context of sharing, giving, and having communion with one another, actively participating in each other’s lives, praying for one another, persevering in doctrine, and evangelizing while being in unity together underneath the banner of the gospel. The Greek word “fellowship” in this verse is koinōnia (κοινωνία). This word expresses an intimate partnership or relationship by which individuals share a common union and experience a sense of community (thus why koinōnia is translated from the Latin Bible as “communion” in certain parts of our English Bible). This, of course, can manifest itself in various different ways, which we will expound on in future articles. And, the Bible also provides an antonym for fellowship, kakia (κακία), which allows us to see what fellowship is not. Yet the basic thing we need to know about Christian fellowship is that it involves all that we are and all that we have been open and ready to share in an intimate relationship with others in the body of Christ.
Because of sin, sometimes our fellowship with other believers isn’t perfect. We often sin against one another or find something about someone’s personality, habits, and/or doctrines that will often hinder us from having an undefiled Christian fellowship. Nevertheless, fellowship is a means of grace that God has given to preserving us in the faith. Not only that, but fellowship is also the immediate reaction of every believer that comes to faith in Christ. In other words, when we are born again, it will be something that genuine believers seek out! We will not desire to be alone on this narrow road by which we were chosen to walk. We will pursue others in the family of God in order that we might grow and share and learn and labor together! If you notice in Acts 2:42 (and beyond), the reaction of the newborn, New Testament Church stemmed from those who received the word from Peter’s sermon and were baptized (v 41). Fellowship is not only a spiritual preservative, but also a basic fruit of believers.
As mentioned before, we will expound on many thoughts concerning fellowship in future articles. But for now, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my understanding of the word “fellowship” within the Scriptural context of Acts 2?
- Do I seek out spiritual communion with other believers?
- Do I desire to share, grow, learn, and labor in unison with other Christians for the sake of the gospel?
- How often do I engage in actively participating in other believer’s lives by giving as they have a need, praying with them, or laboring with them?
- Is my idea of fellowship simply just hanging out without discussing doctrine, or challenging one another?
- Do I feel ill and uncomfortable when it comes to interacting with other professing believers whom I may not know?
- Can my attitude toward other Christians be perceived as being uninterested, self-righteous, or perhaps too unwilling to participate or help in their lives?
There are many other self-examination questions I’m sure we can ask ourselves, but I pray in the coming articles that we would not only know what fellowship is but that we would strap on boots to what we know. “For to know what the Word says, and not do it, is like a man who looks at himself in the mirror, and immediately forgets what he saw” (James 1:22-23). “Let’s not be hearers and learners only, but doers. And, let’s bring Christ glory, meanwhile exhorting and edifying one another while it is still called today” (Hebrews 10:24-25).