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Fellowship With God and With Each Other
Posted: 2011-07-27 19:44:33 by: David Nelson
Fellowship With God and With Each Other by David Nelson 7-27-11
(Also included, quotes from the book “The Community Life of God” by Milt Rodriquez)
Koinonia (fellowship) is the Greek word meaning partnership, intercourse (meaning conversation), communion with another. It comes from the Greek words koinonos, a sharer, an associate, a companion, a partner, and koinos, something we have in common that we share with others. In I John 1:3, 7 it says that we have fellowship with God (we have communion with Him (He speaks to us and we speak to Him), friendship, communication, relationship, we share our hearts with each other, we are companions). It also says in I John 1:3, 7 that if we have fellowship with God (a relationship) then we will have fellowship with each other. If we don’t know how to have a relationship with God (know how to commune and fellowship with God) then we will not know how to have koinonia with each other.
I read a book recently entitled The Community Life of God by Milt Rodriquez that spoke to me of fellowship within the Godhead (between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). In Jesus’ prayer (John 17) He said that He was one with the Father and that they have love for each other. (Jn. 17:21-26) It is not easy for me to picture seeing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in heaven all in one place. But I am not troubling myself with how that will be, I just know when I pray I am fellowshipping with a wonderful God who loves me. At the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan river there were 3, the Son being baptized, the Father speaking from heaven (this is my son, in whom I am well pleased), and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove upon Jesus. The 3 are always cooperating and working together. Jesus in His ministry on the earth followed everything the Father told Him to do (without the Father Jesus would do nothing). (Jn. 5:19) The Father was guiding the Son always. Then the Spirit was going to be sent upon the disciples after Jesus was going to return to heaven. And the Spirit would take what Jesus gave Him and would do nothing on His own authority, and then give Jesus’ things to the disciples. (Jn. 16:13, 14) So the 3 in the Trinity all work together, fellowship together, and love each other.
This is how the members of the church or members of His Body ought to be toward one another. So much of the time in our Western society individualism and independence are taught. (page 73, The Community Life of God by Milt Rodriquez) But in the Scriptures we see that we are to be connected to others in the Body of Christ. We are not to be alone or islands unto ourselves. We are to share our gifts with others and receive the encouragement of their gifts. This is not optional but necessary for us so that we each will become what we were meant to be and for us all to grow up and become the Body God has in mind for us. The following is a quote from Milt Rodriquez’ book pages 62-64. “Our personhood and identity can only be defined by relating to others. We will never truly “find ourselves” until we are living in the community life of God. Then, and only then, will our true colors come out. What I mean by “true colors” are those aspects of Christ that have been placed into us to make each of us special. Each individual person in this corporate vessel (the Church or the Body) will express or display a unique aspect of the living God. “ The Body knit together will show forth the fullness of Christ (not each of us separately). We are to come into the unity of the faith (more and more), into the perfect man, into the measure of the fullness of Christ. We are to be fitly joined together, unto the effective working of every part (when each part is working properly), this will make the Body increase and be built up in love. (Eph. 1:22, 23 and Eph. 4:12-16)
God wants a spiritual house (or temple) that He can dwell in. (page 102, Rodriquez’ book) “This temple is made up of living stones (you and me) which are now being built together.” (page 102) (Eph. 2:19-22 and I Pet. 2:5) “He already dwells in us individually but He wants to build the stones together and dwell (in the midst of) that temple.” (page 102)
Here is another quote from Rodriquez’ book (page 131) that I believe is very important and very true. “One of the main reasons we don’t see community life on earth today is because we don’t receive those sent by God. God has called some, prepared them and sent them out to raise up first century style organic churches throughout the earth. We desperately need these “sent ones” to lay a foundation and show us how to live community life. They have experienced this life and are called and gifted by God to help groups of believers to live it as well. Churches were raised up by such men in the first century and we still need them to do the same today. These saints have received a revelation and vision of Jesus Christ and His Church that just won’t quit.”
Another idea that Milt Rodriquez shares in his book is that the cross is a message for all time and has a larger meaning than we know. Yes, the cross of Christ is very large, and cuts backwards and forwards through eternity. But we too are to take up our crosses every day and deny ourselves. We can do this in part by laying down our lives for one another and learning how to love one another as never seen before! We must give away our lives to each other (Rodriquez’ book, page 149), our time, our money, our thoughts, our feelings, our gifts. Community life is also Family. (page 168) Families do stuff together, there may be fights but we are to stay together, we are still family no matter what. We are to always be there for one another. We will see each others weaknesses, but we will stay together protected and secure within a loving family (page 168). We are brothers and sisters, we are members of the household of God. (Eph. 2:19) Even the Word says that our natural family doesn’t come 1st but seek 1st the kingdom of God. Your natural family can hinder what God wants for His spiritual Family. (of course, please understand, we should not neglect our family, but always do what is good and right) Also remember how Jesus taught when His blood mother and blood brothers came to see Him in Matt. 12:46-50, He said to them all, “Who are my mother and my brothers? You are my mother and my brothers, he who does the will of God is my mother, and my brother, and my sister.” (By the way, did you know that Jesus had four brothers and at least two sisters? (Matt. 13:55, 56)
So, in conclusion, we will only learn by experience what God is looking for in community. (page 197) We must learn what it means to have fellowship with God and a real living relationship with Him. But we also must learn how to have real relationships with each other. Relationships that go deep, where our hearts are knit, and where we come to love each other with the love that is in the Godhead (the fellowship of the 3) and with the love that God has for us.