Christian Fellowship

By Dr. Robert A. Morey

One of the distinctives of evangelical Christianity is its historic doctrine of the  fellowship of the Holy Spirit (h` koinwni,a tou/ a`gi,ou pneu,matoj).

  1. It is the glue that holds together a local church.
  2. It is the source of great comfort among the saints.
  3. It encourages the saints to read the Word, pray, and live a godly life.
  4. It ministers to the needs of the saints.
  5. It is the garden where the fruit of the Spirit is grown and harvested: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  6. It is the place of freedom and liberty.
  7. It is one of the signs of a true church.



I. Old Testament background

  1. Most reference works state that there was no fellowship in the OT because the word koinwni,a does not appear in the Greek OT. But this does not mean that the saints were not fellowshipping under the Old Covenant.
  2. Mal. 3:16f is sufficient to establish that koinwni,a style of fellowship was practiced by the true believers. 
  3. Believers encouraged each other in the Lord (1 Sam. 23:16) and together in worship (Psa. 149:1). 


II. The New Testament Material

  1. One of the distinctives of the New Covenant is that all its members are forgiven and
    regenerated: Jer. 31:31f.
  2. koinwni,a is introduced as one of the signs of the apostolic church: Acts 2:42. 
  3. koinwni,a appears in the church epistles as one of the signs of a true church:  2 Cor.  13:14
  4. The passage of full mention is 1 John 1: 3-7.


III. Fellowship killers
The Bible warns us that koinwni,a is a gentle dove that is easily driven away by evil behavior. In order to maintain koinwni,a in a local church we must avoid certain sins that grieve the Spirit of God and destroy fellowship. Phil. 2:1-4 and Eph. 4:22-5:9 are the two passages of full mention in the NT on fellowship killers.