And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-46
All people were created for community. As sinners, troubled with brokenness, shame, insecurity, etc., we don't always pull it off well, but we're made for it. As believers in Jesus Christ, it is what we are called to, and empowered to pull off because of Christ.
The idea of Christian fellowship came from the concept and experience of 'koinonia' (a Greek word that shows up over 20 times in the New Testament). It involves active participation in Christian community; sharing in spiritual blessings and material blessings. Its meaning implies "sharing what we have in common" — mainly, Christ and what He has accomplished for us.
We, the church (and really, all humans), flourish when we share our lives with one another with one heart, focused on the love and grace God.
The world we live in, where satan is against us and sin is actively destroying what is good, draws us away from this, focused on what makes us different from one another. The good news is the Holy Spirit within God's people is more powerful than all powers of darkness, and Christ has already overcome the world by giving Himself for us on the cross. Still, we must be aware of the schemes against us. We do not randomly stumble into life-giving, heart-filling, Christ-centred community. We pursue it, we fight for it, we practice it, and we walk with Christ towards it.
As we approach a new calendar year, let's surrender to God the obstacles that hinder us from true God-loving community. Perhaps we fear being known, feel 'too different', struggle with pride or shame, or think these relationships are just too much work. Let's confess these things to one another and, most importantly, our Saviour. Let Him inform us on what is wise. Let Him work in us, while we work towards koinonia.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:19-25
Let's persevere together...
Encourage one another (1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 3:13; 10:25)
Admonish one another (Col. 3:16; Rom. 15:14)
Confess your sins to one another (Jas. 5:16)
Forgive one another (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13)
Accept one another (Rom. 14:1; 15:7)
Serve one another (Gal. 5:13; Rom. 12:10)
Build up one another (1 Thess. 5:11)
Be hospitable to one another (1 Pet. 4:9)