Quick! Think of any use of “fellowship” in the Old Testament. ¬
Hard, isn’t it? While “fellowship” with God and with one another is a major theme of the New Testament, it is strangely lacking in the Old. Why would this be so? Why was the word “fellowship” inappropriate in those days to describe man’s relationship with God?
To answer this question, let us consider what “fellowship” really meant. The Greek word for fellowship was koinonia (koi no NEE ah). It was used to describe the following relationships:
- A business partnership, where two people are legally joined in their enterprise.
- A close friendship, where intimate companionship is enjoyed.
- A communal society, where “what is mine is also yours.”
- A marriage, the closest of all relationships, was called the koinonia (sharing) of life.
To consider sharing such a close relationship with God was unthinkable--even blasphemous!
This makes it all the more remarkable that the New Testament assures us of fellowship with God. “Our fellowship is with the Father and with his son Jesus Christ” (I John 1:3). We also have fellowship with the Holy Spirit (Phil. 2:1). We are thus intimately sharing with our Creator. He has made us participants in his divine enterprise, partakers of his divine nature, and companions in communion with his divine friendship. He has opened the treasures of heaven so we can share in all his wealth.
God is our partner!