The idea of Christian fellowship may seem obvious. After all, the word “fellowship” is commonly understood. Merriam defines it as “companionship” or “community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience.” So Christian fellowship is simply a group of Christians getting together, right?

The Bible never speaks of “Christian fellowship” per se. Yet the Greek word for “fellowship” (metochos or koinos) is found many times. It is not always translated into our word “fellowship”. Two examples would be in Luke 5:7 where Peter is with fishing “partners” or in Revelation 1:9 where John introduces himself as a brother and “partner” (or partaker, companion) in the tribulation and kingdom.

Partner, partaker, and companion are all relatable words to what most would consider fellowship in the secular sense. However, applying the article “Christian” to an otherwise common word propels us into the Spiritual realm. To define Christian fellowship is to define Spiritual fellowship. This is a concept the Bible has very much to say about…

How Scripture answers "What is Christian fellowship?"

Christian fellowship is established by two or more agreeing6,12 to obey (e.g. “fear of3) God’s word1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10 – to be “in accord with Christ”12.  It is not only the basis for an individual’s fellowship with God1,2,10,11, but also extends to Christians with other Christians. This applies to a local church2,3,4,7,8,9,10 and, by extension, the universal church/brotherhood5,7,11.

There are several practical examples, or case studies if you will, of Christian fellowship in the Bible that often revolve around the local church:

  • Acts 9:26-30 – Saul (later Paul) has just been converted but not before his great persecution of the church and Christians.
  • Galatians 2:7-9 – Paul recounts the “right hand of fellowship” that was extended to himself and Barnabas after they (James, Peter and John) saw that Paul had been “entrusted with the gospel”.
  • 2 Corinthians 8-9 – Paul writes to the Corinthians encouraging them in their giving efforts that they have been engaged in for about a year, ever since Paul wrote to them the first time with the initial request (1 Corinthians 16:1-9).  They were “taking part (e.g. fellowship, partnership) in the relief of the saints” (8:4) back in Jerusalem.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:16 – Paul instructs that partaking in the Lord’s Supper is “participation (e.g. fellowship) in the body of Christ”.
  • Philippians 4:14-20 – Much like Paul opens within his letter to the Philippians8, he notes that “no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only” (vs 15) and for that they “shared” in his trouble (vs 14).

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  1. David Norfleet at - Reply

    Some other verses that point to or comment upon fellowship are Amos 3:3; Hebrews 3:1; and Ephesians 3:6.

    I think a case study would be Acts 9:26-27 and Galatians 2:9.

    • Great thoughts and adds. Thank you, David!

    • Those have been added….plus Philippians 1 — another good one just demonstrating the great harmony of scripture.