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Partnership One Wirh Another

 


Chapter 1   Koinonia - Partnership

The Greek word koinonia comes from the word koinos, which means, "shared."  In our time, the concept of koinonia is best understood as "partnership." A partnership requires shared commitment and benefits. Our partnership is a dual commitment; we can be in partnership with each other because we are in partnership with God through Jesus Christ.

 In this chapter we are going to look at the scriptures where the words koinonia and koinos appear in relation to the church. These verses show our partnership with God through Christ Jesus: "God is faithful, by whom ye were called into fellowship (koinonia-partnership) of his son Jesus Christ." (I Corinthians 1:9)

 First and foremost, we need to remember that "God is not a man that he should lie." (Numbers 23:19)  God is the faithful partner, and His word is the truth in every situation. Our commitment may waiver but God never relinquishes His promise to be faithful. We are called of God, according to His purpose into koinonia, partnership. The partnership is through His son, (1)Christ Jesus, who is our only mediator with God. ... and truly our fellowship (partnership) is with the Father and with the son, Jesus Christ. I Jn 1:3 We are in partnership with our brother and joint heir, Jesus Christ, because our Father God called us. We have become partakers of the divine nature, (It's Christ in you) being called out of the world and into the light of sonship. (3) "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." Our commitment to the partnership is a commitment to walk in the light. Romans 14:23 says that anything that is not of believing is sin, i.e., darkness. If we say that we have fellowship (partnership) with Him, and walk in darkness we lie, ...I Jn 1:6

 One verse that is commonly misunderstood because of the religious traditions built around the word "communion" is I Corinthians 10:16. Instead of understanding that the Lord's supper is a time to remember and discern our partnership with (1 II Timothy 2:5 2 Colossians 1:27 3 I John 1:5) the body and blood of Christ, it has become an idolatrous ceremony.

 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion (partnership) of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion (partnership) of the body of Christ? I Cor 10:16

 How wonderful to remember that it was because God loved us that we are in partnership and by Christ's stripes we were (1)healed. With this understanding, the following verses concerning our sharing in Christ's suffering become clear.

 We do not have to suffer as he did. Our partner and brother suffered for us and we share fully the benefits. Our partnership in Christ's body and blood (his suffering) is God's provision for our needs, both physically and spiritually. We appropriate the benefits of our partnership by believing God's word. With that understanding, these verses become clear:

 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship (partnership) of his sufferings, ... Phil 3:10

And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers (partners) of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. II Cor 1:7 (1 I Peter 2:24)

 Two more scriptures which state our partnership with God through Christ Jesus are:

 ...the communion (partnership) of the Holy Ghost, be with                   you all. II Cor 13:14

And to make all see what is the fellowship (partnership) of the             mystery,... Eph 3:9

 As partners in the mystery, we are part of the body of Christ. Colossians 1:27 states that the "mystery ... is Christ in you, the hope of glory." In addition to the blessings that we enjoy in partnership with God, we are to be partners with one another. Our relationship with one another as believers is dependant upon our relationship with God. We can not be effective partners with each other if we are not committed to our partnership with God.

 But if we walk in the light, as He is the light, we have fellowship (partnership) one with another. I Jn 1:7

 God is light. Our commitment must be to live in that light and manifest the light to one another. Therefore we are exhorted: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:

 ...for what communion (partnership) hath light with                            darkness? II Cor 6:14

We do not have any partnership with unbelievers at all. We are committed to and born of God. Unbelievers are under the rule of the devil. To be yoked together with unbelievers causes a division in your commitment to God. No man can (1) serve two masters. James tells us that a double minded man (2) is unstable in all his ways. When we are yoked to two different commitments that pull in opposite directions, we lose our focus on our commitment to our true partner, God. To become effective partners with God and with one another, we must do the things pointed out in verse 6 of the epistle to Philemon.

That the communication (partnership) of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. Philemon 6

Our partnership of believing becomes operable by our coming to a full understanding and discernment of the rights and power that we have in Christ Jesus. Our partnership becomes operational when we manifest those rights and power. We receive potential power when we are born again of God's (3) Spirit. We then have Christ in us. In that single unspeakable (4) gift is all the power that God promises to us. We must exercise that power for God to energize it and bring His promises into fruition. We can be effective partners only when we believe to (5) operate the manifestations of the Spirit and carry out our ministry of reconciliation. (1 Matthew 6:24 2 James 1:8 3 Colossians 1:27 4 II Corinthians 9:15 5 I Corinthians 12:7-11)

How effective we are as the church, is directly proportional to how effective we are a individual operators of the gift of holy Spirit. Note the references to partnership in the following verses:

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you that ye also may have fellowship (partnership) with us:... I Jn. 1:3

For your fellowship (partnership) in the gospel from the first day until now;... Phil. 1:5

...if any fellowship (partnership) of the Spirit,... Phil. 2:1

If thou count me therefore a partner, receive his as myself. Philem. 17

...they gave unto me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship (partnership).... Gal. 2:9

In the early days of the church as recorded in the book of Acts there was tremendous growth and deliverance from bondage. Not since has the church seen such explosive results. Reasons for that are recorded in this verse:

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, (partnership) and in breaking of bread and prayers. Acts 2:42

Four things are listed that the early Christians continued steadfastly in: (2) One, they hungered for the teaching of the messengers of Jesus Christ. There were about 8000 men and their families. (1 II Corinthians 5:18 2 Apostle is transliterated from apostolos which means "messenger or one sent.") It must have taken weeks for the messengers to get around to all the household fellowships to teach. Those teachings are more readily available to us than it was to the early church. There were no telephones, tape players, or TVs. It was all one on one, word of mouth. They thrived on the word of God as spoken by each other.

 Two, they continually operated the gift of holy Spirit in partnership with each other. Their calling was out of the society around them, and into a new partnership society that provided for the needs of every member. That is why we see the word koinonia (partnership) used in relation to the sharing of money, goods, food, etc. regarding believers in the following verses:

 For it pleased them of Macadonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution (to demonstrate their partnership) to the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. Rom. 15:26

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and the fellowship (partnership) of the ministry to the saints. II Cor. 8:4

...and your liberal distribution (partnership) unto them... II Cor. 9:13

But to do good and to communicate (demonstrate your partnership) forget not. Heb. 13.6

If there is one member of the partnership lacking, then the partnership is not operating according to God's word.

 Three, we see in Acts 2:42 the breaking of bread together. The sharing of food when believers come together is part of the commitment one to another. It is the understanding of the orientalism, covenant of salt, i.e., commitment to one another in a partnership. The lord's supper should be done at a time when all are (1) like minded and probably not at a meal. They ate together, they lived together, they worked together, they believed together, they were partners.

And four, in Acts 2:42 they prayed together. Our private prayer, whether with understanding or in (2) tongues, is part of our partnership with God through Christ. As we operate our power before God we can pray together and for one another to great avail. Jesus Christ said "if two of you agree on earth as touching anything that they should ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is (3) in heaven." Therefore, if we walk in the light, (partnership with God) (4) as He is the light, we have partnership with one another. Our partnership one with another is all the things that we are committed to do with and to each other. A good cross section of the things we are to be doing in our partnership can be seen in a study of the Greek word allelon, which means "one another."

Link to Chapter 2 


    By Neil Tolman
    1996

Neil's House