Five Levels of Fellowship
Fellowship: G2842 koinōnia
1) fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse
1a) the share which one has in anything, participation
1b) intercourse, fellowship, intimacy
1b1) the right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship (in fulfilling the apostolic office)
1c) a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship
1) Fellowship in the Gospel: Philippians 1:5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
The first level of fellowship is in the grace of God. This is where we connect on the basis of what God has done for us. Each of us has received the free gift of God in Christ Jesus and has come into a new life of hope and love. As wonderful as this fellowship is, it is primarily based on what God has done for me and is man centered.
2) Fellowship of the Spirit: Philippians 2:1-2 If there is therefore any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tendernesses and mercies, then fulfill my joy, that you may be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind.
The second level of fellowship causes us to walk and be led by the Spirit. Here we learn that there is more to life than just getting something from God, now we know that we are to be filled by the Spirit and led by His voice in the doing of His will. We have transitioned from getting to doing and have come into the understanding of obedience.
3) Fellowship of His Son: 1Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The third level of fellowship brings us into the reality of the Christ. Here we discover that everything is in Him and through Him. This is where we learn to have the mind of Christ as we go deeper in relationship with the Son. An unfolding reality has begun and we see that life is now about giving and bringing others into this fellowship.
4) Fellowship of His Sufferings: Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;
This fourth level of fellowship causes us to realize that power and authority
only comes in the resurrection life. The resurrection life is the fruit of the
death to self. Here we learn that the pressures of life give us the opportunity
to die to ourselves and come alive in Christ. The great obstacle in our life is
ourselves and our self will, we must die daily in every situation to
experience the Christ life. Like Jesus, we realize that life is about being and
being for the benefit of others. Our focus is now on living unto the Father
and sharing His resurrection power and authority. Our lives have become
the fruit that others can partake of to experience life themselves and as fruit
we realize that what happens to us is not as important as what we can be for
5) Fellowship of the Mystery: Ephesians 3:9 and to bring to light what is the fellowship of the mystery which from eternity has been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ;
This fifth level of fellowship is the ultimate in which we share with the Father “that which from eternity (beginning) has been hidden in God”. This is the realization and participation in the purposes of the Father that were written before the beginning of time and our lives fulfilling that purpose as a part fitting into a greater whole into His ultimate purpose and intention. This ultimate is a oneness of all things in the Christ unto the Father that we are all one in all.
John 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
Joh 17:22 And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one,
Joh 17:23 I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.
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