What Does Fellowship Mean In The Bible

What Does Fellowship Mean In The Bible

For many of us, the word fellowship carries a different meaning than what it does in the Bible. To many of us, fellowship might mean something more along the lines of companionship, friendship, or shared activities. But what does the term “fellowship” mean to those of us who read and study the Bible?

In the Bible, fellowship is used to describe a relationship of close communion with others in the church, and with God himself. The Greek word behind “fellowship” in the New Testament, “koinonia”, carries the connotation of close association: a cooperation and common participation in a mission.1 It is the idea of having a deep relationship with God and actively participating in the same mission and purpose with our Christian brothers and sisters.

Most often, fellowship is presented in the Bible as a joyous occasion. The Lord’s Supper, for instance, is described as a joyful celebration of the bond between believers. When Paul addresses the churches, his words are often addressed to “beloved brothers in the fellowship” (Philemon 1:3). This rings of profound love and a joy that comes from being so closely united with the Lord’s people.

Fellowship in the Bible also carries a great deal of responsibility. At times, this sense of responsibility may feel burdensome. We are responsible to each other for how we treat each other, for our actions, and for how we use the gifts God has given us. We are also responsible for each other in terms of accountability, and for our roles within the Body of Christ.

The Bible also links fellowship to obedience. Right after Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus said to his disciples “just as my Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). He then gave them the command to obey and follow his will to bring the Good News of the Kingdom to others. We, too, are to follow Jesus’ charge and have fellowship with others in obeying and following his command to us.

Finally, fellowship in the Bible encourages us to maintain a proper perspective on life in relation to our faith. We are to seek God’s will for our service, and for our lives. We are to look out for one another in the spirit of love and unity, and in sharing our gifts and talents. Fellowship, then, is an important part of how we live our lives as Christians in an effort to glorify God.

Fellowship and Love

The Bible emphasizes the importance of fellowship and love in our Christian life. Jesus often repeated the command that we should love one another (John 13:34-35). The New Testament recalls the importance of brotherly/sisterly love (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10), forbearing one another in love (Ephesians 4:2), serving one another in love (Galatians 5:13), and not forgetting to show hospitality to other members of the church (Hebrews 13:2). These commands guide us in terms of how we are to act when we are in fellowship with others.

Fellowship is also a mountaintop to be reached in our spiritual lives. Paul encouraged the members of the early church to reach out and help each other up towards “this mountain” of fellowship (Ephesians 4:13-16). Paul’s words call us to use the gifts we have been given to make our place in the Body of Christ a meaningful one, and to help one another achieve their highest potential.

The idea of fellowship and love are also shown in the many examples of Jesus’ relationships with his disciples. Through Jesus’ teachings and actions, we are reminded of the importance of loving each other and of the bonds of fellowship that come from it.

Our Christian fellowship is an important part of the life of the church, and we are called to love and serve one another. We are also called to live up to the high standard of Christlike love that Jesus set for us, to always be on the lookout for opportunities to help others, and to effectively use our God given gifts in service to one another.

Fellowship and Sacrifice

The Bible also shows the importance of fellowship in the context of sacrificial love. Fellowship involves sacrifice and selflessness, as exemplified by Jesus and the early church. We are called to humble ourselves in love and to serve one another in love and not for our own benefit.

John 15:13 tells us that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Jesus demonstrated this type of sacrificial love throughout his ministry and on the cross, where he willingly died for our sins out of love for us. His example inspires us to also have a sacrificial love for our fellow believers, even when it is at great cost or inconvenience.

We are encouraged to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2), to encourage one another generously and “abound in love for one another” (1 Thessalonians 3:12), and to be ready to forgive and show mercy, just as God is “kind to the ungrateful and the wicked” (Luke 6:35).

In essence, the Bible calls us to sacrifice our interests for the betterment of the fellowship. We are to place the needs of our fellow members of the church above our own, and to have “the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). This is the height of Christian fellowship, and an important element of our journey in faith.

Fellowship and the Holy Spirit

Lastly, fellowship in the Bible is a reflection of our relationship to the Holy Spirit as co-members of God’s Body. Christians are united in the Spirit, and thus have a tremendous bond of fellowship with each other. The Spirit is described as being intimately involved in our fellowship, as He intercedes with us, helps us to understand scripture and guides us in our daily decision-making.

The Spirit is present in the moments where we gather to worship and praise the Lord together. This is especially true when we are in unity; it is said that God’s Spirit is most powerfully present when we gather in unity and love.” This Spirit of unity is evident in Philippians 2:1–2, which describes how we as believers should be “filled with the same mind” and should live “in unity of spirit in the bond of peace.”

The Holy Spirit’s presence strengthens our fellowship and sharpens our faith. When we are in fellowship with other believers, we can share our struggles and our successes and be comforted by the Spirit’s presence. The Spirit also helps us to remember to maintain unity with one another, and to look to God’s guidance and direction.

Fellowship and Service

The Bible calls us to be actively involved in the life of the church and to use our gifts and talents in service to others in the body of Christ. In Acts 2:42–47, we see that early Christians actively participated in sharing their spiritual gifts, in the breaking of bread together, and in teaching each other the gospel. These activities were done in unity, and in a spirit of brotherly love.

Paul describes fellowship with the church as being about more than just gathering for Communion and prayer. In his letter to the Christians in Philippi, Paul encourages them to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Paul’s message speaks to the importance of developing a spirit of mutual service, both within the church and with those in the world.

As we serve in fellowship, our gifts and talents are magnified. We draw strength from one another, and our love for the Lord grows even stronger. Together, we have the courage to take bold steps of faith, and are able to accomplish great things in his name.

Fellowship and Worship

Worship is a key part of Christian fellowship. Worship is not just something that happens on Sunday mornings, but rather it is a lifestyle of worship. As Christians, we are called to recognize God’s provision, love and greatness in all aspects of life. Through our worship, we offer thanks to God for His gifts and for His guidance, and we seek His will for our lives.

The Bible also speaks of the importance of corporate worship. Hebrews 10:24–25 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Our corporate worship serves to strengthen our fellowship with each other and with the Lord, and to edify one another.

We are also commanded to worship God with joy and with our whole heart (Psalm 100). Through worship, we become closer to God, and our fellowship with Him and with His people is made richer. Worship is a vital part of Christian fellowship, and an essential element of our faith.


In summary, the Bible shows us that fellowship is an important way for us to live out our faith. It is about loving and serving each other, lifting each other up, and growing closer to the Lord. Through fellowship we come to understand what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus, and to grow in our understanding of His will and His ways in our lives.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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