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Fellowship - The Art Of Sharing

As I write this article in March of 2020, a terrified public, after stockpiling supplies, is now hunkering down in fear as the Coronavirus makes its deathly attack.  With such a massive stockpiling of supplies, what if you, as a Christian, have an abundance of toilet paper and your brother in Christ has none, should you share with him from your abundance?


Some might answer this question with a definite "no."  They would refer to Jesus' parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25) of which five virgins did not prepare for rough times.  They had no oil to light their lamps, and who knows, maybe they had no toilet paper.  No one came to their rescue.  They were out of luck; up the river without a paddle, as the saying goes.    


Others might answer the question with an affirmative "yes," based on 1 John 3:17.


"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?"


They might also reference Acts 4:32 and Acts 2:44 in support of sharing with those in need.  Acts 2:44 reads:


"All the believers were together and had everything in common."


Of course, first-generation believers did not share or hold every last thing they had in common.  There were some limitations.  Good hermeneutics in this instance demands that "everything" does not mean "everything."  Husbands, for example, did not share their wives.


When thinking of sharing, the concept of "fellowship" comes to the forefront in Biblical doctrine and practice.  The word "fellowship" is translated from the Greek word "koinonia" which simply means "to hold something in common," and by implication could mean "to share." 


We see the word "fellowship" throughout the New Testament. In Acts 2:42 it relates to the individual believer's existence in the Community of Christ.  It reads:


"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."


The most important thing Christians hold in common is the Holy Spirit.  He has not only united us with God but He has united us with certain others in the Community of Christ, as the above verse, and 1 Corinthians 12:13 implies.  As we live in koinonia style fellowship with Jesus, we are to live in koinonia style fellowship with those to whom we have been placed alongside in the Community of Christ.  In other words, inherent in being a Christian is sharing our lives with Jesus and with our brothers and sisters in Christ.         


Fellowship is more than sipping on a hot cup of coffee prior to a gathering of the saints.  It's the Holy Spirit inspired art of sharing our lives with those we have been called alongside in the Community of Christ.  How that relates to one's abundance of toilet paper, I leave for you to figure out.      


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