The word fellowship occurs about 17 times in the old and new testament. The Hebrew (OT) word khä·bar’ means to couple together, join…and the Greek (NT) word koi-n?-n?’-ä means fellowship, communion and partner. Fellowship, as indicated in scripture, denotes unity and oneness. Part of the confusion occurring in the church and among Christians today is that we are not properly applying the bibles instruction on fellowship, we are not being discerning, and we are therefore unable to keep a singleness of purpose in holy fellowship. As an example;
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
This is an excellent example of fellowship prerequisites. Walking in the light (spirit of Christ), acknowledging sin, and relying on the blood of Christ to be cleansed from sin. This is not to say we are absolutely sinless – it is to say our desire and daily effort is an ever greater submission to God and a resisting of our sinful nature, as opposed to say, a drunk who has no intention of quitting drinking – but still goes to church. An unrepentant drunks refusal to “change” denies him fellowship.
Another salient scripture on fellowship is;
1Cr 10:20 But I [say], that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
Devils here in Greek is daimonion – which means an inferior pagan god, divine power, divinity. Any deity that is not Christ centered is of the devil. Jesus said “I am the way the truth the light and no one comes to the father but by me”.
So, can we fellowship with pagans? No. Can we worship with pagans? No. Can we enter into ministry with pagans? No. Can we talk to pagans? Yes – Jesus even took up a discussion with a demon possessed man – with one purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. I think one of the errors we make as Christians is we forget what we are here to do (wherever God places at work or in church) and that is to be living testaments, walking scriptures. Paul said the following;
1Corinthians 10:31 – 33 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
Even as I please all [men] in all [things], not seeking mine own profit, but the [profit] of many, that they may be saved.
Why was he seeking to give none offense (offense meaning to cause to stumble)?
That they might be saved.