Koinonia is the New Testament word for Intimate Partnership

by SOR Mission on April 24, 2012

Learning from the Apostle Paul’s words to Philemon about Onesimus


One might not think that there would be much to glean from a short letter written by Paul to his fellow Christian friend Philemon concerning a guy who had helped Paul but was now returning to become once again Philemon’s indentured slave.  Is there any truth in this for me today?

Paul’s words ring out to us in verse six where he states, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ”.   We may think that once again someone is telling me I’ve got to go out and share my faith at work or at home or wherever.  Well you might just have kind of missed Paul’s point here.

In the reading of this passage you’ll see that the word rendered “sharing” comes from the Greek word “κοινωνία” or in English it’s commonly written “koinonia”.  This word in verse 6 is used to denote a partnership or better yet an intimate participation with your faith.

Mateo’s translation of Philemon might read, “I pray that through an intimate hands on knowledge of the faith working in you, you will deeply understand the awesome things that we possess in Jesus Christ”


In understanding this verse, I find it’s such a joy to be working here in Honduras with those I’ve come to love and to enjoy being around. In being intimate with my faith means that I daily put it to work helping those who need the love of Jesus.   Yes, there are always the negative things one can focus on but there’s so many great and awesome things going on around me here in the capital.  I like knowing that if something ever happened to me, before this body of mine hit the pavement, I would be in God’s eternal presence.  Wow, now that’s something you can hang on to with confidence.

Let’s set aside every weighty problem that’s attempting to take us down so that we’ll put to rest our faith making it inactive.  But rather let’s get intimate with our faith by activating it to do good deeds for God so that we might come to know what awesome things he has in store for those of us who love him with the same intimacy from which he loves us.

Joyfully Submitted for your reading and application,


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