The Book of Acts tells us that after the first disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit, they were “continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, emphasis added). The Greek word used for fellowship, koinonia, appears here for the first time in the Bible and then is used 18 times throughout the New Testament.
Koinonia, which also can be translated as “partnership,” is a supernatural grace that causes Christians to love one another deeply. It was not possible before Pentecost because it is a manifestation of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Just as the Spirit’s dunamis power enables us to heal the sick or work miracles, His koinonia knits our hearts and binds us together.
After the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2, koinonia caused the early disciples to share their possessions unselfishly (vv. 44–45) and to share meals often (v. 46). Many people decided to become Christians when they witnessed this loving community (v. 47).
Koinonia was an essential ingredient in the New Testament church. It is what connected Paul, Timothy, Luke, Titus, and Priscilla and Aquila as a team. It is what held the early Christians together in the face of persecution and caused them to lay down their lives for one another.
We must return to koinonia—but you can’t download it or fake it. We will have to scrap artificial, event-driven programs if we want to have the relational Christianity of the Book of Acts. And we will have to invite the Holy Spirit to do His work of connecting us with our brothers and sisters in Christ with His supernatural bond.