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Intimacy with Others (κοινωνία)

You and I were also created for intimacy with one another (see previous post on intimacy with God).  We most often use the word intimacy to describe a close physical relationship between a man and a woman.   While it is helpful for us to have a distinguishing term for this type of union, we can easily miss out of the reality that we are created to enjoy true Biblical intimacy with others as well.

The greek term for this type of relationship is κοινωνία, describing communion by intimate participation. The word is used frequently in the New Testament to describe the relationships that existed within the Early Church.  These people were flat committed to God and one another! The same bonds that link us to Jesus also link us with other followers of Jesus.  This is a remarkable mystery, but I have experienced it and can vouch that it is true!  The New Testament letters describe these bonds as so vital and genuine that a deep level of intimacy can be experienced among those who chose to enter into this type of intimate participation with one another.

To create a bond between brothers or sisters in the faith is the meaning of koinonia when people are recognized, share their joy and pains together, and are united because of their common experiences, interests and goals.  κοινωνία creates a mutual bond, which overrides each individual’s pride, vanity, and individualism, fulfilling the human yearning with fraternity, belonging, and companionship. This meaning of koinonia accounts for the ease by which sharing and generosity flow. When combined with the spiritual implications of koinonia, fellowship provides a joint participation in God’s graces and denotes that common possession of spiritual values. (this paragraph taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koinonia)

I have found that establishing κοινωνία with a few others is a vital component to experiencing the fullness of life t that Jesus offers us.  This has been (and continues to be) one of the great joys of being a follower of Jesus.

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