When The Holy Spirit was poured out, God’s people came together in agape.
The TLC — Tender Love and Care (agape) in fellowship (koinonia) is God being through us. By The Holy Spirit we thrive in rich interpersonal relationships, mutuality and interdependence, remembering before God our Father, Jesus’ death until He comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26)
In koinonia, we love (agape) one another in word and deed, encourage one another, teach and admonish one another, give and receive edification, exhortation and comfort, sharing our lives and resources with one another.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. A sense of awe came over everyone, and the apostles performed many wonders and signs.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they shared with anyone who was in need.
With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And The LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47.
In his letter to the persecuted Philippians, Paul wrote:
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In every prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart. For in my chains and in my defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partners in grace with me. God is my witness how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love/ agape may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to test and prove what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:3-11 (1 Corinthians 1:4-9; Colossians 1:3-14)
“Therefore if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love/agape, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love/agape (agape), being united in spirit and purpose.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:1-3 (Ephesians 2:11-18)
In his letter to Philemon, Paul wrote:
“I always thank my God, remembering you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in The LORD Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that your partnership in the faith may become effective as you fully acknowledge every good thing that is ours in Christ. I take great joy and encouragement in your love, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” Philemon 1 :4-7.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul exhorted the Corinthians and us not to be yoked with the world:
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with wickedness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
- “I will dwell with them
- and walk among them,
- and I will be their God,
- and they will be My people.”
- “Therefore come out from among them
- and be separate, says The LORD.
- Touch no unclean thing,
- and I will receive you.”
- “I will be a Father to you,
- and you will be My sons and daughters,
- says The LORD Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
John, the Apostle of Love wrote the book of Acts. In his 1 John letter he exhorts us to walk in the light as Messiah Jesus is in the light.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands — this is the Word of life. And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us.
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And this fellowship of ours is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write these things so that our joy may be complete.
And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (John 8:12–29; 11:10; 12:35)
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:1-10 (Luke 24:36–49; John 20:19–23)
All Scripture quotations are from the BSB unless otherwise noted.
~ Bill Bremer