What is participation?
The simple definition of participation is belonging to a group and sharing in it.
We, who believe Jesus is the son of God, belong to The Kingdom of God and are of the household of God. We are fellow Citizens of The Kingdom and children of God. We belong to God’s group.
“Ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:12 ASV.
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Ephesians 2:19 ESV.
Participation in God connections builds up those we love and we mutually thrive in those relationships.
Paul gives us and wonderful description of participation without mentioning the word.
“So I, a prisoner in The LORD, urge you to live as people whom God has called should live. Be humble and gentle in every way, be patient and lovingly bear with one another. Do your best to keep the oneness of the Spirit by living together in peace: one body and one Spirit —– even as you have been called to share one hope — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over us all, works through us all, and lives in us all.” Ephesians 4:1-6 AAT.
Through our participation, Messiah Jesus builds His body.
Messiah makes the body grow as each of us is working in His Body.
“Let us tell the truth with love and in every way grow up into Him who is the Head — Christ. He makes the whole body fit together, unites is by every contact with its support, and to the extent that each part is working He makes the body grow and builds it up in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16 AAT.
The depth of our taking part as a sharer is shown in communion.
“The cup of blessing, which we bless, does it not mean a joint-participation in the blood of Christ? The loaf of bread which we break, does it not mean a joint-participation in the body of Christ? Since there is one loaf, we who are many are one body; we, all of us, share in that one loaf.” 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 WNT
“For I received from The LORD that which also I delivered to you, that The LORD Yeshua on the night in which he was betrayed took bread. When he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “Take, eat. This is My Body, which is broken for you. Do this in memory of me.” In the same way he also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim The LORD’s death until he comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 WMB.
Our old creature could not begin to understand the meaning of that participation. But, God has made us new creatures created in Christ, so the eyes of our hearts have been enlightened and we can spiritually comprehend it.
We can also understand we have been baptized into Christ’s death, made dead to sin and alive to God united with Christ in His death and resurrection. Our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3), for God has made us new beings fit for The Kingdom of God.
The depth relationships we participate in.
Partakers of the divine nature.
“Simon Peter, a bondservant and Apostle of Jesus Christ: To those to whom there has been allotted the same precious faith as that which is ours through the righteousness of our God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ. May more and more grace and peace be granted to you in a full knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, seeing that His divine power has given us all things that are needful for life and godliness, through our knowledge of Him who has appealed to us by His own glorious perfections. It is by means of these that He has granted us His precious and wondrous promises, in order that through them you may, one and all, become sharers in the very nature of God, having completely escaped the corruption which exists in the world through earthly cravings. But for this very reason — adding, on your part, all earnestness — along with your faith, manifest also a noble character: along with a noble character, knowledge; along with knowledge, self-control; along with self-control, power of endurance; along with power of endurance, godliness; along with godliness, brotherly affection; and along with brotherly affection, love. If these things exist in you, and continually increase, they prevent your being either idle or unfruitful in advancing towards a full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the man in whom they are lacking is blind and cannot see distant objects, in that he has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his old sins. For this reason, brethren, be all the more in earnest to make sure that God has called you and chosen you; for it is certain that so long as you practice these things, you will never stumble. And so a triumphant admission into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be freely granted to you.” 2 Peter 1:1-11 WNT.
Participation in the gospel.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6 NASB (See also Philippians 1)
Participation in the Spirit.
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2 ESV (See also Philippians 2)
Participation in Messiah’s sufferings.
“I consider everything [works of the flesh] a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things . I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through [through the faithfulness of] faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:8-11 NIV (See also Philippians 3)
Participation of the inheritance of the saints.
“Because of this, we also, from the day in which we heard, do not cease praying for you, and asking that ye may be filled with the full knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, to your walking worthily of The LORD to all pleasing, in every good work being fruitful, and increasing to the knowledge of God, in all might being made mighty according to the power of His glory, to all endurance and long-suffering with joy. Giving thanks to the Father who did make us meet for the participation of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” Colossians 1:9-12 YLT.
Participation in the faith.
“I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and faith toward The LORD Jesus and for all the saints. I pray that your participation in the faith may become effective through knowing every good thing that is in us for the glory of Christ. For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.” Philemon 1:4-7 HCSB
Jews will come to full participation in Messiah.
“And so I ask, “They have not stumbled so as to fall, have they?” Of course not! On the contrary, because of their stumbling, salvation has come to the gentiles to make the Jews jealous. Now if their stumbling means riches for the world, and if their fall means riches for the gentiles, how much more will their full participation mean!” Romans 11:11-12 ISV (See also Romans 11)
One another participation is a foundation in the community of Christ Jesus our King.
He commanded, “love one another” (John 13:34).
As we saw in The roots of Faith, one another participation thrived among God’s old covenant people and we can learn from their example.
Yet it lacked the enriching blessings of the new covenant, wherein God is relating with us as His new spiritual creatures capable of a new level of harmonious one another participation. For, we walk by Faith.
We are to avoid participation in the ways and sins of the world.
“Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? ” 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 DRB.
“I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you do not receive of her plagues, for her sins have reached to the sky, and God has remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:4-5 NHEB
~ Bill Bremer