The word koinonia is one of the key ideas in this short book written by Paul to a Roman citizen named Philemon that he led to Christ. The purpose of the letter was to encourage Philemon to welcome back a former slave (Onesimus) who had wronged Philemon in some way. Onesimus has run away and ended up with Paul where he came to faith in Christ too.
Paul spends time in this short letter talking about the importance of koinonia…or fellowship/partnership in the Gospel of Jesus. Paul is telling Philemon that because of our new life in Christ, we are all partners – no longer slave and free.
I love this little book. It’s such a good example to us of how we are made new because of Christ. Because of Jesus there is no longer slave or free. There is no Jew or Gentile. We are all partners in Christ in the same Kingdom of God.
“So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.”
– Philemon 17-18
What better example do we have of Christ-like love, fellowship in the Gospel (Koinonia) than this. May we live more like this with those around us. Who in your community do you need to see as your partner in the Gospel and not as lesser in some way because of social or economical differences.