On the subject the Holy Spirit. Let’s briefly recap and begin to look specifically at fellowship, partnership, and responsibility of the Holy Spirit with and to us.
The greatest gift Jesus gave to humanity was Himself. The greatest gift God gave the Church was the Holy Spirit.
Jesus promised the disciples He would send another comforter, the Spirit of truth who would abide with us forever. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever…” John 14:16 NKJV
In John 14:16, the word “another” is the Greek word allos, meaning: one besides, another of the same kind. Jesus’ use of allos for sending another helper equals “one besides Me and in addition to Me but one just like Me. He will do in My absence what I would do if I were physically present with you.” He will bring continuity with what Jesus did and taught.
The word “helper” is the Greek word parakletos, a word that is derived from para “beside” and kaleo “to call”; meaning “called to one’s side.” The word signifies an intercessor, comforter, helper, advocate, and counselor. In nonbiblical literature, parakletos had the meaning of “an attorney who appears in court on another’s behalf.”
The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father, comes alongside us to help us, and He is just like Jesus! He reveals the Father and the Son to us, He leads us into truth, He guides and directs us, He gives us strength, and He comforts us.
I assure you that it is better for you that I go away. If I don’t go away, the Companion won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7 CEB
To begin real fellowship with the Holy Spirit, you must know Him first as a person, not just His power.
However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you in all truth. He won’t speak on his own, but will say whatever he hears and will proclaim to you what is to come.” John 16:13 CEB
The Greek word for Spirit pneuma would normally take the pronoun “it.” But in this verse, Jesus spoke of the personhood of the Holy Spirit by speaking of “he.” Just as you have a unique personality, so does the Holy Spirit. He is full of love, peace, joy, and truth.
Like any person, He thinks, hears, speaks, and has emotions and a will. He can be hurt by our careless words and actions. Since He is a person, and not just a power, we want to build relationship with Him and yield to His leading and power. I have modified the following from a word study I read years ago by Pastor Rick Renner.
Paul wrote in his 2 Corinthians benediction:
Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” 2 Cor. 13:11-14 NKJV
The primary verse for our study today is verse 14: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”
The English word “communion” translates from the Greek word koinōnía and can mean fellowship, communion, sharing, participation. It is a term that conveys a sense of commonality, solidarity, and shared responsibility among households or individuals. The most general sense of this term refers to a shared conviction that manifests itself as mutual responsibility and status.
Through Jesus we know the love of the Father, and our communion or fellowship with God and God’s people is given by the Holy Spirit. There is no fellowship with the Holy Spirit apart from a life surrendered to Jesus.
In Acts, we read of the close communion the disciples had, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42 NKJV
What is fellowship?
The Oxford Dictionary defines fellowship as 1) friendliness and companionship based on shared interests. 2) a group of people that meet to pursue a shared interest or aim.
In Acts 2:42 koinōnía denotes the family fellowship expressed in the church’s life. Intimacy, transparency, shared interest, and heart-to-heart communication in relationships are essential to build trust and experience true friendship. This is also true for our genuine fellowship with the Holy Spirit. In this season, God is inviting us to go deeper in genuine relationship with Him and each other.
Paul wrote how the Holy Spirit leads and guides those who are yielded to Him. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Rom 8:14 NKJV
This verse speaks of ongoing interaction with the Holy Spirit. The English word led is from the Greek word agō and means to guide, function, or spend time with. Authentic communion and fellowship with the Holy Spirit occur as we spend time with Him, function with Him, and allow Him to guide and direct us.
Just like any person, to have real relationship with the Holy Spirit we must learn not to grieve Him. Paul wrote in Eph 4:30 “and do not grieve the Holy Spirit…” Grieve means to cause injury or distress. As in any relationship, we must endeavor to honor the other person, listen to their heart, and value the relationship.
Keeping the above in mind, 2 Cor. 13:14 could convey this idea, “… and the fellowship (or friendliness, companionship) of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Value fellowship with the Holy Spirit!
In 2 Cor. 13:14 the word koinōnía can also be referred to as partnership.
An example of koinōnía conveying the idea of partnership can be found in Luke 5 after Jesus supplied a miraculous catch of fish. Peter needed help and called to the others.
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” Luke 5:1-11 NKJV
Luke 5:7 says, “So they signaled to their partners…” Partners in this verse is a form of this word koinōnía. However, in Luke 5:7 it refers to business partners. The men in the other boats Peter signaled to were his business associates or partners in a fishing business, soon to be partners in the gospel!
Keeping this in mind, 2 Cor. 13:14 could convey this idea, “… and the partnership of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
Looking at Jesus’ earthly life, this makes sense. He and the Holy Spirit always worked together. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus worked hand in hand with the Holy Spirit in the Gospels, dependent upon Him, “I can of Myself do nothing…” John 5:30 NKJV
If Jesus needed this kind of ongoing partnership with the Holy Spirit, so do we, and so did the early disciples.
We see an example of this with Paul in Acts,
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Acts 16:6-10 NIV
Over the years, numerous times the Holy Spirit has “nudged” me to action! It could be as simple as praying for someone during my prayer time or out in public for healing. Or, on occasion, He has directed me to make a missions trip overseas. Some of those trips have had powerful results as I followed His leading and allowed Him to be the principal partner!
The Holy Spirit wants to fellowship and partner with you, just like a close friend, or close partner in the same business endeavor. It is the family business, God’s Kingdom that is expanding and growing!Responsibility
Another idea conveyed by the word koinōnía is the idea of taking responsibility for someone.
In writing to the Philippians, Paul praised them, “Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.” Phil. 4:14 NKJV
Paul wrote to the Philippians while in prison in Rome, commending them for their generous gift for his ministry. The word “shared” here is another form of the word koinōnía and can mean “took responsibility for.”
Paul had traveled and ministered for many years, planting churches, raising up leaders, and giving his life for the church. Unfortunately, few helped him much. To cover expenses, Paul worked as a tentmaker during the day.
While in the Roman prison, Paul received a sizable offering from the Philippians. They understood their responsibility to help him and took up an offering to support him and communicate their love for him.
Paul uses the same Greek word koinōnía to convey this meaning so 2 Cor. 13:14 could read, “and the responsibility of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
This means that just as the Holy Spirit wants to become your partner, He also wants to assume great responsibility for you in this world.
If you wish, He will stand by and watch you try to do it all alone. But if you open your heart to the Holy Spirit, He will assume a more active role in your life. He wants you to know that you are not alone and that He will take responsibility for you!
Begin today to develop a walk of daily communion with the Greater One within! Let Him be all He wants to be in your life: your source of wisdom, power, and strength to launch you forth into victory. He will answer your cry for more!
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring;” Isa 44:3 NKJV