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Powerful Partnerships. A Biblical Perspective By Koko Enrile. Introduction. The primary Greek word for partners or partnership is Koinonia . Koinonia appears at least 19 times in the New Testament The common translation of Koinonia to English is “FELLOWSHIP”.

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powerful partnerships

Powerful Partnerships

A Biblical Perspective


Koko Enrile

  • The primary Greek word for partners or partnership is Koinonia.
  • Koinonia appears at least 19 times in the New Testament
  • The common translation of Koinonia to English is “FELLOWSHIP”.
  • Which in turn includes participation, sharing and association.

Kittel, who is the author of the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament describes Koinonia as follows

    • “to share with someone in something”
      • Which means participation
  • 1 Cor 1:9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • This partnership with God is meant to lead us into meaningful partnerships as brothers and sisters in God’s Kingdom (1 John 1:3)
    • We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

This participatory nature of partnerships lead to

    • Relational intimacy (Phl 1:3-5) I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
    • The advance of God’s Word and his Church!
      • John 13:35 – By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Another concept is reciprocity which means “to give someone a share in something”

  • I Corinthians 9:10: Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. ESV
    • There is the presence of plowmen(sowers) and threshers
    • Receiving and giving
      • 2 Cor 9:13
      • Rom 15:27
    • The biblical concept of partnership is deeply rooted in relationships!

Mark 12:28-34

      • Jesus teaches us that love relationships and partnerships are of very great importance.
      • From such relationships, the great commission can be pursued!
    • There is no greater work or greater understanding of partnerships than the building of relationships in love!
      • Rom 13:10, 1 Cor 12:31b-13:3, Col 3:14, 1 Tim 1:5, John 13:34-35
  • Partnership is Relationships
1 partnership with god
1. Partnership with God
  • Gen 1:26-28
    • From the beginning, we see the partnership of the Holy Trinity
    • God likewise partners with man to be co-rulers of the Earth.
  • Other scriptures that depict this partnership
    • Matt. 28:19; John 14:26; 15:26; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:4-5.
    • This is very significant for we see that from beginning to end, God calls us to have a relationship with Him and be partners with him!

Our partnership with God are as follows

    • In life (Gen. 2:7; John 1:4; 10:10; Acts 17:28; Gal. 2:20)
    • In World Redemption (Gen. 1:28; Ps. 8:3-8, 1 Pet 2:9, Rev 5:9-10)
  • Examples of vertical partnership
    • Mat 28:18-20 with Jesus
    • Acts 13:3-4 with the Holy Spirit
    • Other texts
      • 1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 6:1; 1 Pet. 4:13; Rev. 1:9.
      • OT – men had dialogues with God
        • Abraham. David, etc…
  • Today, we pray, fast, have our quiet times and walk with the Lord according to His word.
2 partnership with disciples
2. Partnership with Disciples
  • Examples of Partnerships
    • Peter, James, John, and the others are called partners in fishing (Luke 5:7, 10)
    • Husbands and wives are co-equals in 1Peter 3:7
    • Partnerships can be individual or corporate in nature.
  • Paul had both corporate and individual partnerships and developed ideal relationships in most cases.

With Churches

    • Antioch
    • Philippi
    • Ephesus
  • With Individuals
    • Timothy
    • Barnabas
    • Titus
  • What was shared in the partnership
    • Free/open interchange of resources of men or knowledge.
    • Transparency and vulnerability on both sides about motives, money, and potentially touchy, personal issues

Prayer was essential and fervent by all

      • Frequent, passionate communication through letters
      • Intimate relationships led to a most fruitful mutual advance of the Gospel (Ex. Acts 19:8-10)
    • Depth of partnership
      • Commonly held passions, aims, and goals; they suffered together and for one another; time spent together was repeated and substantial
      • Phil. 1:7 “It is right for me to feel this way about you, since I have you in my heart.” Also Phil. 2:19-22
  • Gordon speaks of interdependence. This is what partnerships are all about!
  • Although this kind of relationship can be risky and messy at times. (Paul and Barnabas)

But we must not be surprised or sometimes discouraged by the messiness and riskiness of our joint ventures! Rather, serving and persevering in love and discernment, God will prevail in and beyond our partnerships.

  • (Rom. 16:25-27; Eph. 3:20-21; Jude 24-25).
  • Partnerships are essential in relationship building
  • This is a tool or structure which we can utilize to further John 13:34 to 35 and a fulfillment of the great commandment.
  • Partnerships will sustain our momentum to save which is lost and thus fulfill the great commission
  • Let’s take our partnerships to the next level of faith!
  • Reflecting on John 13:34-35, is my partnership growing towards this end?
    • What can I do to help our partnership grow more?
  • What are some specific things do I need to do in order for our partnerships to get deeper to the point of Paul’s re