Some things are better shared than enjoyed alone. My two oldest sons are bookworms. When one reads and loves a book, he immediately wants to share it with the other. He is convinced that his enjoyment of that book will be greater if he can share it with his brother. Perhaps you have felt the same way about a book. Or a movie. Or a joke. Or a restaurant.
We usually want to share with others the things that bring us real joy in life. We want to help others know and experience the things we delight in. Our joy in them actually increases when we share that joy with other people.
This principle is especially true of biblical community. When our faith in the gospel and our delight in Christ is shared with other believers, it grows. The joy we have as Christians increases when we can share that joy with others. I think many Christians know this to be true through experience, but God’s Word confirms this for us all (even if we haven’t had such an experience). Writing to Philemon, Paul says: I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ (Philemon 1:6).
The word Paul uses for sharing is the Greek word koinonia, often translated “fellowship” or something like that. In the time of the New Testament, it was a word from the marketplace, commonly used of business partnerships and other such enterprises. It pictures two (or more) people mutually invested in and working toward a common cause. Paul’s point in Philemon 1:6, then, is that when we enjoy a “sharing” or “mutual investment” of our faith, our faith becomes “effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” In other words, we know more fully – and enjoy more fully – the rich benefits of the gospel when we share those benefits with others.
We know more fully – and enjoy more fully – the rich benefits of the gospel when we share those benefits with others.
This principle undergirds our vision for Community Groups here at Capitol City. The Bible never envisions Christians growing in isolation. The Bible envisions growth in community – people sharing in gospel truths and benefits in relationship with one another. We can only come to the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ when we pursue that knowledge together. We truly are better together. We truly do need one another. In gospel-centered community, we can find what we need, and what will allow us to grow into the full knowledge of all that Christ is and has done for us.