What participation is
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.
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. Eph 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. Eph 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 participation, Messiah Jesus builds through His body
Notice particularly that Christ makes the body grow as each of us is working in the body of Christ.
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. Eph 4:15-16 AAT
The depth of our participation
The depth of our participation is shown in the following passage of God’s Word regarding communion.
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation /koinonia in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation/koinonia in the body of Christ? 1 Cor 10:16 ESV
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 (Col 3:3), for God has made us new beings fit for the kingdom of God.
In his preface to the Lord’s supper, Luke shows Jesus was looking forward to Passover fellowship with the 12 and brings forth the mindset Jesus had toward His imminent crucifixion. He knew He was to suffer, but Jesus was looking beyond it to the end of His reign when He turns over His kingdom (Col 1:13) to His Father (1 Cor 15:20-28) in the kingdom that is to come . “For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, thinking nothing of its shame, and sat down at the right of God’s throne” (Heb 12:1-2). Even then, Jesus was looking forward to the kingdom that is to come (Rev 21-22) and the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-10).
When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 2214-20 NASB
The depth relationships we have in group new covenant connections
The depth relationships we have in the common new covenant connections we have in Christ are brought our in the word, “participation.” Here are a few of to consider from God’s Word.
Participation in the support of the saints
Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 2 Cor 8:1-4 NASB Full Chapter
I can’t help put comment here that it would be wonderful to hear pleas for contributions, for saints we do not know personally, first hand from apostles who minister to us.
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. Phl 1:3-6 NASB Full chapter
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. Phil 2:1-2 ESV Full chapter
Participation in Christ’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. Phil 3:8-11 NIV Full chapter
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. Col 1:9-12 Young’s Literal Translation
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. Phm 1:4-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible
Jews will come to full participation in Christ
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! Ro 11:11-12 ISV Full chapter
Participation we are to avoid
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 Cor 6:14-15 Douay-Rheims Bible
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. Rev 18:4-5 New Heart English Bible
Another word which is a translation of koinonia is fellowship
More God connections are brought out in the word, “fellowship.”
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Act 2:42NASB
God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Co 1:9
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.2 Co 13:14
Recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right [fn]hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Gal 2:9
What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1 Jo 1:3
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:6-7
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.