There is much talk of the Ecclesia today. Ecclesia and Koinonia are both descriptions of the fellowship of the Body of Christ. So, what is the difference between the two?
The Ecclesia is the people called out by the legislative assembly to gather together over a matter. In Biblical times, the elders of families were the leaders of the cities, and when needed, they were called to meet at the gates to resolve matters for the city and its people.
In our day, the Ecclesia is the Body of Christ that is called together by the legislative assembly of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit concerning matters of the Kingdom of God which is in us.
Koinonia, on the other hand, is a sharing or having a share in, it is communion, or having in common, it is fellowship, unity, and a bonding.
In the Old Testament, it is the Hebrew word Chabar (Strong's H2266), which means being committed to an allegiance like a covenant. In the New Testament, it is the word Koinonia (Strong's G2842), which is described as the share which one has in anything, intercourse, intimacy, a fulfilling of the apostolic calling, and a joint contribution.
We have a share as heirs of the Kingdom of God and have in common our communion with the Lord, we are to fellowship in unity, bonding together as a bride bonds to her husband in an everlasting covenant.
So, you could look at it this way: The Ecclesia comes together to prepare the Bride of Christ for Koinonia. Ecclesia is dating (coming together in preparation), Koinonia is marriage (becoming one).
In the dating stage, we are courted and drawn to Christ by the Holy Spirit. We become engaged through our salvation, where we are bought with a price and brought into the family of God, where we learn about our husband and prepare to be his Bride.
The Church is the Ecclesia community of believers who meet together, regularly and irregularly, to love one another, care for one another, carry one another's burdens, stir up one another to love and good works, and confess our sins to one another.
Koinonia is the marriage, the joining together of the Body of Christ into a covenanted "one." The place where we can't live without the other, where we have all things in common and where all things affect the common good, it is where we become the unified Bride of Christ.
First, the Ecclesia is called, and through salvation is gathered together into one body and given authority in Christ. Then the Holy Spirit works in the Ecclesia to bring Koinonia, where we are united as one, with Christ as the head, with common goals, working toward God's will, committed to Jesus Christ our future husband, getting to know him until we become one in marriage.
Often when two people have been married for a long time, they begin to look like each other. The Holy Spirit continues to work in us so that we look like our husband, Jesus, who is revealed through us to the world. We are being transformed into the likeness of Christ….becoming one with Him.
We need both the Ecclesia and the Koinonia at this time.
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ... And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." - Ephesians 4:1-6, 11-16 KJV
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