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'Life in the Kingdom, Part 1'Rick Joyner

 The Scriptures make it clear that walking in new covenant church life is required to walk in the new covenant, as we see in texts like I John 1:7: “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship [koinoniawith one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

         Though this verse does not necessarily address our redemption for trusting in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, it does talk about walking in the new covenant. Many do have a genuine salvation experience when they trust in the cross of Jesus for their redemption and are born again but seem spiritually “stillborn” by not walking in the benefits Jesus paid for them. How this affects their eternal life is not scripturally clear, but we do know they at least miss out on the benefits they could have in this life.


         One of the most wonderful benefits of walking in the light of the new covenant is koinonia fellowship with other members of His body. Koinonia is the highest and deepest relationship we can experience. It is a level of bonding that goes beyond what we can experience with even the closest human family, because koinonia can only be experienced with Jesus in our midst. Jesus brings to human relationships a touch from heaven that can only be experienced by those connected to Him and to the heavenly realm. 

         I still remember how amazing it was to experience the love and openness Christians have for one another when I first became a Christian. Whenever I met someone new, it felt like I had known them well and for a long time. I have been devoted to church since I was born again, which has been more than half a century, and this has brought a richness and depth to my life I cannot even imagine living without. 

         I have been part of a few unique congregations that have been enriching and wonderful. However, I think I have only experienced true koinonia with a body of believers a few times. This was a next-level openness and depth of relationship compared to what I had generally experienced with other believers. This has also ruined me to the point that this remains a chief pursuit of my life. 

         Unfortunately, the fellowships where I experienced true koinonia were all sidetracked and eventually disbanded. This was so profoundly troubling to me, I resolved to understand what had happened. I concluded that the main reason they were sidetracked was that we had started seeking koinonia more than the Lord. We did this because the experience was and is so truly wonderful, but we cannot let the Lord’s great gifts distract us from Him. Even the greatest, most important truths or benefits we have from the Lord can become idols when we allow them to eclipse our devotion to Him. 

         The danger with koinonia is that it is so wonderful, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek it or seek to maintain it. We just need to keep our devotion to the Lord that much stronger. Our relationship with the Lord can and should remain greater than any other, and if we keep Him first we can be trusted with other great blessings for which He paid a dear price for us to have and enjoy.

         I know people who have made prayer an idol. They judge themselves and others by how much they pray. Prayer is certainly one of the greatest gifts we have. How can we not constantly marvel at our ability to go boldly before the King of kings with our petitions and know we will be heard? It’s also one of the chief things we know from Scripture that God loves. However, just because some take it to an extreme or make an idol out of it, doesn’t mean we should stop praying. We should just be more resolved to do it the right way. The same is true in our pursuit of koinonia. Don’t let it or anything else eclipse your devotion to the Lord.

Rick Joyner


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