September 3, 2014
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
We have an amazing calling, and that is, “we are God’s co-workers” (1 Cor 3:9a). We don’t just work for God, but we work with God. We are collaborators and partners. We are yoked with Christ. In this work we have our respective responsibilities, but God provides the fruit. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.” (1 Cor 3:6).
What is our task? It is the same as that of Jesus. “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Lk 4:43). We too are sent. We too proclaim the gospel. We evangelize. Jesus wants everyone to come to faith in him, and in this he relies on us to proclaim the good news of salvation in him. We are “ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord assigned each one.” (1 Cor 3:5b).
Now we are also “God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Cor 3:9b). Since we are the one body of Christ, doing the one work of the kingdom, with the one purpose of winning souls, we must also be of one heart and mind. Thus there should be no “jealousy and rivalry among” us (1 Cor 3:3b). There should be no factions, as “whenever someone says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ and another, ‘I belong to Apollos’” (1 Cor 3:4a).
What helps us in this is to know that we all have the same equal worth and dignity, though we are given different tasks. “The one who plants and the one who waters are equal” (1 Cor 3:8a). We will be evaluated and rewarded by God according to how we do our task, not according to how our task is in relation to that of another. Thus “each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.” (1 Cor 3:8b).
At the same time, lest we think more highly of ourselves than we ought, we must know that apart from God we are nothing, that even as we are God’s co-workers, the good results of our labors are all up to His grace, empowerment and blessing. “Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth.” (1 Cor 3:7). We have no cause to boast, except to boast of our weakness and the power of God in us.
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God bless you.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)
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