God's Word for Today 1 Corinthians 3 part 2
June 2, 2012
I Corinthians โครินธ์ 3b The Temple of God วิหารของพระเจ้า
Last week as began our study of I Corinthians 3, Paul described three
classifications of people, the natural man, the spiritual man, and the carnal
man. The Word of God is our spiritual food: our milk, our bread, our meat,
even our honey.
What is the ministry all about? It involves loving, feeding, and disciplining
Gods family so that His children mature in the faith and become more like Jesus
Christ. Next in Pauls instruction he compares the work of the church with
farming a field.
The Field 3:5-9a
5What then is Apollos?
What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.
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6I planted, Apollos
watered, but God gave the growth.
7So neither he who
plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
8He who plants and he
who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.
9For we are God's
fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.
Paul liked to use farming examples in his letters, You are Gods field, Gods
garden. The local church is a field that should bear fruit. The work of the
church is the sowing of the seed, the cultivating of the soil, the watering of
the plants, and the harvesting of the fruit.
How did this image of the church as a field apply to the special problems of
the Corinthians? To begin with, the emphasis must be on
God and not on the
laborers. Paul and Apollos were only servants who did their assigned tasks. It
was God who gave life to their efforts. Even the faith of the believers was a
gift from God. It is wrong to center attention on the servants. Look instead to
the Lord of the harvest, the source of all blessing.
Notice the emphasis in this paragraph on increase or growth, and that is Gods
doing. Why compare preachers or statistics? (How many people are in the church,
how many salvations, how many baptisms.) God is the source of the growth;
no man can take the credit. Furthermore, no one man can do
all the necessary work.
Paul planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but only God could make it grow.
From this we can learn that there are different types of ministries, of ways to
serve the Lord, and the growing of the church is a process.
One laborer plows the soil, another sows the seed, a third waters the seed. As
time passes, the plants grow, the fruit appears, and other laborers enjoy
reaping the harvest. This emphasis on diversity will also show up when Paul
compares the church to a body with many different parts.
There is to be a unity of purpose in the church. No matter what work a
person is doing for the Lord, he is still a part of the harvest. Paul, Apollos,
and Peter were not competing with each other. Rather, each was doing his
assigned task under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Even though there is diversity
of ministry, there is unity of purpose; and there ought to be unity of spirit.
There also must be humility, both in the leadership and in the members.
It is not the human laborers that produce the harvest, but the Lord of the
harvest. God gave the increase. God has purposed that human beings should be
His ministers on earth; but their efforts apart from Gods blessing would be
failures. The Corinthians were proud of their church, and various groups in the
assembly were proud of their leaders. But this attitude of pride was dividing
the church because God was not receiving the glory. For more see