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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 God’s family so that His children mature in the faith and become more like Jesus Christ.  Next in Paul’s 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.

5อปอลโลคือผู้ใด   เปาโลคือผู้ใด   คือผู้รับใช้   ซึ่งได้สอนพวกท่านให้เชื่อ   เราแต่ละคนได้รับใช้ตามที่องค์พระผู้เป็นเจ้าได้ทรงกำหนดให้

6I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

6ข้าพเจ้าปลูก   อปอลโลรดน้ำ   แต่พระเจ้าทรงทำให้เติบโต

7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

7เพราะฉะนั้นคนที่ปลูกและคนที่รดน้ำไม่สำคัญอะไร   แต่พระเจ้าผู้ทรงโปรดให้เติบโตนั้นต่างหากที่สำคัญ

8He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.

8คนที่ปลูกและคนที่รดน้ำก็เป็นพวกเดียวกันแต่ทุกคนก็จะได้ค่าจ้างตามการที่ตนได้กระทำไว้

9For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.

9เพราะว่าเราทั้งหลายร่วมกันทำงานเพื่อพระเจ้า   ท่านทั้งหลายเป็นไร่นาของพระเจ้า   และเป็นตึกของพระองค์  

Paul liked to use farming examples in his letters, “You are God’s field, God’s 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 God’s 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 God’s 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 www.wdbydana.com/sermon.html

 
 
 
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