Tuesday, July 19, 2011

God Gave the Increase

1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

I see three metaphors describing our work for the LORD. The first is that we are laborers together in the LORD's husbandry; a ploughed field. The word of God is planted in the garden by one. Another comes along and waters the seed with the water of the word, perhaps further explaining the gospel of Jesus Christ. One may be better at explaining the word and his words flow like living water to water the seed of the word.The field is the heart that receives the word of God. God prepares the heart to receive. Often it may take several plantings and watering's before the seed takes root. It is important that we labor together. If one plants the true word and another comes along and pours bitter water on the seed by unbelief, speaking another gospel, or explaining away the word by some denominational difference, then the seed is crowded out by unbelief and confusion. It is important that we labor together with the same message of truth. We each shall receive a reward according to our labor. Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, his grace we receive, but rewards come from our working for his purpose.

Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

The second metaphor is that we are God's building.

1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The foundation is Jesus Christ. Upon this foundation there is the ministry of the apostles. The building is the church, the body of believers. We do not add to the word of God, but we add to the church building new saved saints, through the preaching of the gospel and the work we do for him. We are living stones and Jesus Christ is the Chief cornerstone.

1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

We are a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices. Sacrifices tried by fire, so that all that is not of God shall be burned away. The fire shall try every mans work to show what kind it is. May we be received as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. (Rom !2:1,2)

The third metaphor is that we are temples of God.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Men are always building new church buildings, but does God dwell in the hearts of those who go into the buildings? A building can be a place of entertainment and games, or a place of growing in the word of God. Joy and fellowship along with labor for the kingdom of God. A Holy priesthood, the people are the priests of God. A people of faith in God and the whole word of God. A people who labor together in the truth of God's word coming together in Christ, preaching the cross and his blood shed for sins. Spirit filled people of God, praying and laboring to bring in an increase to the LORD's harvest. We labor in the fields to bring people to salvation adding them as living stones to the building of God. Together we are the temple of God for his spirit dwells within us; a holy people working together, praying, worshipping together by the true faith in the God of Israel; redeemed by his Son, filled with His Holy Spirit.

We labor together to build a spiritual house, temples of the Holy Spirit to bring glory to our Father, the God of Israel who loves us by sending his son to reconcile us to himself.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

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