I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building (1 Cor. 3:6-9).
There’s a very important phrase found in 1 Corinthians 3:9. Paul says, “For we are God’s fellow workers.” That’s the New King James translation. I like the way the King James Version translates it: “For we are labourers together with God.”
Stop for a minute and analyze that phrase: “labourers together with God.” As Christians, we are laborers. There is work to do! Further, we are laborers together. We’re not alone in our Christian journey. In fact, we can’t do it alone! It takes all of us working together as the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12). Finally, he goes so far as to say that we are laborers together with God. Now that is amazing! God is our strength; it is from Him that our power comes to accomplish His will in our lives (Rom. 1:16).
Today, I want us to consider the work of the church in light of that power from God. The work in which we are involved is the most important work on earth! We’re talking about soul-saving, eternity-determining matters! God gives us the strength to accomplish this great work through His amazing word.
The work of the church needs steadfast servants, sound shepherds, and stationed supporters. Let’s examine each of these individually over the next three days.
Today, we turn our attention to the steadfast servants.
God wants everyone to be a steadfast servant. He has given us the guidance we need to know what we are to do and how we are to do it. Consider three areas: the prerequisites, the purpose, and the power.
For one to be a servant of God, he or she must be obedient to the gospel. That’s how we become part of God’s family, added to the church (Acts 2:47). The Christians at Rome had “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (Rom. 6:17). They met the prerequisites.
We are not redeemed by Christ’s blood merely to occupy a pew several times a week. There is work to do! The work of the church has been categorized into three sections: evangelism, edification, and benevolence. Evangelism is the spreading of the gospel (Mat. 28:18-20). Edification is the building up, the encouragement, of the church, our brothers and sisters in Christ (Eph. 4:16). Benevolence is assistance that is provided to those in need (Gal. 6:10).
Finally, let’s notice once again that the power to accomplish these three important tasks is found in God – and only in Him! His gospel is the power to save (Rom. 1:16). His nature has shown us comfort so that we can comfort others (2 Cor. 1:3-4). His Word promises that our labors are not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58).
Let’s wrap it up: We have important work to do. Are you involved in the Lord’s work? Are you a steadfast servant, one who is unwavering in God’s work? Live up to the potential for which you were reborn into Christ by giving your life to Jesus and working for Him every day.