The Fields of God - 1 Corinthians 3:5-9

The Fields of God

When I was growing up, I tried to plant some flowers and vegetables, but nothing ever grew. There were likely multiple factors involved in my lack of success. The ground probably wasn’t taken care of, the seeds probably weren’t planted appropriately, and I likely did not water them the required amount. Even today, my wife is much better with plants than I am. I typically warn her that if she leaves for several days that she should not be surprised if all the plants don’t survive when she returns.

We all are laborers in Christ, and we all have different gifts according to His will in our lives. Some are better in certain ministries than others. But it is God who calls our hearts and He is the one responsible for growing His field into a fruitful harvest.

1 Corinthians 3:5-9
5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.

Paul addresses the division among the church in Corinth, and he states that it isn’t himself or Apollos that gives them salvation as Christians. Paul and Apollos were two teachers who only brought God’s Word to them, and they did not do it for their own glory but for the glory of God. Paul preached the Gospel of Jesus and opened their minds to salvation. Apollos kept feeding them the Word of God, but the ultimate glory goes to God because He is the only that allows the growth.

Just as Jesus said that our hearts are soil and the Word of God is a seed, Paul expounds on that by stating that the church body is the collective field of soil. The emphasis for growth should not be on any of the church leaders or us. Pastors and leaders come and go, but God is constant and will always remain. He is the one who works in and through the church. It is by His grace that we have the ability to meet and fellowship together. As we currently go through a pastor transition at our church, we must be reminded that God is the one who sustains the church. All the glory must continue to point to Him. If we are doing it for ourselves, then we are wrong. God calls and brings both leaders and pastors into the church, but He does this for His glory. God has a plan for the body of Christ, for fellow believers. Currently, our church continues on, and we continue to teach God’s Word. We trust that God will provide the one who will become the permanent shepherd of our church. However, God continues to work within our congregation, and people continue to step up and serve. God calls all of us to do the work in His field, and some He is actively grooming before our eyes. However, Paul says that the source of growth is not from our labor alone, but it is only by the grace of God.

In order for the field of God to grow, it requires the land to be cultivated and plowed. Then, the seeds need to be scattered and planted into the soil. Next, the soil must be watered. We are all laborers in Christ and build the church body, but God grows us individually and collectively. Paul and Apollos weren’t competing with each other, they were unified with one purpose, and that was to nourish the new field of God. In the end, we all participate in the rewards of the harvest from our collective and unified work in God. But what are we producing in our field? What kind of fruit is being harvested within our church?

Once our field is plowed, sowed, and watered, our job is still unfinished. We must be diligent and continue to work to ensure we aren’t allowing the weeds of sin to grow within our congregation and our individual hearts. We must be active in our walk and active in our nourishing our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, praying for and encouraging them so that God can grow His field.

Therefore, I encourage us to continue listening to God's calling for our lives. He will open and close doors to guide us in the path He directs for our lives. We must be diligent in the land we plow and the seeds we sow. If God is calling you to be the one that waters the field, do it wholeheartedly and for the glory of God. God gives all of us gifts, and we can be encouraged that He will use us in His time so that His harvest is fruitful. Finally, pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ and encourage them as they grow. Be diligent in your walk with Christ so that you may help prune and de-weed as God grows the field to ensure that the fruit of our labors is genuine and multiplied in God.
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