Intro: the Corinthian church had been blessed with two great ministries, that of Paul, the churches first missionary church planted, and Apollos, one of the first great speakers to travel in ministry. But the church had become almost divided over who belong to who’s camp. Some where Paulites, some had become Apollosites, so Paul gives us some help on how the work of God really should be.
I Corinthians 3:1-11
The first important point in how about God’s work, the church, is that we should never be divided by personality.
Over the years I have met people who polarize toward one ministry, and they almost can’t receive anything unless it comes from that ministry. This is dangerous because it can become cultic.
Also, you must always be careful not to have selective hearing, you must be able to hear from anyone who is declaring God’s Word faithfully.
v.5—the instruments are not as important as the oil, and the messenger isn’t as important as the message. Paul, and Apollos where gifts to the church, but they were vessels that were used by the Lord, for the Lord’s glory.
v.6—Paul planted—Apollos watered, God gave the increase. We see an important principal working here, some are the planters, some are the ones who do the watering, and others get the opportunity to reap, but God gives the increase. You need God’s Spirit and anointing on any part of the process.
v.7-Paul emphasized that who was being used by God didn’t matter as much as that they were being used by God. God receives the glory, Jesus is exalted in anything we do. He must increase, we must decrease.
v.8—we are all in this together—Paul really gave a good Word against division, that everyone is working for the same team. Every one, no matter how great the work or how small, God is using everyone for His purpose and plan.
v.10—rejoice in being part of the process. Sometimes as a Pastor you will preach and see people who won’t respond, and you will bring in another speaker and they will surrender. But you rejoice that you had a part in the building of a life.
v.11-Jesus is the foundation for every work. Everything you do, every ministry are part of, it is all for the building of His Kingdom.