What Does 1 Corinthians 3:9 Mean?

For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.

1 Corinthians 3:9(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

HOW ASTONISHING, that we are fellow-workers with God. We are His field and His holy building! Through us, He wants to bring forth fruit for our eternal benefit - to bring forth 10-fold, 50-fold, 100-fold fruit. We are living stones that are being built into a holy habitation for the Lord. He desires to use us for His greater glory and by His grace, has taken up residence within our mortal bodies, as He supernaturally conforms us into the lovely image and beautiful character of the Lord Jesus - until it is not I that live, but Christ that lives in me, and through me.

What joy should fill our hearts and what awe should flood our beings as we contemplate the momentous position, of 'fellow-workers with God'. But by His grace, all who have trusted Him for salvation have automatically been placed in this position as, "fellow-labourers with Him." We are under His employment and we have a responsibility to do as He tells us - and He will fashion and form us into the image and likeness of His beloved Son, until we reflect Christ's eternal beauty.

We are not co-equal with God. Never! But together as a body of believers, we make up a holy work-force. God first showed His concern for the Gentiles by taking from among them a people for His name. We are ministers of the New Covenant which He cut with Israel, when He went to the Cross. We are a peculiar people. We are called and chosen to shew forth the praises of Him, Who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.

We are not fellow-workers with God because of any merit on our part. We are workmen in God's workforce and ambassadors of Christ, because HE has empowered us by faith. He has breathed His life into each one of us. He carries out His work within, through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit - Who provides us with spiritual gifts, heavenly grace, and the sufficient strength to fulfil the work that He has prepared for us to do.

As the Body of Christ, we are instructed to labour in this world, so as to bring about God's fullness in Christ. Each of us is given his allotted task in God's eternal plan, although the work each member is called upon to do may differ from the work God instructs others to complete. Some sow, some water, some reap, some gather into barns, and some pray without ceasing, but ALL trust in the Lord of the Harvest, Who alone gives the increase.

But we are not only fellow-labourers with God. We are also the fruit of His hands and a work in progress. Just as we are called to minister the gospel of grace to others, so we are required to submit to His leading in our lives, as we are being conformed into the image and likeness of Christ.

He is breaking up the fallow ground within our own hearts and He is sowing His seeds of love and grace, humility, kindness, and patience, as He weeds out the thorns and thistles of Self-interest, Self-importance, and Self-dependence - which is the ugly fruit of the old sin nature. And in His grace, He replaces it with the sweet nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who demonstrates to us the same confidence He had in the Father, that we need to have in the Son.

It is as we submit to His perfect will for our life, that we discover His will becomes the dear desire of our heart. It is as we walk in step with His perfect will, that we discover that we can run and not be weary - walk and not faint. The confidence we have in Him, is that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. He will never abandon us nor let us down, and this translates into a confidence that we can achieve impossible tasks, when HE is in control.

The agricultural metaphor of fertilisation and full-fruitage, tumbles into the glories of magnificent architecture and a building that is growing into the Temple of the Living God - for the same little flock, that are God's fellow-labourers are also those living stones that are being fitly built together and raised-up into the magnificent superstructure that is the Church - the Body of Christ - the dwelling-place of the Lord of the Harvest.

As God's fellow-workers, let us occupy until He comes to take us to be with Himself. Let us be content to work the works of God in the place where He has planted us, submitting to His refining work in our inward parts, as we labour with our Lord as co-worker and fellow-labourer and as we continue to be fitted together as a dwelling-place for His Holy Spirit.

My Prayer

Loving Father, thank You for the privilege of being used in the world as a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to do the work that You have already prepared for me to do. Root out all that is of me, and replace it with the sweet nature of the Lord Jesus, as I carry out the work that You have prepared for me to do, in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.

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