Spiritual Growth – Our Duties as Servants
1 Cor 3:5-15
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. 8 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. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Just like Paul and Apollos, when we are involved in God’s work, be it in full time ministry, a small group leader, or discipling others, we are simply servants. It is ultimately God who gives them the growth. However, we have job to do. Our job is to plant them (to lay a foundation – Jesus Christ), to put them in a conducive environment to growth, to connect them relationally, and to water them, to facilitate growth, to give them feeding and energy to grow.
Each worker will receive his wages according to his labor. The wages are the reward from God as well as the joy of seeing the result of our work as given by God according to our labour. If we labor and build their spiritual growth on the right foundation, then our members’ faith will be genuine, true, and tested, and we will receive a reward from our good God.
The Matrix of a Believer’s Relationship
Our God exists eternally in relationships. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit exist in an eternal relationship of glorifying one another. That’s why He is the only God who is truly Love, because the Trinity exists eternally in loving relationships with one another.
God created us in His image, which means we are created for relationships. We are to ground our identity in God as His image bearers and we are to glorify God and to love one another. When we sin, however, that image is ruined. As a result, we start to draw identity from things other than God. We idolize other human beings and God’s creation. We live not by giving, but by taking from whatever this world has to offer because we are empty and in need of security and identity (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The Consequence of Sin
Jesus came to restore our relationship with God. He reconciled us to God as well as to one another. He did so by cancelling the punishment of sins and by creating in us a new creation in Him. As a result, we have a new identity in Christ. The old has gone, the new has come. This new identity enables us to live in proper relationships (Figure 2).
Figure 2. The Relationships of a New Creation in Christ
With this new identity, we can now live our new lives totally free – free to be what we are intended to be.
- We are free to draw the true identity from God
- We are free to worship God.
- We are free to love the members of God’s family in a community.
- We are free to give and serve, and be on mission to those who are yet to be members of God’s family.
- We are free to steward this wonderful creation.
In the next few posts, we will look at the description of each element of the matrix.