11/13/16 God Gives the Increase!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, November 14, 2016 Under: Sermon

Saints GO Marching On Series – 1 Corinthians 3:5-23

Intro: I didn’t like the preacher! How many times have you had a conversation with someone who based there involvement with a church on what the preacher did or didn’t do? Could you imagine someone leaving a church because of the preacher’s looks, or maybe the preacher preached too long, he went pass noon. Maybe because he was a Duke fan or his humor was an interruption. The list could go on with excuses and as sarcastic as some of this sounds it is very realistic. A pastor could be preaching the sound doctrine of the scriptures and people don’t like him. Yes it sounds like I have used some personal application here in this introduction, but Paul was speaking to the church in Corinth who was struggling with the ministers and he wanted the Saint to see it is God who gives the increase, no man should be the focus, it should be God. We are God’s field, God’s building, He is the master builder!

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Text: 1 Corinthians 3:5-23 (NKJV)

"Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; 20 and again, "The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." 21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come--all are yours. 23 And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

How does God give the increase?

1. God’s Fellow workers: Vs. 5-9

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.”

The issue in this church was not the past or current minister it was the carnal Christian, go figure. Some liked Peter and his preaching better and felt he was doing more for the Lord; others felt the same about Paul and Apollos. The issue of which preacher was best and is best for a church is always a critical issue. The reason is simply understood: every believer has his favorite minister, the minister who led him to the Lord or to a deeper commitment, or ministered to him and his family, or who really spoke to his heart when he preached. A minister who becomes deeply involved in a person's life is bound to mean a great deal to that person. It is important to remember ministers are only instruments of God. They are only servants.

Ministers are not the lord of people's lives. They are not the ones whom believers are to praise nor upon whom believers are to be focused. God is to be the focus of attention, word, and loyalty. No minister created the message of the gospel; God did. No minister saves the believer; God does. No minister leads a person to believe; God does. The minister of God is only the Lord's instrument and servant, not the Lord, we are fellow workers for Christ.

Whatever gifts the minister has are of God; and whatever planting and watering the minister did was by God's call and strength; and whatever growth was experienced was due to God. God alone is worthy to be followed. Each minister of God is personally responsible to God. Each man is to be rewarded for what he does, not for what another minister does. A man uses his own gifts; he does not try to use someone else's gifts nor to be like someone else. God gave him specific gifts for special purposes, so he diligently labors to use his gifts as God desires. God is the source of all in the church. All is of God; God is all in all. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.

The church is God's field and building. The church is to bear fruit, and it is to make new additions to its structure. A field does not exist to lie unused. It exists to bear a harvest. Both ministers and believers are workers together with God. All have a part in God's church and the crying need is for all to cooperate in building together. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

How does God give the increase?

2. God’s Foundation: Vs. 10-17

"According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

The church in Corinth was in severe straits. There were some troublemakers and opinionated cliques in the church who were about to destroy the church. Because of this they were endangering their eternal destiny, and they desperately needed to realize this. One of the answers to a divided church is for every believer to be a wise builder and laborer within the church.

Paul was a master builder because of the grace of God, not because of any personal ability or merit. The word "grace" means far more than just being called to form a church; it means to be enabled, empowered, and equipped to do the job. Paul was not talking about a building, He was talking about people. The church was not a building; the church was a body of people who truly believed in Jesus Christ. God gave Paul the grace—the strength, power, and ability—to reach people for Jesus Christ and to assemble them together into a body to worship God and to honor His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s foundation is His only begotten son.

“And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.” 1 Peter 2:5 (NLT)

The foundation has been laid, and it is strong. It shall never be moved. It is now to be built upon, but everyone in the church, minister and layman alike, must take heed how he builds upon it.

What does it mean to say that Christ is the only foundation? It means that Christ Himself, His person, is the only foundation upon which men can build their lives: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" John 14:6 (KJV)

All the supplies for this structure come from one contractor, this is Jesus Christ. Jesus is a multi-tasker He will also inspect the work for this structure. The day of inspection is sure to come. The building was started in order to be finished. When it is finished, the inspector, the Lord Jesus Christ, will come to either approve or disapprove it. Remember I said Paul was not talking about a building, He was talking about people.

In the Bible fire is constantly used as a symbol of judgment and terrible trial. The building is to be set afire, and only the permanent materials of the Spirit will survive the fire. All the materials of this earth will be burned and consumed and gone forever. The believer whose works survive the fire will be rewarded greatly, so greatly that it explodes the human mind. The believer whose works perished in the fire will suffer loss. He will be saved, but he will suffer the loss of reward, appearing and looking like a burned out building.

In this particular text the temple of God is referring to the church. God dwells among all the believers of the church. The Spirit of God dwells within the church—in a very, special sense no matter where they meet. The church itself, the body of believers, is the sanctuary for God's presence. The church or temple of God can be destroyed; it is the Spirit of God alone that brings about a spiritual fellowship. Only as church member’s fellowship with the Spirit of God can they be drawn and bound together in a spirit of unity and oneness and love.

How does God give the increase?

3. God’s Favor: Vs. 18-23

“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; 20 and again, "The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." 21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come--all are yours. 23 And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.”

One of the answers to the problem of divisiveness within the church is for a man to recognize that he has been deceived and to renounce the self-deception. The Corinthian church had some unusual advantages over many of the other churches: They had access to the Scriptures, and they enjoyed the Scriptures and the ways of God; However, the Corinthian church had a serious problem: the Corinthians wanted worldly recognition. They were exalting the wisdom and ideas of men over the wisdom of God, and they were running the risk of destroying both themselves and the church. They were deceiving themselves. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" James 1:22 (KJV)

When a church begins to approach God and the problems of the world through worldly wisdom, the result is tragic. The church is taking a path that will destroy its witness and make it useless in the Kingdom of God. This was the path being chosen by the Corinthian church, and it is the path that is often chosen by too many churches. The only way God can ever be known is for God to reveal Himself. The only way the truth of a perfect world can be known is for God to reveal it. It can only happen through God’s favor! For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Conclusion: All things belong to the believer. The believer actually possesses all things, and to glory in any other man is to minimize his own dignity and exalted position. Preachers, no matter who they are, belong to the believers. All preachers exist to serve and minister and meet the needs of God's people. If a church or a believer takes advantage of only a few preachers or of only one or two types of preachers, the church and the believer are limiting their chances to be enriched and blessed. They are limiting their growth. How do we increase? Through God’s favor and His understanding.

Some years ago, a study was done by an agricultural school in Iowa. It reported that production of a hundred bushels of corn from one acre of land required 4,000,000 lbs. of water, 6,800 lbs. of oxygen, 5,200 lbs. of carbon, 160 lbs. of nitrogen, 125 lbs. of potassium, 75 lbs. of yellow sulphur, and other elements too numerous to list. In addition to these ingredients are required rain and sunshine at the right times. Although many hours of the farmer’s labor are also needed, it was estimated that only 5 percent of the produce of a farm can be attributed to the efforts of man. So it is in spiritual realms: God causes the growth. God Gives the increase!

FOR THE SAINT TO SUCCESSFULLY MARCH ON, IT MUST BE UNDERSTOOD THAT ONLY GOD CAN GIVE THE INCREASE.

In : Sermon 


Tags: "saints go marching on series" "book of 1 corinthians" 
blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Tags

Make a free website with Yola