1Cor 3:9                    Ye Are God’s Husbandry                         3/7/2010         ßà   

  • Babes in Christ (1Cor 3:1-9)

 

 

 

#1.       I Fed You With Milk (1Cor 3:1-2, Heb 5:11-14, 1Cor 2:12, John 6:45, Luke 18:17)

 

 

 

  • Carnal Christians (1Cor 3:1,3,4, 5:11-13, Rom 8:6-8)

 

 

 

#2.       Envying and Strife (1Cor 3:3-4, Jam 3:14-16)

 

 

 

  • Who Then Is Paul? (1Cor 3:5, 1:13, Matt 20:26, 23:10-12)

 

 

 

#3.       God Gave the Increase (1Cor 3:6-7, Rom 10:17, 8:28, Psalm 104:10-12, 24-26, Isa 57:20, 27:1)

 

 

 

  • What Is Our Reward? (1Cor 3:8, Matt 5:12)

 

 

 

#4.       We Are Laborers of God (1Cor 3:9, 2Cor 6:1)

 

 

 

  • Ye Are God’s Husbandry (1Cor 3:9, 2:9)

 

Please open Your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 3:1 (2X). The title of this sermon is, Ye Are God’s Husbandry (2X), which is taken from verse 9 in this chapter. When we consider the theme of this chapter, we find that it is very much the same as the theme of the previous two chapters. You remember that chapters 1 and 2 are primarily reproving the pride and the wisdom of man when it is opposed to the wisdom of God. That is also the theme of chapter 3. God declares that the success of the Gospel does not depend on the wisdom of men, but on the providence of God. It is God who gives the increase. We are only babes in Christ; our efforts are only like that of babes. We read in 1Cor 3:1-9,

  • Babes in Christ (1Cor 3:1-9)

1Co 3:1-9  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

So, here we read in verse 9, “Ye are God’s husbandry.” What does that mean? A husbandman is another word for a farmer. And thus a husbandry is the field that the farmer cultivates, where he sows the seed and waters it, and so on. When we read, “Ye are God’s husbandry”, it means that God sends His laborers to you to prepare the soil of your soul, and to sow the seed of the Gospel, and to water the ground, and to watch the seed germinate and grow, and to harvest the crops when they are ripe, and so on. God chose this particular field to be His husbandry. God did not choose every city in the world to be His husbandry, but concerning the church at Corinth God indeed had chosen this church to be His field. Do we recognize the sovereignty of God here? The city of Corinth was a harbor city, and as you know most harbor cities are very evil, and are inundated with sexual filth of every kind, with drunkenness, and with all kinds of other sinfulness. And so, for the Christians there is temptation on every side. Moreover, the church at Corinth was plagued with strife and divisions and envy within that church, which does not make for a loving church environment. And so, if God said that He made that church His husbandry, we fully understand that they did not deserve it at all. If any church deserved to go under because of bad environment then it was the church at Corinth that should be abandoned. But here we can see that the Gospel is believed by those whom God chose to be saved. Apart from God’s election no one can be saved. And now we also understand that Paul had to teach them first the very basic and elementary things of the Gospel. That is why we read in verse 1, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” Please put a sticker here in 1Cor 3.

#1.       I Fed You With Milk (1Cor 3:1-2, Heb 5:11-14, 1Cor 2:12, John 6:45, Luke 18:17)

We read in 1Cor 3:2, “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” What does it mean to be fed with the milk of the Gospel and not with the meat? We see that, for example, in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 5:11 (2X). The milk represents the elementary principles of the Gospel. This is what we tell our little children. And new born Christians are like little children. They are not able to understand the counsel of God, or the wisdom of God, or the righteousness of God. So we feed them the principles of the Gospel that revolve around “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” W read in Heb 5:11-14

Heb 5:11-14 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

And so, God lays down a principle for those who are teachers of the Word of God, here in Heb 5 and in 1Cor 3. The principle is that we need to be sensitive to the needs of those who are still beginners in the faith. Teach them the first principles of the Gospel; but wait, for when they have advanced they will ask for more. Therefore when we preach from the pulpit, we should always bring the Gospel of grace in some form or another. We must keep in mind that there are always some people in the church who need to hear the first principles of the Gospel, either because they are still unsaved, or because they are still babes in Christ. This is why the apostle Paul, when he came to Corinth, restricted himself to speak only of the elementary things of the Gospel. Once they became saved they would understand all things pertaining to the Christian religion, because he said in 1Cor 2:12 (2X) “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God,” For they would be instructed by God the Holy Spirit in all things profitable. When we sense that someone has been saved we can leave them in God’s hands, for the Lord Jesus said in John 6:45, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” This does not mean that we now can stay home and forget about Bible study, and forget about Bible study teachers. But God uses the medium of Bible study as a means to teach us the deeper things of God, and to know Him and to know Jesus Christ as He is truly portrayed in the Bible. And God gives us insights that go beyond what the Bible study teacher intends to teach us. All this pertains to “babes in Christ.” We would do well, however, to remember that God uses the metaphor of “babes” as a representation of those who have been truly saved. For example, the Lord Jesus said in Luke 18:17, “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” I am saying this because we need to look again at 1Cor 3:1 where the word “carnal” appears. Please turn again to the Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 3:1 (2X). Many churches have looked at this verse and they came to the conclusion that there is such a thing as:

  • Carnal Christians (1Cor 3:1,3,4, 5:11-13, Rom 8:6-8)

This is based on a poor interpretation of the KJV. Let me say up front: there are no carnal Christians. It is an oxymoron; it is a contradiction in terms. In 1Cor 3:1, the word “carnal” was translated out of the Greek word “Sarkinos”, which means “consisting of flesh”, or “pertaining to the natural life of the body.” However, in 1Cor 3:3,4 the word “carnal” appears 3 times and this was translated out of the Greek word “Sarkikos”, which means “being ruled by human nature, instead of by the Spirit of God.” And thus, the word “Sarkikos” describes the lusts which have their source in man’s corrupt and fallen nature.” The natural man in 1Cor 2:14 is truly carnal, or Sarkikos. But in 1Cor 3:1 “Sarkinos” is an accusation far less grave than Sarkikos would have been. The Corinthian saints were making no progress, but they were not anti-spiritual; they were babes in Christ, and they were saints. But those who are unsaved are called Sarkikos, for God says of them in Rom 8:8, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” And so, the word “carnal” in verse 1 has a different meaning than the word “carnal” in verses 3 and 4. But the sloppy interpretations in today’s churches have led to the heresy of “Carnal Christians.” By this they understand that a person may be saved, but he is still living a life as if he was not saved. The word “carnal” actually means “unregenerate”, or “unsaved.” How can we have “unsaved Christians?” That is a contradiction in terms. God says in 1Cor 5:11-13 that real Christians should not fellowship these “carnal Christians” for they are not Christians at all. The proof of this is what God says in Rom 8:6-8,

Rom 8:6-8  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

And thus, if we live after the flesh we do mind the things of the flesh; if we live after the Spirit, we do mind the things of the Spirit. But if we live after the flesh we definitely are not saved, for we cannot please God. If we read in 1Cor 3:1 that there were “babes in Christ,” we should not think that all in the church at Corinth were babes in Christ. If we read in verses 3 and 4 the accusation of being carnal, it does not mean that all in the church at Corinth were unregenerate. But when the apostle asks them, “are ye not carnal”, he is actually asking, “Since you have all these strifes and envyings among you, is it not so that you live the same like the carnal people, the unregenerate people, do?” The problem with the term “carnal Christian” is that you cannot be unregenerate and regenerate at the same time. The use of the categories “carnal Christian” and “Spirit filled Christian” are not Biblical. They teach that a “carnal Christian” is still in bondage to sin and may not live any differently from the unsaved until he receives the Spirit. This is heresy. And so, the bottom line is that there are no “carnal Christians”. Over a hundred names are given for Christians in the Bible, but “carnal” is never mentioned. And neither is “a sinner saved by grace” (2X). Let us be Scriptural in our doctrine, in our faith, and in our practice.

#2.       Envying and Strife (1Cor 3:3-4, Jam 3:14-16)

The proof that many in the Corinthian church were still babes in Christ is shown in verses 3 and 4,

1Co 3:3-4 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

In other words, they were distracted with disputes and strifes, which means that they were not ready for the deeper doctrines of the Christian religion. It is as if Paul says to them: Even though you declare yourselves to be Christians, and claim to be the friends of God, yet your divisions and strifes show that you are yet, in some degree, under the influence of unsaved flesh, Sarkikos. For I see that there is envy among you. It was envy by Cain that caused him to kill his brother Abel. It was envy by the brothers of Joseph that led them to sell him into slavery. It was envy by the Pharisees that led them to deliver the Lord Jesus to be crucified. Most contentions in the church are somehow connected with envy. And so, the church at Corinth was far from perfect. Instead of being filled with love, and harmoniously being united as the members of the same family ought to be, they are split up into factions as the unsaved in the world are. And so, this church is far from perfect, and it is not ready to receive the deeper doctrines of Christ, for the love of Christ has not yet settled in their hearts. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle of James, Jam 3:14 (2X). What do we think of envy? We may have a casual opinion of envy, as if it is not so important. But God’s opinion of envy is a great deal more serious. Envy leads to covetousness, and covetousness is as bad as idolatry. We are reading here the Epistle of James, which was James the half brother of Jesus. The apostle James, the brother of John, was beheaded by Herod rather early in the history of the Acts of the Apostles. We read in Jam 3:14-16,

Jas 3:14-16 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

God speaks here through the pen of James about the same envy and strife that was already in the early church at Corinth. And so, we should not think that envy is in the category of a misdemeanor, or a passing fad. God warns us that envy and strife is sensual and devilish. It is one of the means by which the Devil sows discontent in the church and thereby destroys the church. That is why God warns us that where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. And so, when there is envying and strife in our church, I must deal with it, and temporarily I will make myself unpopular. But if I do not deal with it, the end result will be far worse. Please turn again to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 3:4 (2X). There we read that the strife in that church was at an advanced state. There we read in 1Cor 3:4, “For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” Shame on you that you have let yourself be divided. Is this not how the heathen outside the church behave? And you have let a few individuals in your church deceive many and raise discord in your church, getting out of hand.

  • Who Then Is Paul? (1Cor 3:5, 1:13, Matt 20:26, 23:10-12)

1Cor 3:5 ¶  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

Why should a party be formed which should be named after Paul? What has he done or taught that should lead to this? What position of superiority has he that should induce anyone to call themselves by his name? Paul is on the same level with the other apostles; and all are only ministers, or servants, and none of them have claimed the honor of giving names to sects and parties. Only God is the fountain of all your blessings. Whoever may have been the instrument by whom you have believed, it is not proper to regard them as the fountain of your blessings. You remember that this problem already appeared in chap 1. There we read in 1Cor 1:13, “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” The Corinthians, like little children, were rallying behind the man they could see. But we shall live by faith, not by sight. All the credits must go to Christ, and He will not share His glory with another. And so, God declares that Paul and Apollos were only ministers, and it was through their teachings that they believed. But who was it really that taught them to believe the Gospel that they heard with their ears? It was God the Holy Spirit who made them believe the Gospel. And when we see the word “ministers” we do well to remember the Greek word from which the word “minister” is derived. It is the word “Diakonoi” from which the word Deacon is derived, and which means “Servant”. Yes, a pastor, or a preacher, is only a servant of Christ, and a servant of the congregation. I have said this before. The proper word for “minister” is “servant”; it indicates an inferior rank of life. Servants receive commands from others. A preacher of the Gospel is a servant of Christ, because he receives his commands from Christ, and he is subject to Christ. A pastor does not have original authority, and he is not the source of influence and power. That idea was created by a few individuals who were looking for filthy lucre. But God says that a pastor is only a servant, or at best an instrument of the providence of God. And so, since Paul was only a servant, and was on the same level as the Bible teachers in the church at Corinth, it was improper for them to form parties and call themselves by the name of Paul. The Lord Jesus preached essentially the same message. For example, the Lord said in Matt 20:26, “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;” literally, “let him be your servant.” When the Lord Jesus scolded the scribes and Pharisees in Matt 23, He scolded them for being puffed up in pride that they were the people in authority. You see, the OT congregation always had this problem, and in the NT times there are various denominations that again want to usurp that authority. But the Lord Jesus said in Matt 23:10-12,

Mt 23:10-12  Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

And so, God says, “Do not elevate Paul on a pedestal; he is only my instrument to teach you.”

#3.       God Gave the Increase (1Cor 3:6-7, Rom 10:17, 8:28, Psalm 104:10-12, 24-26, Isa 57:20, 27:1)

1Co 3:6-7  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

When we dwell on the subject that only God gives the increase, we are dealing with the sovereignty of God. God gave us here a parable from the field of agriculture. Paul planted, which means Paul sowed the Gospel in Corinth. Apollos watered, and this means that Apollos pastored that church as a faithful undershepherd. Christ is the chief Shepherd, and we are the undershepherds who receive our marching orders from the chief Shepherd. But we are not important, we are not indispensible. The Lord could have used someone else to do the sowing and the watering. And so, we should be incredibly grateful for the great honor that He has bestowed upon us that we could be His instruments. There is no life in the seed, nor is there any inherent power in the earth to make it grow, and there is no living principle in the water; no inherent power in the rains of heaven to make it grow. Christ gave this parable to let us understand the words of Rom 10:17, where He says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The seed would not germinate if it was not planted, and it would not grow if it was not watered. But the life is still from God, and not from him who sowed or from him who watered. And so it is with the Word of life. It has no inherent power to produce effect by itself. The power is not in the naked word, nor is it in him that plants, nor in him that waters, nor in the heart where it is sown, but it is only in God. The seed must be sown or it will not germinate. Truth must be sown in the heart of man, and the heart must be prepared for it, like the earth must be plowed and made mellow, or else the seed will not spring up. It must be cultivated with care, or it will produce nothing. But still it is all of God, for only God can give the increase. And look how God uses us as instruments. God could make the seed germinate and grow if it was not planted; but He does not do it. If the farmer does not plant, God will not make the seed grow. And so it is in the matter of salvation. The efforts of ministers of the Gospel are of no avail without God. Only God gives the increase, but He does not do it if the seed of the Gospel is not sown. But the seed is only sown if God prompts the hearts of the ministers to sow the seed. And this is how God arranges all the affairs of this world, as He said in Rom 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Who are “the called according to His purpose”? They are the elect of God, the remnant chosen by grace to receive salvation totally as a free gift, for God gives salvation only as a free gift, and not by man’s works of any kind. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of the Psalms, Psalm 104:10 (2X). When we think of God’s sovereignty in salvation, we would do well to see His salvation also in everything else God is doing. Rom 8:28 already indicates that God is working in “all things.” What is meant by “all things”? Psalm 104 tells us precisely what are “all things”. This is a Psalm which glorifies God for His sovereignty. W read in Psalm 104:10-12

Ps 104:10-12 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to     every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven

have their habitation, which sing among the branches.

This tells us how God is intensely involved in everything that goes on in nature. It will take too much time to go through this entire Psalm during this sermon. But read it on your own at home, or in the Bible study this afternoon, and be surprised by the sovereignty of God in all things. But before we leave this Psalm, please drop down to verse 24. We read in Psalm 104:24-26,

Ps 104:24-26  O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

Suddenly God introduces another parable, because He is now not talking about animals but about the people of the world as a great and wide sea. “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt”, from Isa 57:20. O yes, God is also ruling sovereignly in the world of people, and God’s providence causes everything in history to unfold according to His good pleasure. “There go the ships”, referring to the fishing boats of evangelists that fish for the salvation of men. But then we read something surprising. “There is that Leviathan.” Who is Leviathan? Hold one finger here in Psalm 104 and please turn to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 27:1 (2X). There have been all kinds of suggestions what Leviathan represents; all kinds of animals have been suggested, but none are satisfactory. Let us not kid ourselves. God knows that there are no fire breathing dragons, and that they never existed. But if we compare Scripture with Scripture we will know the truth. God says in Isa 27:1,

Isa 27:1 ¶  In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

The word “dragon” is a mistranslation; it should be “serpent”. “In that day” refers to the previous verse, and it is the Last Day, or Judgment Day. But God will judge only people, for all the animals have already been destroyed with the earth. And so, Leviathan is not an animal, but Leviathan is the piercing serpent and the crooked serpent. Who is represented by a serpent in the Bible? Satan! On the Last Day God will judge Satan. And then God ties this verse to Psalm 104:26 by saying at the end of Isa 27:1, “and he shall slay the serpent that is in the sea.” Leviathan is that serpent in the sea of mankind. But now let us look again at Psalm 104:26, for there we can have a glimpse into the counsel of God. God says in Psalm 104:26, “There is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.” Has God made Satan? Yes He did! Has God made Satan to play in the sea of mankind? Yes He did! If we look at what the people in the world have done with the Bible today, we can see that most have been deceived by Satan. The Devil has had a feast. But nothing fell out of control from God. Satan can only do what God has allowed him to do. But now we have a better idea of who God is. He is the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, and all wise God, who is taking an active hand in the history of mankind, and who assures us that in His wisdom He has presently produced a world that is the perfect best of all possibilities, for if this world is not the best of all possibilities then He is not the perfect God we read about in the Bible.

Please return now to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 3:8 (2X).

  • What Is Our Reward? (1Cor 3:8, Matt 5:12)

1Co 3:8  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

What does God mean when He said, “he that planteth and he that watereth are one”? They are not the same person. But they are one in the following respects: #1, They are united in reference to the same work. Even though they are involved in different things, yet the end goal of those who plant and those who water is the same. #2, Their work is one, because the one is as necessary as the other. If the grain was not planted, there would be no use to water the soil. And if the soil would not be watered then there would be no use to plant the seed. #3, They are one in regard to God. They are both engaged in performing one work, and God is performing another. There are not three parties, or three portions of work, but two. God could do also their work, for He could also plant and do the watering, but normally God does not do it that way. Rarely does someone find a Bible and start reading and be saved, but it does come to pass occasionally. Most of the time God uses people as His instruments to do the sowing of the Gospel, and to water the ground after it has been sowed. But why does God speak here about rewards? God does that to encourage our weak souls to go on in spite of persecution, for God knows that all who sow the true Gospel will be persecuted. The Lord Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, in

Mt 5:12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

The Lord Jesus does not say that one receives a greater reward than another, but He indicates that great is our reward in heaven. This reward is not given as a reward for having done such a good work on earth, for we must not mix grace and works. We should not be led astray by the word “reward”, for it is not a payment, but a gift from God; a gift so great that we cannot comprehend it while on this earth. It is a gift which God has prepared already, and is ready to give to us as soon as the last of the wicked are judged and cast into Hell. They receive their own reward according to their own labor. But presently:

#4.       We Are Laborers of God (1Cor 3:9, 2Cor 6:1)

1Co 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Look at the first half of this verse now. It seems to say that we are fellow laborers together with God. It seems to say that we are plowing with a yoke where one half of the yoke is occupied by Christ, and we are on the other half. It seems to say that we are co-workers with God. However, this is entirely the wrong interpretation for the following reasons: #1, The Greek text does not allow the word “with”. The Greek text says, “For we are fellow workers of God.” Literally we are not His co-partners, but we are His fellow laborers, which means we are fellow-workers that are being employed by God, under His direction We are servants of the same rank, working for the same Master, but not meaning that the Master was engaged in working with us. #2, There is no expression in the Bible that would be parallel to God jointly engaged in working with us. How could it be that the creator of the universe, who is larger than this universe, would be engaged in working side by side with a man? That would bring Almighty God down to the level of man. God does one thing and we do another, although we both are working for the same result. But since our work is also induced by God, prompting in our heart, we have to conclude that God is doing the whole job. Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Cor 6:1 (2X).

#3, The whole design of this chapter is to show that God is all and the apostles are nothing. It represents the apostles not as joint-workers with God, but as working by themselves, and God as alone giving efficiency to all that was done. The idea is that of humbling the apostles and of exalting God. That is why you should change in your Bible the words “with God” to the words “of God”. Please turn now to 2Cor 6:1, and there we need to make the same correction. As we can see, 2Cor 6:1 reads, “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” We can see that the words “with him” are in italics, which means it has been a suggestion by the translators. Cross out the words “with him” for they give you the wrong interpretation. This was a serious error from the translators. Let us now continue in this parable taken from agriculture.

  • Ye Are God’s Husbandry (1Cor 3:9, 2:9)

1Co 3:9  For we are labourers together of God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

In this verse God begins to speak about farming, but then He slides into another parable referring to building a temple. We shall postpone the temple building till next week. Today I want to talk about, “Ye are God’s husbandry.” This word “husbandry” occurs nowhere else in the NT. It properly refers to a plowed or cultivated field. The church at Corinth was God’s cultivated field. Who prepared the soil? God the Holy Spirit prepared the hearts of men, so that God could say to the apostle Paul, “I have much people in this city.” They were under His care. All that had been produced in them was to be traced to His cultivation. Think about this now, what a great honor for the church at Corinth to be called God’s husbandry. But this is also true of every church where God the Holy Spirit watches over the preaching of God’s Word. Has the preaching in the Reformed Bible Church of Southern California been faithful? It means that our church is also God’s husbandry. Think about this now. Do we realize the great honor that God is calling this place His stomping ground? Almighty God, who created this great universe, who is greater than this universe, has counted us worthy of making us His field, God’s husbandry. And we are called the Bride of Christ, the church of the living God, the church of the Firstborn, the flock of Christ, God’s heritage, the King’s daughter, the Lamb’s wife, the Lord’s house, the place of God’s throne, His pleasant portion, the strength and glory of God, a city not forsaken, the temple of the living God, and a whole lot more superlatives. We think that we understand the honor and glory that God has bestowed upon us, but “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” Yes He did that also for our church, the RBC of Southern California. We should greatly rejoice.                      AMEN                        Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.