Subject:   Partnering with One Another
Text:          1 Corinthians 3:5-17

I. Introduction

  • The text for today dwells on the subject matter of unity and cooperation; that in the service of the Lord there is no room for infighting and jealousy. This was the case in the Church at Corinth, where there was divisiveness and factionalism.
  • Apostle Paul admonished them, giving light to what should be followed. And this should be our guiding principle too in our working together with other member of the Body of Christ.

II. Main Message

Complementation (v. 5)“Each one does the work which the Lord gave…”

  • Each one has been given specific task to perform, complementing one another
  • It is the Lord who gives the different gifts to edify the Church and accomplish God’s purpose for mankind’s salvation (1st Corinthians 12:4-6; Ephesians 4:12)
  • Every gift complements one another and does not hamper or cause damage to another’s work or competes with it.

Harmony (v. 6)“I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plant”

  • The work must be properly organized which will then result in smooth flow, leading to the successful achievement of the purpose.
  • There must be harmony and not a competition, as previously pointed out, but working under the baton of the conductor – no other than the Lord Jesus Christ, who makes the work grows.
  • Everything must be done in a proper and orderly manner and must be of help to the church (1st Corinthians 14:26, 40).

Responsibility (v. 10)“I did the work of an expert builder and laid the foundation and someone else is building on it”

  • Each one is responsible and must carry the work in the total picture of the objective being reached.
  • There should be no passing of the workload but can ask for advice or help when needed.

Integrity (v. 11)“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ”

  • Our message must not be an adulterated one. It is built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, the cornerstone being Christ Jesus Himself (Ephesians 2:20).
  • We are not to change the gospel of Christ. Jesus alone is the Christ and Savior.  Nothing is to be added; otherwise, let him be condemned to hell eternally (Galatians 1:8-9).
  • Each one should be honest in his work. It is not you in the center of the work, but Jesus Christ. It is not jockeying for position or to be popular.  Not for selfish ambition but for the love of Christ.  It’s all about Jesus Christ.

Sacrifice (vv. 12-13)“If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones…, his work will be shown for what it is…”

  • Our service may take not only our time but even our material possessions to achieve an acceptable work-quality. We know whom we serve and therefore, we should give the best.
  • The one required of us who were given such trust is to be faithful and steadfast in our work (1st Corinthians 4:2). Hardships, difficulties may be encountered, but we must continue for He himself promised that He will be with us always (Matthew 28:20)
  • Paul encountered them and suffered greatly but didn’t give up (2nd Corinthians 4:8-11; 6:4-10; 11:23-29)

Teamwork (vv. 16-17)“Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you! God will destroy anyone who destroys God’s temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you yourselves are His temple”

  • No back-biting, grumbling, or harming one another for we will be completely destroyed (Galatians 5:15). “None of us should be proud of one person and despise another. Observe proper rules” (1st Corinthians 4:6). Respect one another.
  • When there is jealousy and quarrel among the team, it proves we are self-centered and still belongs to the world (1st Corinthians 3:3) and nothing will be achieved for Christ.
  • If we claim to be living in the Spirit, its fruit should manifests in us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)

III. Conclusion

Christians belong to one Body, not Bodies.  We belong to the Body of Christ.  That Body comprises Churches, Denominations, the common denominator of which is Faith in Jesus Christ, as the only Savior.  There are instances that we are to engage in partnering with one another for the accomplishment of God’s purpose for the salvation of mankind. And it’s all about Jesus, not us. 

Complementation. Harmony. Responsibility. Integrity. Sacrifice. Teamwork.

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