Laborers Together With God

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

God’s people are supposed to be laborers together with God. We have a wonderful application of this truth in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus chose 12 disciples to walk with Him, and these 12 grew into a greater group of believers. Our Lord Jesus did not do all of His ministry by Himself. Though God in the flesh, He called these people to follow Him. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

Christians are called to follow Jesus, to work
with Jesus. Jesus had NOTHING but God.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. To “come after Jesus” is to do the things He did, to live with HIS purpose. Jesus said in John 14:9, “Whoever has seen Me, has seen the Father”. Jesus told His mother in Luke 2:49, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?. Though Jesus’ stepfather Joseph was a carpenter, this was not the business Jesus was about.

Jesus lived His life with purpose to glorify the Father
and His Kingdom.

The Son of God denied Himself. Though eternal God with us (for He is Emmanuel, “God with us” – Matthew 1:23) Jesus denied Himself every comfort for our sake. He told one man:

Matthew 8:20 …. The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Jesus came into this world having nothing. While most children have cribs and nurseries, mobiles and swings, stuffed animals and special soft clothing, our Jesus had little.

Jesus had a manger for a crib.
Jesus had swaddling clothes – strips of cloth

in place of a diaper and pajamas. Jesus had no stuffed animals to cuddle with, nor a special blanket.

Jesus’ bedding was hay, His baby blanket crude.
The music of His nursery was clucking and mooing.

When a baby is born, the family gathers around to take pictures, to hold the child. Jesus’ first visitors were strangers, poor shepherds. All Heaven rejoiced at His Birth:

Luke 2:12-14 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Heaven rejoiced, but earth slept. Few knew of His first coming until after His death on Calvary.

Though King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15), Jesus had no silver and gold crown while He walked this earth.

Jesus’ earthly crown was thorns and mockery.

Matthew 27:27-31 the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

Jesus had no wife to lie with to comfort Him at night.

Many of Jesus’ Apostles had wives. Peter was married, because he had a mother in Law (Matthew 8:14). You don’t get one of those without being married! Jesus demanded that the Pastor or Overseer of the Church be the husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2-5), and that Deacons also be married (1 Timothy 3:12) to a wife. The Apostle Paul, though unmarried, wrote:

1 Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

Jesus had no wife as we are allowed, no person to confide in, to shed tears with. The mourners at His execution were His mother and the Apostle John.

Jesus had no money.

The Bible says that Judas Iscariot kept the purse (John 12:6) for the disciples. During the Christmas season most people run about, buying all they can buy, but forgetting that things and the joy they bring are but temporary. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 73:26 (ESV) My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Jesus had NO fancy clothing.

Jesus wore a mantle or overcoat with fringes (Mark 6:56), much like a large shawl. Jesus wore sandals (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:7; Mark 6:9; John 1:27) as many Jews did. Jesus wore a tunic or a robe that finished slightly below the knees. Jesus did not wear long robes, but chastised the scribes for doing so …

Mark 12:38 (ESV) … in his teaching {Jesus} said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces …

Only the rich wore long robes. Jesus wasn’t rich. Jesus’ robe or tunic was made of one piece of cloth. When He was crucified we read:

John 19:23-24 (ESV) .. When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture [here Psalm 22:18 is quoted] “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

One piece tunics were the cheapest made, as most tunics were made of two pieces sewn at the shoulders and sides.

Jesus’ clothing was very basic. In Heaven Jesus would be royalty. But on earth, the only robe worthy of a king was given Him by the Idumean, King Herod. Herod was not of the Tribe of Judah, and had no Biblical right to the Throne of David. Yet this usurper mocked Jesus:

Luke 23:11 … Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.

Jesus didn’t get to keep this fine clothing, this royal robe. It was removed from Him when He was beaten before Pilate, and put on Him again before He went to the Cross (Matthew 27:27-28, Mark 15:15-17). Our Jesus had nothing.

Nailed to the Cross to die, after Jesus passed, shouting …

Luke 23:46 (ESV) … out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

Jesus had no grave to call His own. Joseph of Arimathæa “loaned” a tomb to Jesus, as His body was prepared and laid on a rocky shelf.

The only thing Jesus owned on the face of this earth was suffering. His life was filled with suffering. Why?
It was for YOU!

The Bible says in

2 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

Jesus Endured Nothingness So He Could Create
A Bride For Himself, His Church

Jesus put everything away so that He might, in love, raise up His Church. I said earlier that Jesus had no wife while He walked this earth. That’s very true. But Jesus built Himself a wife that He calls “The Church”. When Jesus walked the earth, the Church was FUTURE. He said, upon this rock [that Jesus is the one and only Christ] I will build my Church” (Matthew 16:18a). Jesus said of His Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18b). Jesus built His Bride with His own blood. The Apostle said:

Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV) Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

The Bride of Christ is not a sexual or sensual bride,
but a
Spirit driven Bride.

2 Corinthians 11:2 (ESV) … I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

The Church is called to be faithful to Jesus. This means that every believer in the Church is called to walk faithfully with Jesus. We are not to allow worldliness to creep in. James, the stepbrother of Jesus wrote to a wayward Church:

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

The Church exists on the riches of Grace because Jesus Christ gave up everything for us. We are to be fully devoted to our Lord and Savior. As I and my wife work together throughout this life, keeping our family whole, the Church is to work together with Jesus. We are laborers together with God. We are laborers together with one another, unified, following Jesus.

The Bride of Christ – The Church – Works Together With Her Groom

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

The Apostle uses two words to describe what the Church should be: husbandryand building. The word translated husbandryis the Greek γεωργιον, georgion, [pronounced gheh-ore’-ghee-on], meaning “that which is cultivated, a farm or garden”. Most people have had gardens. I like a small container garden every year, and I particularly like to plant tomatoes. I love tomatoes. Not those artificially red things that come from Mexico, but genuine vine ripened tomatoes. Nothing tastes better to me!

Consider the Garden: When I plant my garden, I CHOOSE what seed will be planted. Periodically in my garden things grow up that I didn’t plant, weeds and other noxious, unwanted things. These things I pull from my garden. I don’t just clip them off, because if I do so they will grow right back. But I pull them up by the roots, and toss them outside of the garden to wither and die. I never feel sorry for the weeds, because I never planted them in the first place. They might have been dropped in the waste of a passing bird, or they might have, like the dandelion, been caught up on the wind to settle in my garden. But I want none of it! I pull it out, and toss it into the growing grass, where I will pass over it with the blade of my lawn mower.

You, dear Church, are GOD’S GARDEN. You do not belong to yourselves, but to God. God plants His Garden to bear certain types of fruit. God wants His Garden to bear the fruit of the Spirit, not the works of the flesh. The works of the flesh are WEEDS that God never planted. The Apostle says:

Galatians 5:19-22 (ESV) Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If it doesn’t belong in the kingdom of God, it doesn’t belong in Christ’s Bride! God plants spiritual fruit in His Garden. We read:

Galatians 5:22-24 (ESV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. We put whatever does not belong in God’s Garden onto the Cross. It might still be living, but it is also dying on that Cross.

We do not allow anything to be sowed into the Garden of God BUT that which God wants in His Garden.

The Garden always has more than one type of vegetable in it. That’s fine. Every good garden has several varieties of fruit. But weeds are forbidden. Weeds are torn out, and cast off by the owner of the Garden. The garden is unified in pleasing it’s owner – and WE are GOD’S GARDEN. Are there disagreements in the Garden? Possibly. But if there are, we WEED the Garden the way that Jesus said. He said:

Matthew 5:22-24 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

God does not want the weed of murmuring or criticism in His Garden. Jesus said:

Matthew 18:20 where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Jesus does not linger in a weed overgrown garden. He said:

Matthew 18:15-17 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

The Garden is to be unified in serving Jesus. Now let us,

Consider The Building: The Church is God’s Building. Every building must have a flawless foundation. I have heard of building collapsing, where a balcony or a second floor collapses and kills people. In every instance this occurs, it is because the building was created with substandard materials.

The foundation of Christ’s Church is
Jesus Christ Himself.

Jesus humbled Himself to save us. We are built on His foundation. We are to humble ourselves, to live together in loving harmony. The Lord said:

Philippians 2:2-5 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus

We come together to glorify Jesus Christ, to please the Father. We are to love one another as Jesus has loved us (John 13:34; John 15:12). This Building that belongs to God is to be framed together, growing into a Holy Temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21). We are to be …

Jude 20-21 … building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

We are called to work with God, building up one another in the faith. We are to live to glorify our Lord. Let us be the Church that Jesus wants us to be. May God the Holy Spirit drive this His Word deeply into your hearts. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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