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God Gives The Increase

The true Church of God has always consisted of real people, no different in ancient times than in the present. There is good about that, but there is also the matter of how human nature sometimes gets the upper hand over those who have come to know better, hence, as observed by the apostle Paul, "whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions." What causes it? According to Paul, "For ye are yet carnal."

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase"

If anyone had the "right" to be overbearing among Christians, Paul (see Paul's Ministry) surely did. But his greatness as a Christian, what made him a great Christian, was his not trying to take credit for what God had done through him, and others such as Apollos i.e. "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." Human humility is often a matter of being honest about Who is actually in full control of everything in His creation.

Paul then uses the analogy of a crop that is being grown and awaits harvest (see also Together Until Harvest and The Great Tribulation).

Harvest

"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." (1 Corinthians 3:1-9 KJV)

Paul then uses another analogy, of building construction, in which builders work upon a foundation that the designer of the building set forth. God is the designer, and Christ laid the foundation, of the "barn" (see Garner), the spiritual Temple, that the harvest (see Seasons Of The Harvest) will be gathered to.

"According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire [see Planet On Fire!]." (1 Corinthians 3:10-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did Jesus Christ warn about claiming to be a Christian while ignoring Christ's teachings? What did Christ warn about building a house upon a foundation of sand rather than a foundation of rock (the Rock i.e. "that Rock was Christ," 1 Corinthians 10:4)?
Matthew 7:20-27


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