Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

God's Fellow Workers

For we are God’s fellow workers … 1 Corinthians 3:9

Some of the believers in the church at Corinth were followers of Paul and some of them were followers of Apollos.

In order to counteract this division, in 1 Corinthians 3:5-6 Paul reminds some of them of their conversion to Christ:

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

In 1 Corinthians 3:7 Paul follows with: “neither he who plants is anything nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”

Paul follows this statement of self deprecation by stating in verse 9 that he and Apollos are “God’s fellow workers.”

Paul seems to contradict himself. In one breath he and Apollos are nothing. In the next breath they are God’s fellow workers. His point is: God brought the Corinthians to Jesus, but He used the human instruments of Paul and Apollos to complete the work.

It can be said that anytime God uses a mere human being to bring about His will, that person is God’s fellow worker.

Jesus must have had reference to this plan of God when in John 5:17 He said:

… “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

Throughout the Book of John, Jesus made it plain that He initiated nothing. He was available to the Father. He and the Father are one. But at the same time He was a fellow worker with the Father.

All of God’s children have the honor of being God’s fellow workers. When we are living out our new-creation life, we will be available to God and He will work through us.

God initiates and we respond. All power for success in any ministry or service, though, must come from Him.