Living by Grace

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

Those Other Evangelists

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.     1 Corinthians 3:5-7

In 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 Paul refers to Apollos and himself as ministers “through whom you believed.” He is obviously thinking of the salvation experiences of the Corinthians.

According to the Book of Acts, Paul led some Corinthians to Christ before Apollos had arrived there. The statement in 1 Corinthians 3:5 must mean that Apollos was influential in bringing other people to Christ that Paul had previously witnessed to.

Paul’s statement about sowing and watering is similar to the statement of Jesus recorded in John 4:36-37

And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’

While there is a likeness between the statements of Jesus and Paul, Paul introduces a third feature to the work of evangelism. Apollos reaped some converts by leading them to Christ. However, the term “watered” implies more. It implies that those who learned how to be saved were encouraged to give their hearts to the Lord.

In Christian circles today it is common knowledge that “sowers” and “reapers” are comparatively few.  

It is also common knowledge that the vast majority of those involved in evangelism are those who “water.”  

Jesus says that those who sow and those who reap will rejoice together. In 1 Corinthians 3:7 Paul writes that the one who sows and the one who waters will receive a reward.

Many evangelicals know ways they can encourage the unsaved to come to Christ.

If we will live out the new-creation life with a view to participating in the salvation of the lost, God will reveal the specifics of what we should do to influence souls toward Jesus.