“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 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.”
I Corinthians 3:9, 10
God was using Paul to teach the Corinthians, and us as well, about the danger and characteristics of carnal living. We are either living in the power of the Spirit, or we are walking in the energy of the flesh. Evidences of their carnality were their jealousy and partiality. Some claimed to be followers of Paul, others of Apollos, and others of Peter. In reality, they all should have been followers of Jesus Christ. Speaking to this subject Paul said, “we are labourers together with God.” These men were not in competition with each other, but were serving together as a team.
In addition to the preachers being a team, Paul wanted these church members at Corinth to know that they were also on the same team. One way that God describes the New Testament church is “God’s building.” The foundation had been laid and the structure was being assembled. This structure was the church of Corinth. God gives us these metaphors in His Word to illustrate our relationship to Him and to each other. The church is also called a body and a bride, as well as a building. As a building, we have a Builder – the Lord. He is the Builder of New Testament churches. As a building, we see the importance of our interrelationship with one another. Members of the Lord’s churches are not independent and isolated from each other, but rather are vitally connected and interdependent.
As individual components that make up the whole structure, we see the necessity of being committed to each other. Imagine a roof that is not committed to its building, but is only available to serve the structure on an occasional basis, or windows and doors that are not faithful in their places. Because we “are God’s building,” it is only expected that we be committed and faithful to the others who are part of the building. As individual parts of “God’s building,” we do not all serve the same purpose or role; but each component is necessary. The beauty and functionality of a building is not in the fact that every board and brick are identical, but each bit of material serves together for a common goal.