1 Corinthians 3:5–17 (NKJV)

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

1 Corinthians 3:5-8

Two main points arise in this very vivid explanation of responsibility and reward. The first image is of a garden. Many have a role or responsibility in the garden: planting, watering, cultivating, etc. We all are called to do our part, but in the end, human beings are simply workers who bring the harvest to God. but God provides the harvest. We work the garden, but the growth is through the miracle of salvation. We are rewarded if we fulfill our part of the responsibility of the harvest. We plant God’s seed, water the seed with water provided by God, and then God also is the creator of the life that springs forth from the earth that He also provided. It is God’s garden, and the fruit is His. We are simply husbandmen, rewarded when God sees our good work.

9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

1 Corinthians 3:9-17

The second image is of a building. One lays a foundation, another builds on it. The land is God’s, the materials are God’s, and the building plans are God’s. We simply carry out that plan carefully, laying the foundation of Jesus Christ, and building upon it with the very best materials. We are all His building, and how we build helps determine the reward we will have. If we build with the best materials, our building will stand the testing of fire on the Day of the Lord. If we build with inferior materials, our building will be burned up, but the foundation will remain. Don’t use junk to build the temple of the Lord. Use the best to build for Him. Only the best will stand the test.

Artwork from https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d0/47/a6/d047a6bb4c8f4038b2364d717fe4ab8b.jpg

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