1 Corinthians 3:9-10a: We are god’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it.
Paul sees himself as a builder of God’s house, equipped by God’s grace to lay the foundation of the church, which is Christ. He is a craftsman and carpenter, God’s architect and God’s artist, a tentmaker, a wise Bezalel, who received skill from the Spirit to build the tabernacle. What kind of wisdom is this?
First, recognize that you are building God’s house, advancing Jesus’ empire not yours, cultivating the Spirit’s field. Your work will be successful insofar as you are faithful as God’s fellow-laborer. As God’s laborer, you must lead. As God’s laborer, you must lead in faith.
Second, you are not alone in this work. Many have already planted and watered the church in Maryland before you. You build on their foundation. Fleshly wisdom produces rivalry, but if you walk by the Spirit you won’t be in a popularity contest with other ministers. They have their work; you have yours. Humbly honor their labors, humbly do yours.
Third, because you are God’s workman, He is your judge. You will be held accountable for how you build. When God conducts a building inspection, He starts a fire. Be ready for the fire, and make sure you build with gold, silver and precious stones so that when your work is tested it will remain.
Seek this wisdom, the wisdom of the Spirit, the skill of a master builder. Strive to be a Bezalel, an unworthy servant whose sole delight is to craft your people into a painting and a poem that delights your Master.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 7:11 am
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