1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are laborers together with God: you are God's husbandry, you are God's building.
The harvest is passed; the corn is housed. Is the farmer's labour done? No, the plough is even now at work again; the seed must soon be sown for next year's crop. So continual is the round. But, as the work of husbandry goes on, is there no lesson to us in these things? Yea, all nature speaks to us if we would hear, and the words of the text call us to listen to its voice. Let these words teach you —
I. THE CARE WHICH GOD HAS HAD FOR YOU.
1. In choosing you to be part of His own field — the Church of Christ. You are plants set in the Lord's garden, branches grafted into the living Vine; your heart is the soil on which God deigns to bestow culture, and from which His grace is able to bring forth fruits, meet for the paradise of God.
2. In the price He gave for this field. "Ye are not your own," &c.
3. In enclosing you with the design of making you holy to Himself. Have you ever seen a piece of ground taken in from a common? While all around it is still barren and wild, is not that one spot fair and goodly to the eye? This is what God would have you be in the midst of a world that lieth in wickedness.
4. In that He is ever seeking to improve the ground of your hearts. But, as the farmer does not use the same management to all kinds of soil — the stiff, stubborn clay must not be treated like the light, dry sand-so God now tries to win us by mercies; now to frighten us by judgments. Perhaps your heart clings to the love of this world; then He shakes it loose by storms of trouble. Perhaps He sees you indulging in sinful pleasures; then He makes you taste their bitterness and gall.
5. By employing labourers in His field, for your sakes. He sends His ministers to labour among you, if, by any means, they may save your souls alive.
II. THE RETURN YOU OUGHT TO MAKE TO HIM. What is this? Surely, to take care that you do not receive the grace of God in vain. When a farmer has bestowed much care and management upon a field, does he not expect some increase? How few soils are hopelessly bad, as not to be made better by good management! The earth is no insolvent debtor; you do not put into its bank to receive nought again. Shall the very ground we tread on put us to shame? Ask, then, yourselves, are you bearing fruit to God?
(E. Blencowe, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.