1 Corinthians 3:9 (ESV) … “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”
Instead of evangelizing the world by way of a miracle or using a legion of angles to be His messengers of good news, God decided to use us! What an awesome privilege and responsibility that God has placed upon us. Paul tells us that God has “given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18–20).
Think about it, it is without a doubt that the work would have been done much more efficiently and expeditiously by angels, but such was not God’s will nor God’s way. Instead God reaches lost people by means of saved people.
By using us as His fellow workers, He not only lifts us to great heights of glory and honor, He also trains and disciplines us in the process and prepares us for service in the millennial and eternal ages to come. And more! He gives us the opportunity to earn rewards!
Then Paul abruptly changes the whole picture. “You are God’s building,” he says. The apostle switches to an architectural illustration and shows us a man working on a house. The concept of the believer as a dwelling place for God, and the church being “an habitation of God through the Spirit” is one Paul often used (1 Cor. 6:19–20; Eph. 2:22).
This illustration prepares the way for the discussion which follows, in which this whole idea of working in partnership with God on a building is developed against the background of the judgment seat of Christ.
It is our responsibility to set forth the glories of Christ. We are to speak to this world of the Lord’s Person, who He really is, the uncreated, self-existing, second Person of the Godhead, who stepped out of eternity into time so that He might become man and show us in His Person, what God is really like.
We are to speak also of His passion. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). We are to take people to Calvary and tell them that in Him “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7). We are to take people to Calvary and expound to them the mystery of Christ’s cross. Every day we must embrace the privilege and responsibility of being “God’s fellow workers and God’s building.” [i]