This is part of the Apostle Paul's message to the church in Corinth, addressing divisions and conflicts that had arisen among them. In these verses, Paul uses the analogy of planting and watering to illustrate the roles that different individuals play in the work of God's kingdom.
- Planting and watering:
- God gives the increase:
- The insignificance of planters and waterers:
- God's role in the process:
The broader context of 1 Corinthians 3 deals with the issue of divisions and rivalries among the Corinthians, who had aligned themselves with different leaders, such as Paul, Apollos, or Cephas. Paul's aim is to remind them that these leaders are mere servants of God and that it is God who brings about the growth and unity of the church.
In this passage, Paul is urging the Corinthians to recognize the interconnectedness and interdependence of their ministries. Each person has a role to play, and no one should elevate themselves or their preferred leader above others. Instead, they should focus on their common purpose and the ultimate source of their effectiveness, which is God.
Moreover, the message of 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 is relevant beyond the specific context of the Corinthian church. It serves as a reminder to all believers that our role in God's kingdom is one of cooperation and humility. We are called to faithfully fulfill the tasks entrusted to us, whether it involves planting, watering, or any other form of ministry, knowing that it is ultimately God who brings about the increase.
In summary, 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 teaches us about the interdependent nature of ministry and the significance of recognizing God's role as the source of growth and increase. It challenges us to view ourselves and others as servants of God, acknowledging His power and sovereignty in all aspects of our ministry. As we align our hearts and efforts with His purposes, we can trust in His faithfulness to bring about the desired results in His kingdom work.
1 Corinthians 3:6-7. I planted. Apollos watered. But God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.