God has given us a job to plant and water seeds of the gospel. However neither Paul nor Apollos was able to cause that seed to grow, it is only God Who gives the growth. But nothing can grow, without a seed first being planted. In this video from ETCH conference in 2016, author Vicki Courtney breaks down this 1 Corinthians passage and explains our God-given job assignment to plant and water.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
We are to be reminded that that calling has come from God and there is a clear job assignment that we’ve been given.
That job assignment can essentially be found in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 when Paul is actually dealing with a situation where the Corinthians had developed factions if you will. And some were following Paul and some Apollos. And instead of placing their trust in God, they were putting their trust instead in their leaders and their teachers.
So Paul calls them to task in this and says this: “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything. But only God Who gives the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:5-6)
Using an agricultural metaphor, Paul paints this beautiful picture of basically our job essentially. Some are called to plant, some are called to water – really, we’re called to do both. And we leave the results to God for He alone brings the growth.
That Greek word for “servants” in that passage is the word: diakonos. It actually means, “to run on errands”. Essentially an errand-runner. Some of you are like,”Yes, amen. I can relate to that.” Errand-runner. That is our job duty. We are hired by God. He is our employer. The Divine Proprietor Who has handed us this task to plant and water seeds of the gospel in those whom He’s placed divinely in our care.
Matthew Henry’s commentary says, “He that plants and he that waters are one, employed by one master, trusted with the same revelation, busied in one work, and engaged in one design. They work together with God in promoting the purposes of His glory and the salvation of precious souls.”
That’s our job. That’s our ministry duty to God.