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Home Sermon Collection (ENG.Ver) English version We are God's working partner!
We are God's working partner! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ir. David Kurniadi   
Thursday, 18 January 2018 12:58

“For we are laborers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9)

 

For the above verse, other translations use the word: co-worker, fellow-worker, or co-laborer: it means that we are God’s working partner. We do not work for God, but we work together with God and God works together with us.

 

Working for God is burdensome, but working together with God is very enjoyable and delightful since our works become fruitful.  

 

God does not regard us as His worker, but instead as His working partner. What a great privilege for us that God is pleased to make us His working partner? Though we are not equal with Him in quality and ability, yet He makes us as His co-worker, his fellow-worker. How could it be?

 

“I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself” (Isaiah 44:24).

 

God is almighty (Genesis 35:11). God can do all things (Job 42:1), and there is nothing impossible or too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:27). When He created the universe and the earth, He did it all by Himself (Isaiah 44:24). He just spoke the word and all things were made (Psalms 33:9). But when He had made mankind He wanted to involve the man He created to work together with Him to accomplish His plans and purposes on earth.

 

But Adam, the first man, failed to become God’s working partner. He was enticed by Satan to live independently from God and worked for his own plan separated from God. He wanted to be like God (Genesis 3:5) and be god for himself.

 

“ … you will be like God … “ (Genesis 3:5)

 

When man decides to work his own plan and refuses to work together with God, he will fall into the hands of Satan and becomes his slave. His life becomes hard and difficult (Genesis 3:17-19) because he refuses to be God’s co-worker, which also means refuses God to work together with him. Eventually man lives in separation from God (Genesis 3:23-24). 

 

“So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground … “ (Genesis 3:23).

 

But God loves the man He created (John 3:16) and He wants to save them (John 3:17) and brings them back to their original destination as God’s fellow-workers. God wants to enjoy the cooperation with men in achieving His purposes on earth.

 

So God sent His Son into the world to redeem men from their slavery (Galatians 5:1). He purchased men by shedding His blood (1 Peter 1:18-19) and giving His life at the cross in Calvary Mountain (Matthew 20:28). And those who would believe in the Son of God and His death and resurrection will receive their freedom and salvation (Romans 10:9).

 

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

 

Now we, who believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, have been set free from our captivity and become God’s possessions (Revelation 5:9-10). And God the Father wants us to become His working partner for his purpose and plans in this world.

 

The Lord Jesus set us a perfect example of how to become God’s working partner, because when he was in the world as a Man, Jesus worked together with the Father in accomplishing God’s plan and purpose that is to establish the Kingdom of God in the world (Luke 4:43).

 

Jesus said: “May Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17). So Jesus did not work alone. The Father also worked together with Him at the same time: working for the same purpose. Furthermore Jesus said: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself, He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19). This is the perfect example and the meaning of being God’s working partner and of working together with God: Jesus and the Father worked at the same time for the same purpose.

 

Keep in mind that at that times the Son of God was in human fashion (Philippians 2:6-8). He was totally as human and relied totally in God His Father (John 5:30). And Jesus also said that we would do the works He has been doing (John 14:12). In other word Jesus wants us to become like Him, as God’s working partner: co-worker, fellow-worker of God.

 

Ironically many God’s children do not realized that God wants them to become His working partner. While God is busy working they’re just folding their arms and standing idle, do not want to involve or take any part in God’s work, but they still ask for a reward. What a funny situation!

 

“He asked them: ‘Why have you standing here all day long doing nothing?’” (Matthew 20:6).   

 

Now let us learn how Jesus makes the believers as God’s fellow-workers.

 

In John 15:15 Jesus said: “I no longer call you servants. I have called you friends.” Jesus wants to tell us that in work partnership with God, He don’t want to use a “master-servant” relation instead a “close friend” relation. The difference is in motivation.

 

A servant works for his master on reward basis. The master as the boss gives the instruction, and the servant as the worker works it because the boss will pay him his wages according to his work. Sometimes the worker works with laziness or just eye-service in front of his boss, so the boss must apply punishment system to make them work diligently. The worker then works with fear of his boss. That is a “master-servant” relation.

 

This is not the kind of relation that the Lord wants in His work partnership. He wants a better relation: “close friend” relation.

 

It doesn’t mean that there is no need of obedience in “close friend” relation. Jesus said: “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John15: 14). But the obedience here is motivated not by fear or expecting reward, but because sincere desire to please the Lord’s heart. This will lead us to do the best for the Lord without feeling burdened. Working together with God as our Best Friend is not burdensome at all, but delightful.

 

Our willingness to obey Him and work the best for Him is the expression of our love to God and gratitude for the privilege we have received from the Lord, because the Lord elevates us to become His friend, even more to become His fellow-worker.

 

It’s not easy to understand the feeling of the one who experienced such elevation. May be the one who understand this is Joseph. Joseph was a slave in Egypt who worked for Egyptian officer (Genesis 39:1), and then he was put to jail because of false accusation of his boss’ wife (Genesis 39:20). But one day he was suddenly released from the jail and Pharaoh appointed him to become a powerful man in Egypt after him (Genesis 41:40-44).

 

Similarly God has also lifted us up from slaves of sin (Romans 6:20) to become God’s friends (John 15:14) and fellow-workers of God (1 Corinthians 3:9). So now, what is more appropriate for us, as our gratitude for the grace we have received, than to give ourselves to God (Romans 12:1) so He could make us His fellow-workers?

 

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).

 

When we become God’s working partner, God will work together with us. God works, and we also work together with Him to achieve the same goal. In this partnership, God is our Senior Partner and we are His junior partners. We do what we can do according to our ability, and God works what we cannot do or beyond our ability. It doesn’t mean that God and us do a separate work, for God, by His Holy Spirit, does His work in us and through us (Ephesians 3:20).

 

“Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

 

When God works together with us the result will be magnificent, great, and awesome. The result is far beyond our expectation. And we realize that this is not our merit, so to God be the glory (Romans 11:36).

 

“For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).

 

Rev. Reinhardt Bonke, a great evangelist for Africa, said that it was not him who won millions souls in Africa, but God. It was God who worked in Africa, winning millions of people, but at that very moment he was there in Africa, preaching the Gospel, at the place where God was working. He also said, that he didn’t do the miracles. It was God who at that time was healing the sick people: making the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear and the mute to speak. But at that very moment he was praying for the sick and laying his hand on them in the name of Jesus. So people saw that it was Reinhardt who did this, but actually it was the result of God and Reinhardt worked together. Reinhardt did what he could do, that was preaching, praying and laying hands. But God did what he could not do: winning millions of souls and making miracles of healing.

 

So in this partnership, we do what we can do, and God does the rest: the things we cannot do, beyond our ability, and impossible for us to do it.

 

This is what Peter said when he made a lame man to walk. He said: “Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” (Acts 3:12). “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth … this man stands before you healed” (Acts 4:10). This is what we call as working partnership of God and us. We pray and lay our hand in the name of Jesus, and the power of God does the miracle.

 

God would not ask what is our ability in working together with Him, but He only asks our willingness. Ability is God’s responsibility. He could impart His ability unto us or He works with His ability through us.

 

“There are different kind of (magnificent) working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work” (1 Corinthians 12:6)

 

That is why God sends His Holy Spirit to dwell within us and be with us forever (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit is the power of God (Ephesians 1:19). He enables us to do the work beyond our capability. He works powerfully within us and through us (Ephesians 3:20). This was the reason why Jesus confidently said that we would do the work that He has been doing; even the greater works (John 14:12).

 

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12).

 

Being a co-worker of God is like being a translator. We translate so that people can understand the words spoken by the person we translate. As a translator we must translate only the words that we hear. When he speaks with a loud voice, we must speak in the loud voice too. When he makes a certain act we also act the same way.

 

Jesus was the Translator of the Father so that people could understand the Father. He did what he saw his Father doing and spoke what He heard his Father speaking (John 5:19; 14:10). He expressed correctly the thoughts and feelings of His Father. Jesus translated the Father with His teaching and His deeds.

 

“The words I say I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work” (John 14:10).

 

What would happen if we become God’s co-worker or working partner?

 

“You are my friends, if you do what I command” (John 15:14).

 

The Lord will make us His friends (John 15:14), even His good friend. God calls Abraham as His friend (James 2:23). The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33:11). And now the Lord Jesus calls us as His friends (John 15:14). This is a great privilege for us that the Lord calls us as His friends. He is our God and King, yet He would call and make us His friends.

 

“I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

 

As His friends, the Lord tells everything He knows to us and reveals even the deep things of His heart. He conceals nothing from us. If He conceals something, He conceals not from us but for us to be found. He reveals His secret through the Holy Spirit whom He sent to dwell within us (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).

 

Jesus said: “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them” (Matthew 13:11).

 

The Spirit searches the secret of God’s heart and reveals it to us (1 Corinthians 2:11). What does it mean? It means that we could see what other people could not see; we could hear what other people could not hear; we could understand what other people could not understand. And this will make us different from other people. We will have a different point of view because God shows us the things, which are hidden and unknown to other people. We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

 

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).

 

Look at Christ when He walked on earth. When Lazarus was sick He said that Lazarus sickness would bring glory to God (John 11:4). When Lazarus died He said that Lazarus just sleeps and He will go to wake him up (John 11:11). When Jesus met a born-blind man, other people asked Him whose sin had made that man born-blind. But Jesus said it was not because of his sins or his parent sins, but because the wonderful work of God would be manifested in him (John 9:3). When Jesus was in the boat and the winds and waves tossed the boat, He slept soundly (Mark 4:38-40). While the others were terrified, Jesus was so calm, because He knew that the waves would not kill him. It was not just about faith; it’s also a matter of knowing the things that others couldn’t know. That makes Jesus different.

 

The apostle Paul also calls himself and his companion, Apollos, as a co-worker of God in God’s service (1 Corinthians 3:9). That’s why God reveals to Paul divine secrets and mysteries. As a result Paul sees what other people couldn’t see. He had different point of view about his life. He regards his weaknesses, not as negative things, but as an open opportunity to see, to receive and to experience God’s full power and strength. That is why instead of grumbling Paul appreciates his sufferings and delights in his hardships and difficulties (2 Corinthians 12:10). 

 

“For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

 

When we become God’s working partner, we become His good friends. God chose us to become His friends (John 15:16). So we become God’s chosen people: a special race of people (1 Peter 2:9). And as God’s chosen people we have the assurance of our salvation that our names are written in Heaven (Luke 10:20).

 

As God’s chosen people we receive many privileges from God the Father: abundant provision that we may not lack anything (Philippians 4:19); reliable protection against the enemy (Psalms 61:3); divine wisdom and guidance to safe our steps; and perfect divine arrangement (Psalms 37:23) to make our lives excellent.

 

“I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).

 

As His working partner God has destined our lives to become fruitful (John 15:16). God has ordained His working partner to have a successful life, but we must walk according to His words, not turning to the left or to the right, but walk straight in His ways (Joshua 1:7-8). It could be that the Lord allows us to fail, but failure is not our final destination, it is just the way we must pass through in order to humble our hearts and make us wiser. We must know that God prefer our success rather than our failure. He will supply us with everything we need for our success (Philippians 4:13). Jesus is our success. He is our victory. He has imparted the Holy Spirit into our lives to help us (John 14:16-17) to reach the goals God has set for us.

 

“So that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you” (John 15:16).

 

As a reward for being God’s fellow-worker He would give us whatever we ask of Him in Jesus name (John 15:16). If we receive whatever we ask of God, then we have all the answer for our problems, because God has the answer for any problems we have. This will make us more than a conqueror in life (Romans 8:37). There isn’t any problem that we could not solve. There isn’t any problem too big for us, for our God is bigger than our problems. If we would accumulate all our big problems in life, then our God is still bigger than that. And our God is the God who hears our prayers (Psalms 65:2) and also answer our prayers (1 John 3:23).

 

“That you may know His incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19).

 

When we work together with God and become God’s co-laborers, then God will empower us with the great power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians1: 19). He will equip us with spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11), that we may do the great works of Jesus as Jesus has promised us (John 14:12). He will enrich us with beautiful experience, revelations, inspirations, enlightenment and wisdom. Miracles and wonders will become part of our daily life: confirming our communion and partnership with God (Mark 16:20).

 

“And the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs (miracles and wonders) that accompanied it” (Mark 16:20).

 

The Lord Jesus once said: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake” (John 14:11). In other word Jesus said: “Believe me that I am in partnership and unity with my Father. You could see it from the great works I have done.” Thus, our great works will confirm our unity and partnership with God that truly we are God’s fellow-workers.

 

Our partnership with God is not just work cooperation with God to accomplish His plans and purposes. It involves a deeper relation between God and us. As it was mentioned above: it’s a friendship with God.

 

God wants to make us His friends. He waits for our respond to His offer of being His friends whether we have the same desire with Him: Do we eagerly want to become His friends and build an intimate relationship with Him? Do we regard friendship with God as our priority and an urgent need? Do we make our effort and strive to have it? Do we consider God’s offer as a privilege? If we have positive answers for all those questions then God will surely make us His friends, even His best friends.

 

And God will make us His working partner: to work together with Him in establishing His Kingdom on earth. He would involve us in His project. And when God works together with us, we will achieve great and wonderful things in our lives. Our lives will be different from other people who work alone to accomplish their own project.

 

When Jesus said: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake”  (John 14:11), it implies that our works could prove our relationship with the Father, or in the other word, our intimate relationship with the Father will produce great works.

 

We can read from the Bible that those who had intimate relationship with God do great things. Look at Daniel who worshiped God three times a day, he became a great man in Babylonian kingdom (Daniel 6:10); David who praised God seven times a day became the greatest king in Israel (Psalms 119:164); Abraham the God worshiper (Genesis 12:7,8; 13:18) became the father of the great nation Israel; and the list can be added on and on.

 

God will work together with those who have close relationship with Him. He likes to make them His working partner. And when God works together the results are always magnificent and beautiful. How is it possible if God the Almighty works together with us and we just result things that are meaningless or insignificant?

 

We should possess the same appetite toward God’s work like Jesus. He once said: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work” (John 4:34), then God will satisfy us. God likes to work with sincere and enthusiastic people.

 

Let’s work together with God!

 

 

 
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