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this there must be proof; and they are not approved as having the Spirit, unless they “walk after the Spirit:” and show by their life and conversation that “old things have passed away” with them; that “all things are become new.” Paul therefore complains that he had no such proof in this community: rather he had proof of the contrary. He could not speak unto them as spiritual, but still as carnal: still under the influence of that sinful nature which ought to have been renewed. At best, they were but as babes in Christ, infants in the christian character: and as an infant cannot digest the food which nourishes the grown man, so these were unable to receive the truths which are understood by the advanced Christian. Their enrying, their strife, their divisions, were signs of this: they walked as men ; as natural men, unregenerate men. For these parties of theirs must have their origin in some of the evil affections of our corrupt nature. I am of Paul, one saith : of him who first brought the knowledge of Christ to Corinth: of him who learned from the Lord Jesus himself the truths which he declared to us, and to whom it was permitted to enjoy a visible representation of the divine glory.” I am of Cephas, would another say: who was never “a blasphemer, or a persecutor, or injurious” to the church: to whom the Lord gave his special charge, that he should “feed his lambs, his sheep:” who spoke on the day of Pentecost the first discourse which was ever uttered in the name of Christ, and which was so blessed of God, that after it three thousand persons declared their belief, and were baptized."
* 2 Cor. v. 17. * Acts ix.3—5, 27. Gal. i. 12. * 1 Tim. i. 13. * John xxi. 15–17.
And we are of Apollos, would be the boast of others. Who so “mighty in the scripture ?” Who so eloquent, so able to win men's hearts, in showing them the loving-kindness of the Lord? Who so full of knowledge, expounding from Moses and all the prophets the things relating to Jesus Christ?”
This is to be carnal: to act as ordinary men. For it is thus that men of the world set up one leader or one teacher against another, and magnify their party, because in so doing they magnify themselves. Trace this to its source, and you will find it either spring from pride, each man esteeming himself better than others: or from covetousness: because what might be his is obtained by another.
From thoughts like these, which are of the earth, earthly, St. Paul would turn to those which are of heaven, heavenly: to the great object of their faith, and not to the man who taught them to believe.
5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man 2 6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the
increase. 7. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither
he that watereth : but God that giveth the increase.
8. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one : and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
' Acts ii. 14—41. * Acts xviii. 24–28.
9. For we are labourers together with God : ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
Whilst Paul abode at Corinth, and taught in the house of Justus, he planted the tree of life; the tree whose “leaves are for the healing of the nations,” and whose fruit is the health of the soul for ever. After a while Apollos came," and found this tree growing, but in want of cultivation: care must be taken, lest it be choked by the cares of the world, and the lusts of other things:* lest when temptations arise, it decay and wither. Apollos bestowed this care: Apollos watered. But how often does such labour fail! How often is that experienced in spiritual husbandry, which the prophet speaks of in natural husbandry; “Ye looked for much, and lo, it came to little: and I did blow upon it, saith the Lord of hosts.”
If, therefore, any were led to walk worthy of their calling: if any, when affliction or persecution arose, did not fall away: it was the Lord's doing; it was God who gave the increase. Man can address the heart, but God alone can open the heart, that it may receive the word; or strengthen it, that it may “continue in the word.”
What therefore are Paul, or Apollos, or what is any labourer in the vineyard, but instruments to prepare the work which God alone can bless or bring to perfection? He that planteth, and he that watereth, are one ; each labours in the same cause, and shall receive his own reward. They sow the seed, where the sun may cause it to spring up, or the rain may cherish it: but it is God that sendeth the rain, and maketh the sun to shine. If it please Him that any seed take root, and bring forth fruit, twenty, thirty, or sixty fold,—to God be the glory. Ye are God's husbandry: we who plant and water are labourers together with Him ; but there is this difference; our labour can do nothing without Him: He can do everything without our labour.
* Acts xix. 1. 4 Mark iv. 19. * Haggai i. 9.
In these few words, Ye are God's husbandry, what comfort to the humble Christian | He does not depend upon the teacher, who may be soon removed by the varying circumstances of life: still less does he depend upon himself, weak and wavering as he knows his heart to be: God, who “is greater than the heart,” has taken him under his care, and is so ordering the ground on which he stands, so tempering the seasons to which he is exposed, that “all things shall work together for his good,” and further his salvation. Only let him judge concerning the soul and its value, as God judges of it: and not neglect the plant which God vouchsafes to tend.
* Rom. viii. 28.
THE DANGER OF FALSE TEACHING, AND OF PERWERTING TRUTH BY ERROR.
1 CoR. iii. 10—15.
10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
ll. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
A heart established in the faith of Christ, is compared to a house built on a firm foundation. And when a heart is so established, it is the work of the Holy Spirit, without which nothing could stand. Paul's last words were, Ye are God’s building. God, however, uses as instruments his apostles, his ministers. Paul, therefore, calls himself a master builder; and a wise builder, because he laid his foundation safely, and built the house upon a rock. He had come, for example, to the city of Corinth; and had there made known, both to Jews and Gentiles, the plain and simple truth, that God had sent his Son into the world, to the end “that all who believe in him might not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just as if an architect should select a spot where a building was to be raised: should lay the foundation: design the whole plan: and then be called elsewhere,