Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.1 Corinthians 3:8-10 NKJV
Paul describes himself and his fellow apostles as workers, then he splits the metaphor: They are farm workers and construction workers. The work on a farm in those days boiled down to planting, cultivating, and harvesting. A construction guy would be one who took wood and cut it, planed it, and put it into place in a new structure. The church, he says, is both a field and a building under construction.
As God’s field, we receive the seed of the Word in our hearts. It brings forth fruit in accordance with what kind of ground we are. (Mark 4:20) Among other things, the goal is to conform each of us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is love. We are learning to love one another as Christ loved us. (1 John 2:5-6)
As a building, we are all corporately being built into a habitation of God, a place where His Spirit can dwell. (Ephesians 2:21-22) We have to be trimmed and trained and put into place to form a stable structure that accurately represents the Kingdom of God in the midst of a fallen world. (Philippians 2:14-16)
As we head to the gathering of God’s saints today, let’s be ready to receive seed with a good heart. Hear it, digest it, do it. Be determined to be trimmed and trained to take your place as part of God’s holy habitation. If, in fact, “you are God’s field, you are God’s building,” that’s a very big deal. Take it seriously.