Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
NUMBER 15, PAGE 10c-11a

Let Us Work Together With God

William C. Sexton

Every Christian should be glad and appreciative for the privilege of being a child of God. He should be desirous of doing what is required of him. There is in the heart of every born-again believer a peace of mind that is available in no other relationship.

Paul said, "we are labourers together with God..." (I Cor. 3:9). Also, again "We then, as workers together with him..." (II Cor. 6:1). In these passages, is set forth the fact that he is doing what is lacking so often today among disciples of Christ. Thus, we are asking for submission to these principles, that we may be approved by God and man; that we may find happiness here; that we may be happy in the future; that we may lead many to find this happiness. If we would be successful in accomplishing our mission, we must be:

1. INDUSTRIOUS: We may work without being approved, but we cannot be acceptable to God or man without working. James points to the folly of trying to be justified by faith apart from works. (Jas. 2:1426) Paul says to the Philippians, "work out your own salvation." Jesus, after showing the danger of working without authority, emphasized the need to work, by likening the one who "doeth them"--the things he said --- to a "wise man, which built his house upon a rock." (Matt 7:21-27.)

If one has a "mind to work" (Neh. 4:6), he can find a way to do what needs to be done; otherwise, he'll find an excuse. Many intend to work but plan to wait till they find a convenient time. Jesus said, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." One needs to be willing to work. He who is willing, shall find that which needs to be done. The nature of the Lord's work, the importance of it, requires that we be willing to work hard. The Lord does not appreciate a lazy person, a "lukewarm" person. (Rev. 3:15-16) In fact none of us appreciate such a person! Yes, work is needed both to accomplish in the lives of others what God desires, and in our lives what we need. Let us have a mind to work hard in the cause of the Lord, knowing that it is not "in vain."

2. UNITED: We may be united against God, and fail completely, but we cannot hope to be acceptable to God nor man, if we aren't united, working together. Jesus says,- "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." (Matt. 12:25.) If we would be successful, we must be united! Jesus implies the influence of unity, when he prayed to the Father. (John 17:20-23.) History will testify to the truthfulness of this teaching: more people are influenced to stay away from the church by division in the so called "Christian World" than by any other thing.

We can be united in our efforts only if we are: (A) Governed by the same rule, (Phil.3:16; II John 9); (B) Teaching and practicing the same things, (I Cor. 1:10); (C) Being concerned about the same thing, being spiritual minded, (Phil. 2:2,5; Rom. 8:6-12)

3. HAVE DIVINE APPROVAL: As we have suggested, it is possible for us to be active in religious work, also, be in agreement among ourselves, and at the same time be working against God! Gamaliel, long ago, pointed to the foolishness of fighting "against God." (Acts 5:33-39.) Indeed, as we review the results of those who did, in times past, fight against God, we should desire to do better. There are many ways one may place himself in such a position. One may do it ignorantly, like Saul who later became the apostle Paul, (Acts 26:9-12; I Tim.1:13- 15. ) Many fight against God, by trying to be neutral! By trying to escape without taking a stand, by trying to "ride the fence." Jesus clearly points to the fact regarding such, when he said, "He that is not with me is against me; he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." (Matt.12:30) When one is governed by the teaching and commandments of "men", he is in reality, fighting against God. (Notice Matt. 15:9, 13-14) They shall be "rooted up", their efforts are "in vain", destruction shall come to the leader and to the followers too.

We must have authority for all that we do, If it be "in word", or if it be in "deed", it must be "in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Co1.3:17) When we look "into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein" we can be sure that what we do will bear fruit, that it will be "blessed" by God. The scriptures are many that tell us that we are condemned if we do not abide within the limit of the scriptures.

One of the great dangers facing man is his desire to go "beyond that which is written. He feels that he needs more than that which God has given him; he thinks that he can improve upon God's wisdom!

When we work "with God", abide in His authority, we should have faith that we can and will accomplish what needs to be done: God will give the increase. (I Cor. 3:6) So, we say--Let us work hard, with all our might; let us work together, as a team in every congregation, let every person make his own contribution to unity. Let us be filled with the same Spirit, concerned about the same thing, concerned about the other before self. Let us be sure that we are working with God, governed by His will as it is revealed on the pages of the New Testament. Wear a smile, reflecting the hope and faith in our hearts that we belong to God.

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