Planting, Watering, and God's Increase | The Institute for Creation Research

Planting, Watering, and God's Increase

During construction of the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History, I spent a lot of time working with various crews of artists and craftsmen. One day as I watched three men shoveling dirt into wheelbarrows, I stopped and asked what they were doing. The first said, “I’m clearing this dirt and dumping it on the far side of the worksite.” The second man shook his head and said, “I’ve got a large family, so I’m putting food on the table and a roof over our heads.” The third man, after quickly surveying the worksite, surprised us all when he stated, “I’m helping to build a beautiful new science museum. It’s gonna be great.”

Perspective can be a funny thing. The first man viewed his work as drudgery, while the second saw it as a means to an end. The third man, however, saw his efforts with a greater sense of purpose. While each man was technically correct, how he perceived his labor made all the difference.

The immature believers in Corinth needed a similar reminder from the apostle Paul. Several factions had risen up, with some claiming allegiance to the teaching of Apollos, others to Paul, and still others to the apostle Peter (1 Corinthians 3:4, 22). But Paul warned against “boast[ing] in men” (v. 21). Rather, he emphasized teamwork between his fellow ministers who labored for a far greater purpose. Paul could have described his work in terms of the exhausting travel, preaching in hostile synagogues, and the scourgings, beatings, and jail cells that often followed (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). But he looked beyond his current difficulties to see the big picture. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase….For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:6, 9).

It was vital for the Corinthians to recognize the importance of their co-labor for “God’s building”—the believers who comprise the church. Paul reminded them, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). And while they might labor separately, often apart for years at a time, Paul reminded them they were not in this work alone. “I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it” (v. 10). No structure will survive if it’s not first built on a firm foundation, and such is true for “God’s building,” for “no other foundation can anyone lay than that…which is Jesus Christ” (v. 11). No church or Christian ministry can claim to be genuine if it fails to proclaim and worship the Lord Jesus Christ for who He claims to be in all His fullness.

Even with a sure foundation, the danger of heresy and apostasy—rampant today just as in Paul’s day—can ruin the work. Paul likened this to using building materials of “gold, silver, precious stones” versus “wood, hay, [and] straw” (1 Corinthians 3:12). Our works will be tested one day by the fire of Christ’s judgment seat (2 Corinthians 5:10), and only those of good quality and value will endure.

The Institute for Creation Research takes this charge very seriously. Our ministry is neither mundane nor routine—it’s God’s work, and we would be blessed by your support. God will “give the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:7) as we labor together to proclaim the truth of our Creator, Jesus Christ.

* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Henry M. Morris IV. 2021. Planting, Watering, and God's Increase. Acts & Facts. 50 (2).

The Latest
New Devonian Shark Fossil from Arkansas
The fossil record contains a plethora of shark teeth, but fossilized shark skeletons are exceptionally rare. When they are found, though, they are always...

Photosynthetic Proteins Power Plants
Some scientists think the photosynthetic process is all but figured out since the discovery of more details regarding the place, assembly, and function...

Summer 2024

Uncovering the Secrets of Earth's Oceans | The Creation Podcast:...
The oceans cover most of our planet's surface. Uniformitarians claim the oceans are nearly 4 billion years old, but the evidence says otherwise.   Host...

A Giant Ichthyosaur: Largest Ever Marine Reptile?
Paleontologists have discovered portions of a giant ichthyosaur’s lower jawbone on Blue Anchor Beach at the southern entrance to the United Kingdom’s...

New Titanosaur Species Discovered in Uruguay and Argentina
The pre-Flood world had some truly massive dinosaurs, and the largest of them were in the group Sauropodomorpha.1 Within this group were...

May 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you...

Was a Key to Photosynthesis Evolution Discovered?
Northern Canadian lakes were the source of recently discovered unique photosynthetic bacteria of the phylum Chloroflexota. After years of culturing,...

Four Moons That Indicate a Young Universe | The Creation Podcast:...
Earth has one moon, but Jupiter has many! What can we learn from our celestial neighbor's satellites? Do they indicate youth?   Host...

Creation Kids: Seeds and Sprouts
by Renée Dusseau and Susan Windsor* You're never too young to be a creation scientist and explore our Creator's world. Kids, discover...