Planting and Watering

—Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette.

Watering the Tulips

3/23/2011

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” ~ I Corinthians 3:7

I don’t know much about raising a garden, but I have raised a few tomatoes and this is what I have experienced.  It’s really a pretty simple process:  you plant and you water.   Not only is that a summary of our responsibility, it is a description of our limitation.   When you plant and water something, you can simply go to bed, sleep and get up and live your life.  What goes on below the soil is something that I not only don’t understand, but am powerless to participate in.

This is what happens in the regeneration of a person.  The Bible in several places uses farming as an analogy for regeneration and evangelism.  Jesus gave us a parable about the different types of soil that can be planted in, (Mark 4:8). Paul talked in the above quoted passage about his and Apollos’ role in the growth of the Church.  It is apparent to me that if we can’t participate in what goes on below the soil in the growing of a tomato plant, we surely can’t aid or assist a Sovereign God in what He is doing in a spiritually dead and depraved human heart.  The Bible is clear that we are spiritually dead apart from God’s regenerating work to make us alive (Ephesians 2:1).   If I am unable to understand how the life of a plant grows below the soil, what makes me think that I can grasp the giving of life that only God can do in the heart and soul of one who is spiritually dead?  I don’t understand how God gives life and makes someone who is dead in trespasses and sins alive and well in Christ, but I know that He does because I have experienced it and Scripture confirms it.

Evangelism according to Scripture is this simple: sow and water, God does the “Life-giving.”  Paul never credits the preacher, methods or any work of man with giving life; only God can give life.  So three questions come to mind:

  1. What or who do you credit as having saved you?  If the answer is anything other than God (who gives the increase), you must turn away from that thing and look unto Christ and Him alone.
  2. What methods are you or your church using in evangelism?  If it is anything other than sowing the seed of the Gospel and watering with God’s Word and prayer, you may produce members, but you will never experience the joy of trusting God alone to give the increase.
  3. Are you faithful to sow and water?  God has given us the responsibility to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.  His sovereignty in the outcome should never diminish our responsibility to passionately share His glorious Gospel.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that after we have sowed the seed of the Gospel, we can go to bed and sleep soundly, knowing that God is taking care of the outcome?  Trusting Him alone for not only my Salvation, but for those I share this Gospel with, gives peace that is truly priceless.

Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL.  For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net.  “Your app to the Gospel” is available for download in the iTunes app store and the Android market.  Download it today.

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