Christians Cooperating And Working Together

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
    2. 1 Corinthians 3:9 = "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."

      2 Corinthians 6:1 = "We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain."

    3. COOPERATION DEFINED:
      1. According to Webster the word "cooperation" is made up of two parts:
        1. "Co" -- meaning "with", that is, "together, in conjunction, or jointly"
        2. "Operate" – meaning "to work"
      2. Cooperate -- means "to work with"; or "to work together"
      3. Cooperation – means "a collective action"; or "the collective action of a work being done
        together".
    4. THE TEXT SAYS:
      1. "We are labourers together with God: …" = I Corinthians 3:9.
      2. For the next few minutes let us see what Christian cooperation requires.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. WORKERS, OR INDIVIDUALS, THAT WILL OPERATE:
      1. The apostle Paul says: I Corinthians 3:9 = "We are labourers (workers) …."
      2. We were created to work:
      3. Genesis 2:15 = "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of 
        Eden to dress it and to keep it
        ."

        Ephesians 2:10 = "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

        Ecclesiastes 9:10 = "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

      4. The Father and The Son are workers:
      5. John 5:17 = "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work."

        John 9:4 = "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."

        1. The Example of the Father and Son working together gives to work a great dignity.
        2. The Church cannot fulfill its high mission in the world and attain the divine likeness 
          without work.
    2. FELLOW WORKERS WORKING TOGETHER:
    3. Comment: Working alone is not cooperation. It is possible for us to work and not cooperate. In the language of our text, it is made clear that we should work together, or cooperate. Cooperation is a fine art. Some never learn it and that is tragic. Others do learn it; this is fortunate. There are three things that will insure cooperation among men:

      1. Mutual love -- Having a genuine delight to work with people that we love.
      2. A common understanding -- concerning the work to be done and the plan by which it is to be
        done.
      3. The spirit of humility -- Workers willing to:
        1. Sacrifice their personal opinions.
        2. Fit into the plan.
        3. Follow the leadership.
    4. THE RIGHT THIRD PARTNER:
      1. Paul said:
      2. I Corinthians 3:9 = "…We are labourers together with God: …"

        2 Corinthians 6:1 = "Workers together with him, …"

      3. You will recall that:
        1. Judas and the Jewish leaders worked together, in the betrayal of Christ -- but not with
          the Lord
          .
        2. Matthew 26:14-16 = "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto 
          the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
          "

        3. Ananias and Sapphira worked together -- but not with the Lord.
        4. Acts 5:1-6 = "But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and  after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him."

          1. Each of these had the wrong third partner -- Satan to be exact.
          2. We must have a supreme desire to do God’s Will and to follow the New Testament plan.
          3. Christians that make up the family of God, are in partnership with Him in the world’s greatest business -- saving souls.
      4. Some examples of cooperation and the right third partner:
        1. Moses and Aaron:
        2. Exodus 4:1-17 = "And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not
          believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the
          river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land. And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of  a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.
          "

          1. By uniting their gifts and powers, they overcame a natural weakness and became "workers together with God".
          2. Each worker has his limitations; but when workers unite their abilities great power is manifest.
        3. Moses, Aaron and Hur:
        4. Exodus 17:8-13 = "Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword."

          1. Moses and Aaron would not stand by and allow Moes to bear the burden alone and the battle be lost.
          2. Working together, a weakness was overcome and a victory won.
          3. The Church of Christ is joined in a battle and those in leadership need the united support of the brethren.
        5. Paul, Apollos and God:
        6. 1 Corinthians 3:6 = "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

          1. Paul preached sowing the seed.
          2. Apollos watered that which Paul had planted.
          3. God gave the increase.

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. ARE YOU A WILLING WORKER FOR THE LORD?
    2. ARE YOU WILLING TO BE FELLOW-WORKER WITH THE LORD?
    3. DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT THIRD PARTNER?
    4. YOU CAN HAVE THE RIGHT THIRD PARTNER THIS VERY HOUR – WHAT SHALL YOUR ANSWER / DECISION BE?

Song: "WHAT SHALL YOUR ANSWER BE"

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