God Gives the Increase
Updated: Aug 1, 2020
God is glorified when souls are won to Him. Luke 15:7 says there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. God’s will is being done. He is being obeyed. Therefore He is glorified. More should understand the only way to glorify God on earth is to obey His Word in the Bible.
In Luke 17:10, Jesus tells us the laborers involved are merely doing their duty. He said, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” 1Cor. 3:5-7 tells us God gives the increase. Paul wrote, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you have believed, as the Lord gave to each one?” Notice right there, the gift itself was from the Lord, Himself. Paul goes on to say in verse 6, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” 1Cor. 3:8 says the laborers receive their reward each according to their own labor, but the glory can only go to God.
God’s power to save is in the gospel, the Bible. Rom. 1:16,17 tells us the gospel of Christ is the “power of God to salvation”. The righteousness of God is revealed in the Bible, and nothing else can save any of us. There isn’t a magnetic game show host personality in all the so-called mega-churches in all the world who will ever save anybody, unless they are pointing people to the Truth, the whole Truth, for their salvation. For salvation, people must love the Bible, not the personality in the pulpit. Preachers must specialize in pointing people to the Bible if God is going to give the increase and be glorified, Himself.
Different people will respond in different ways when they are pointed to God’s Word for salvation. Jesus explains this in His “parable of the sower” in Matt. 13:18-23. Luke 8:11 tells us “the seed is the Word of God”. The work of the evangelist, or the one who sows, is obvious: Spread the Word. The seed is going to fall on different kinds of ground, or, hearts.
In Matt. 13:19, Jesus said some of the seed would fall on the wayside, the ground that has been trampled on and has become hardened. This is the one who doesn’t love the Truth, therefore he doesn’t receive it so he can understand it (2 Thess. 2:10-12).
In Matt. 13:20,21, He tells of the seed that fell on the stony places.In these places the earth is shallow, and overlays rock. This person is shallow, like the soil. He is impressionable and refuses to grow in knowledge of the Word so it can take root in his heart. He will fall away as soon as temptation, trials, or persecution arises.
In Matt. 13:22, He tells of the seed that fell on the thorny places. The thorns are the materialistic cares of the world that cause so many to give God’s Word only second place in their hearts. As a result, they rob themselves of eternal life. As our brother Burton Coffman worded it, “Cares, riches, and pleasures are not, in and of themselves, evil; but a well may be as effectively choked and stopped with a load of flowers as by a load of rotten carcasses”.
So the point of all of this is, that only God’s Word can save. Our wonderfully polished and shiny personalities in the supermarket will never save anybody, especially by itself. All we can do is sow the seed and especially watch for THEIR personalities and hearts that will receive it and respond (Matt. 13:23). People need to be converted WITH God’s Word only, because they are the ones who end up being converted TO God’s Word. When they are, that is when He gives the increase by HIS power and the glory can only go to Him.
Timothy A. Sundlie - Preacher / Evangelist for the Hodgenville church of Christ, Hodgenville, KY.