23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men. (2 Cor 8:23-24)
Every one of Paul’s letters includes mention of people to people. They are very specific. So much to the point that it could be easy to think that these verses weren’t meant for us today. We might even read right past them as is so often the case with the Old Testament genealogies. But these verses are as much the Word of God as those portions we claim as life verses and therefore have much to teach us.
Here Paul mentions his friend and companion, Titus, as well as other spiritual brethren to the Church in Corinth. He is commending them to the Corinthians, vouching for them, so to speak. If there is any question about these guys, Paul is saying that they co-labor with him for the Gospel. They are with Paul and from Paul. On the surface, that’s the message to the Corinthians about how to view these guys. But what is it saying to us?
The message that I take away from this is that the Christian life is not lived alone. We need each other. There are many members of the body and they are all needed (Romans 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Paul couldn’t be in all places at all times. He had friends, companions, and co-laborers working with him. The Holy Spirit moves through the book of Acts 2000 years ago and still today through people. Lots of them.
Yes, we are strengthened and edified by our spiritual brethren, but we also need them to complete the task, to carry out the work of God. There is joy in that. We therefore can rejoice in the successes of our brothers and sisters. We don’t have to, nor are we even allowed to, do this work of God alone. Praise God!
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus says he’s come to start a fire (Luke 12:49). The Book of Acts shows how that fire spread. It is by the Spirit, working through people, for the Glory of Christ (Acts 2). The brethren mentioned above are actually called the glory of Christ. Oh, that that would be said of you and I. So, co-labor for Christ with brothers and sisters, have a good name, and commend those you co-labor with and who have a good name to others. Thank God for friendship. Thank God for brothers and sisters. Thank God for His Church, the glory of Christ.
Dig: Who are those brothers and sisters who co-labor with you for the cause of Christ.
Discover: Who are some people you co-labor with that need encouragement, support, or a good report from you in something they are working on for Christ?
Display: Look for ways to encourage, commend, and build up those people you co-labor with.