The New Man Versus The Old Man In The Bible Teamwork in Ministry: Paul’s Sense of Partnership in the Gospel

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Teamwork in Ministry: Paul’s Sense of Partnership in the Gospel

In fulfilling his Christian ministry, the apostle Paul was interested in working together, working together with God and with his brothers and sisters. This information is shown by using the Greek compound words that start with the first word and the sentence, sun-. With the object in the dative case, sun means “together” or “with.” This same root word has continued into English, found in words like “symbiotic,” “symphony,” “synergy” (Greek sun, represented by sym- or syn-). What follows is a brief examination of the words Paul used to describe this division of ministry. You will find that such division continues among Christians in the 21st century.

Paul calls us “citizens” and “heirs together” and says “we will rule together.” Because we are bound by Christ, we share his city, his inheritance, and his authority. But we also talk about these future blessings. Because of this, we “rejoice together.”

Meanwhile, the struggle continues, and “we suffer together.” To endure such suffering, we “comfort” each other, and we live and die together.

But through it all, we are “fellow workers.” Paul says that he and his friends are “God’s fellow workers,” a wonderful testimony of God’s humility—willing to stoop to work with us—and the same exaltation of Christians.

Paul’s letters give us an amazing number of men and women whom Paul called “fellow workers”: Timothy, “everyone,” the Corinthian Christians, Titus, Priscilla and Aculla, Urban, Epaphroditus, Clement and others, Mark and Aristacus; Jesus Justus, Philemon, Demas and Luke. Another brother Paul called “my yokefellow,” a word similar to my fellow worker (although it could be the person’s name).

Others Paul describes as being on a team with him in an athletic competition—competing, fighting, or fighting together. Paul called two brothers his “fellow slaves”. Two refer to them as “fellow soldiers.” Because Paul considers himself a servant, a servant, a soldier, and a runner of Christ, those who have been burdened with him also share these descriptions. This includes those of us who are working in the kingdom today.

As a prisoner of Christ many times, Paul praised those who served him in prison, even if they themselves were free to come and go. Four describe themselves as “fellow prisoners.” It is possible that some of them served Paul voluntarily so that the imprisonment was self-inflicted.

All the Christians of the first 100 years of our era, as well as Christians alive today, are “partners” or “partners” in the work of the Kingdom. We share, fellowship, participate, and interact with other believers. Paul uses several compound words to describe Christian unity. He says that we should be united, of unity, in fact, “souls-of-souls”. “We are compared together” and “joined together.” We cooperate and support each other. We are “bound together” and made “members of one body.”

All this cooperation, we must remember, is not a natural state – far from it! If left to ourselves, we humans are divided in every way, be it by race, ethnicity, gender, or class. Only Christ binds us together. In Him alone we can say that in Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, or foreigner or Cushi, there is no male or female; they are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28; 1 ​​Cor. 12:13; Col. 3:11).

Paul describes the Christian’s relationship with Christ using the descriptive word, together with Christ. They prove this by using the compound verbs how sun- is added to the beginning of the verb. This occurs in several key passages in Paul’s writings.

In Gal. 2:20, Paul uses “crucified together” to describe how being united in Christ’s death changes believers. Compare with Matt. 27:44, Mark 15:32, and John 19:32, where the same verb describes the actual crucifixion of the thieves who died with Jesus. Paul says that because of his fellowship with the death of Christ, he died to the law, that he might live to God (v. 19). In the next verse he adds that he is no longer alive, but Christ lives in him. It is true that he still lives “in the flesh,” but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, who loved him and sacrificed himself for him. Note that this is done for the individual, not for the believers as a group. Christ died, not people, but you and I and everyone else individually, and individually we can answer to Him.

This idea of ​​being “crucified together” is repeated in Romans. 6:6. Paul says, “Knowing this, that the old man was crucified together.” Although Christ is not mentioned, the connection is really between the believer and Christ – He is the one who was crucified.

The result of this death of the old man is burial, for Paul first said that, we were buried with him” through baptism into death (v. 4) Because of this union with Christ’s crucifixion and burial to him, we too. to share the new life of His resurrection: “we believe that we will live again with Him” ​​(suzēsomen, v. 8) Paul used the same verbs in the same passage of Colossians (being buried together and raised together, 2: 12; having also life, 2:13; see also 3:1).

Because we belong to Christ, we belong to each other. Our oneness with Him unites us with every other person who is also united with Him in a great and eternal fellowship.

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