Day 52…1 Corinthians 3:

January 26, 2011 at 10:12 PM Leave a comment

1 Corinthians 3:10-17: Build on the right foundation

Paul finishes v.9 with “You are God’s building” and moves into a discussion about builders, foundations, and materials that are used to build with. You would almost think he was talking about construction but he makes a very interesting point. Read on.

v.10-11, Paul has been called by God’s grace to lay the “foundation like an expert builder” meaning he was called to take the Good News of salvation to the Corinthians. “Now others are building on this foundation” and they “must be very careful.” Paul was referring to Apollos as being “others” but he was not criticizing but explaining that ANY builder must be careful how they “build”= teach. The results of teaching with Biblical convictions will be a strong Biblical church or believers. Then Paul reminds us of a parable Jesus told in Matthew 7:24-27 about two kinds of lives or buildings: one constructed on Jesus as the foundation and the other not. Both buildings were struck by the storm and the winds and only the building with Jesus as the foundation stood!

v.12-15, Paul uses a list of materials that “anyone…may use” to “build on that foundation.” I believe Paul splits up the list of materials in two parts, valuable materials “gold, silver, jewels” and perishable materials “wood, hay, straw”. The significance of these different lists is that ones is God’s truth and the other is the world’s wisdom. And when the “fire” comes it will “show if a person’s work has any value.” Paul here is speaking to the ministers or leaders of the church and reminds them that the time of testing is coming–Judgment Day–2nd coming of Jesus. At that time all believers will be judged to see “what kind of work” they have done. The “fire” pictures a test that will reveal the value of the building. Those made with valuable materials will stand the test and the “builder will receive a reward” but those made with perishable materials will “burn up” in the fire and the “builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” In other words the person is saved because of Jesus death and resurrection but because they lived their life for themselves they barely squeaked into heaven with no reward like those who lived their lives for God–[Some refer to this a fire insurance–I am saved, now I live anyway I want to].

v.16-17, All God’s people-believers-Christians-Christ followers “are the temple of God” and “the Spirit live in [them].” Paul uses the word “all” because he wants the Corinthian believer [and you and me and all believers all over the world] to realize that we are all need to be united in God–meaning the big “C” Church, should be united. Yes, we are all the Temple of Holy Spirit (6:19) but this passage is talking about all believers, we need to be united with all other believers. Paul even gives a strict warning that “God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple.” Paul was talking about false teaching and division, anything that will undermine believers’ faith or weaken the Church’s foundation. Paul is warning anyone who tries to destroy this Church, God will destroy them or they will face God’s judgment! “For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? I think the time of testing or the fire that Paul refers to really got me thinking about why I do ministry. My motives need to be pure and when I build on the foundation or teach I need to use materials that are valuable or profitable. In other words I need to make sure what I what am teaching is always sound and the truth. I need to test any principles or philosophies from the world before I incorporate them into how I teach and lead–test them against God’s Word and use discernment to assess their validity. And have the wisdom to not use them if they don’t “pass the test.”

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? I am going to incorporate in all my preparation for teaching and preaching to God’s people a testing of all principles, philosophies, and even modern ideas from the world with God’s Word as the benchmark. And keep my motives in check when I deliver these messages–not to benefit me or make me look good but to honour God ONLY.

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Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible.

Day 51…1 Corinthians 3: Day 53…1 Corinthians 3:

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