Monday, 21 November 2016
1 Corinthians 3:10-23 Our Firm Foundation
Every building has a firm foundation. Without it, the building would fall down. Similarly, our faith has to have a firm foundation. That foundation is Jesus. Anything else will fail-even the church.
The first reason that churches fail is because they violate their commitment to Jesus Christ as their foundation. Churches must be built on Christ; then a community of believers can glorify Him through social justice or outreach or service. To establish a church on any other foundation-even one compromised of seemingly virtuous causes-will not succeed.
Wood, hay and straw will decay. God, silver and precious stones are permanent. The framework of the church must be carefully chosen for endurance. God only uses quality materials such as gold, silver and precious stones. These represent dedicated, spiritual service in building the church. Too many people build the foundations of their lives on material that will decay. They build their lives on worldly ways and worldly things. The only foundation that will last is the foundation of Jesus Christ. When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts. He will be in us and with us forever. We are significant because God lives in us.
If we want God to live in us, we need a daily dose of disciplined faith. That includes setting aside time every day to pray and study the Bible. These habits will go a long way to achieving spiritual health. Our reward for an earnest faith is a deep hunger to know God.
Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 3:10-23 that the Day of Judgment will declare the validity of each person’s work. This is not the Great White Throne judgment where Jesus will condemn unbelievers. It is the Judgment Seat of Christ, where believers will be evaluated. The phrase, “test each one’s work” means that God will see His children as they really are-all their motivations, desires and reasons for serving Him. The work that Christians do in true faith and obedience to God will survive and be rewarded. Work done in the power of the flesh or in disobedience to the Scriptures will not. A sinner who lives a good life is still a sinner. God needs people who see themselves as sinners and Him as a God who saves. He wants people to ask for mercy.
There are no limits to our possessions in Christ. Pastors and teachers are fellow servants ministering the things of God. It’s foolish to fight over an Apollos versus a Paul versus a Peter when they, like every member within the church, are part of God’s purpose for the body of Christ.
What we do on earth will affect our eternal destiny. If we let our lives and our words be witnesses to the lost, we will build up rewards in heaven. Believers will be given rewards based on the quality of their service. Notice that it is not their service that saves. Both the rewarded believer and the believer who suffers loss are saved. Works can never earn salvation. Faithfulness in service, however, will earn the right to give God even greater glory as the faithful lay their rewards at His feet. God will reward us with heavenly responsibilities according to how faithful we have been here on earth. If we use the best resources to the best of our ability, we will receive all of the goodness He offers.
Sometimes we may ask ourselves what God is thinking or what He wants us to do. We can know His thoughts and His will. All we have to do is forget about our earthly ways and learn His principles for living our lives. Worldly ways are the exact opposite of God’s ways. If we study God’s Word we can see God’s message and His method. We will see how he works in the lives of His people.
Anyone who tries to stop God’s work is not part of God’s family and will be destroyed, just like God destroyed all of Israel’s enemies. It is one thing to disagree if one’s desire is what is best for a community of believers. Those who are motivated to block or ruin what God wants to do are sinning. This is what happened to the church in Corinth.
The Corinthians knew that they belonged to God and not to the person who led them to Christ. The person was only doing God’s work. They should only boast in God. The source of real unity among us is the fact that we are all servants of the same master. We are all products of God’s grace, which is the source of our Christian unity.
1. Jeremiah, David: The Jeremiah Study Bible, New King James Version (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013; p. 1577-1578)
2. Chafin, K.L. & Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s Commentary series, Vol. 30: 1,2 Corinthians (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1985; pp. 51-56)
3. ESV Study Bible. Part of Wordsearch 11 Bible software package.
4. MacArthur, J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study bible, New American Standard Bible (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006)
5. Dr. Charles Stanley, “Choosing the Right Building Material.” Retrieved from www.intouch.org
6. Anne Graham Lotz, “Our One Foundation.” Retrieved from www.angelministries.org
7. Ron Moore, “The Spirit Lives in Me.” Retrieved from www.ronmoore.org
8. Ed Young, “Invest in Your Future.” Retrieved from www.edyoung.com
9. Pastor Ken Klaus, “The Word for the New year.” Retrieved from www.lhm.org