I. Corinthians 3:10,20
Paul,as a master builder, is here dealing with some fundamental facts concerning the Christian’s life and work “No man laythan that is laid, which is Jesus Christ”(v.11).
The meaning is, that no true house of God can be raised which does not accept and hold the true doctrines respecting Christ Jesus our Lord, those teachings which pertain to his incarnation, his Divine nature, his instructions, his example, his atonement, his resurrection, and his ascension. (Eph 2:20) tells us, “ Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:”
The foundation has been laid “Other foundation can no man laythan that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (v. 11).
A foundation was needed, first,by God Himself, in which to build the structure of His redeemed Church; second, by man, on which to build his hopes for this life and the life to come. Paul stated in (1.Co 15:19) “ If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
Thank God we have hope beyond the grave. We have experienced divine evidence of things not seen, we have a hope full of immortality, we now taste of the powers of the world to come, we set in heavenly places and see the crown that fadeth not away, notwithstanding all our present trials, we are more happy than all men.
This foundation has been well laid by the hand of infinite wisdom. Laid as deep as the grave, and as stable as the Eternal Throne,“Upon this Rock (Jesus) I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt.16:18). (II.Tim. 2:19 also declare “For the foundation of God standeth sure” .
Since God has purposed to build His Church and His Kingdom on that Rock, which is Jesus, let us have the faith of God,and build our life on Him.
A Superstructure is Being Raised.“If any man build uponthis foundation, gold, silver, preciousstones,”(v.2). Here are two different classes of builders-
THE WISE BUILDER , Who builds on “gold, silver, and precious stones. ” Paul puts in this foundation that which is consistent with its precious character (Rev.21:19).
Paul is careful about his doctrine,that the things he teaches in God’s Name are in harmony with His Word. He is careful also about his manner of life.In (II.Pt.1:5,7) there is laid down before us a whole load of suitable material for a wise builder. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
THE FOOLISH BUILDER. He uses “wood, hay, and stubble, or timber, hay and straw.” The foolish builder is wise in his own conceit.
He thinks that as long as you believe in the foundation it matters little what you build upon it, and so false teaching becomes easy, and the vain philosophies of the proud in heart become attractive. (Col. 2:8) tells us “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
God did dwell in human nature as in a temple, exercises all divine perfections, performs all divine operations, and communicates all benefits to man through that medium man (Jh 1:14) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,”
Many have been careless and indifferent in practice, there faith in Christ has brought no change in there life and outlook. He still believes in building with wood, hay, and stubble.
These may be useful in some ways, but they are “after the tradition of men and not after Christ”
A Testing Time is Coming. “That day in which the fire shall try every manswork of what sort it is”(v.13). The foundation has been already tried according to (Isa 28:16) “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” But the work done that has been associated with His Name will be tried with the fire of God’s searching judgment. “Behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, when the proud and all that do wickedly shallbe as stubble” (Mal. 4:1).
If the proud and the workers of evil are reckoned as stubble, so also are the works of the proud self-seeking Christians.
This fiery test is not to reveal whether we are Christians or not, but whether our worksas Christians are worthy of Christ or not.
Will Christ own us, or will He burn us? That depends on our character, whether we are gold, or wood, silver or hay, precious stones or stubble.
What we are will determine our destiny.
The Results. Some will be rewarded. If any man’s work-or building which he has created- stands the test, he will be rewarded” (v.14).
We are not rewarded because we are Christian.
Salvation is not a reward for good works. It is the gift of God.
The reward comes for the good works done in His Name, that are well pleasing in His sight, works that are consistent with the character of the Foundation.
True and good and precious are they who are in His eyes, and that bear the stamp of eternal value.
Some will not be rewarded, “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire”(v.15).
If our work is burned up it is because it is as wood, hay, and stubble, fit fuel for the fire.
We may have a saved soul, but may have a lost life. Such will be the poor through all the coming ages, as the result of our present ignorance and folly.
The wages of sin is also death according to (Rom.6:23).
Death to the prospect of being rewarded for faithful service at the Coming of the Lord (I.Pet. 5:4), who shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. For we must all appear before Christ’s judgment set in our true characters, in order that each may receive a reward for his actions in this life, in accordance with what he has done, whether it be good areworthless” (II.Cor. 5:10).
Let no man deceive himself, for we are assured that God will not be mocked according to (Gal.6:7).
The Lord cannot mistake the hollow, heartless, worthless hay and stubble service for faith, love and works of the consecrated life