It was after we had lived in our home many years that we began the process of making it special for us; to give each room the true flavor of our lives through remodeling. Before we began the work, we hired an architect and a contractor to make sure of the foundation and the structural integrity of the existing building and materials. It became apparent the rear of the house was doing a bit of sinking/settling so we had to bring in a civil engineer to work with the architect and contractor. It was a very necessary step in the process, because the remodeling needed a level and solid foundation. We could have avoided this important first step, but it would not have been at all wise.
Intro: In our passage today, the Apostle Paul sets out the gospel [good news] for the church at Corinth. He wants them to understand God will be building them—as the Church— into a beautiful temple placed on the solid foundation of Christ and his love; no sinking beneath or settling for less than Christ’s righteousness. Therefore, the builders (preachers/teachers) must share the true message of Christ and his righteous standard, not the pattern of the world and its ways. Gold [divine substance], silver [redemption’s fruit], and beautiful stones [reformed lives] are all symbolic of the work of the Holy Spirit. Wood, hay, and straw are symbolic of the work of human flesh—works of humans not God.
Fire is what brings the proof of whether we are building in the power of the Spirit or in the power of our flesh. Fire will cause gold, silver, and precious stones to glow even brighter, but fire will consume wood, hay, and straw leaving nothing left. We must always build upon the foundation of Christ, but we must also allow the Spirit to guide us in how we build and what materials we use. May the teaching we consistently share at Connect2Christ Church—based on the truth/wisdom of the gospel of Christ—cause us to build lives that will stand strong during every spiritual test of fire. Then our worship will truly be for the glory of God!
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (TPT)
10 God has given me unique gifts [of grace] as a skilled master builder [first-class architect/contractor] who lays a good foundation. Afterward another craftsman comes and builds on it. So builders beware! Let every builder do his work carefully, according to God’s standards. 11 For no one is empowered to lay an alternative foundation other than the good foundation that exists, which is Jesus Christ!
12–13 The quality of materials used by anyone building on this foundation will soon be made apparent, whether it has been built with gold, silver, and costly stones, or wood, hay, and straw. Their work will soon become evident, for the Day [when Christ is glorified in his holy ones] will make it clear, because it will be revealed by blazing fire! And the fire will test and prove the workmanship of each builder. 14 If his work stands the test of fire, he will be rewarded. 15 If his work is consumed by the fire, he will suffer great loss. Yet he himself will barely escape destruction, like one being rescued out of a burning house.
Prayer: Lord, as human beings made in your image, you alone are our Designer, Architect, and our Contractor. I pray for believers to stay the course; focused on your righteous standard and learning to submit to all your ways. I pray for my heart, as a preacher and teacher, to stay true to your Word and to equip your people to walk according to your Spirit. Life will bring fiery situations to us all, but in the midst may we glow even brighter for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.