10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.
I. The Importance of a Good Foundation
- A good foundation will stand strong.
- It will not be shaken during times of upheaval.
- It will last since it is stable.
II. Jesus Is The Only Good Foundation – Psalms Chapter 1
- He Is Our Rock
- He Is Our Strength
- He Is Our Support
III. What kind of material are we using?
- Durable material like gold, silver, precious stones – These are materials of quality and meet with God’s sanction and are subject to reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
- Soft “flammable” material as wood, hay, straw – These materials will not meet with God’s approval so they are not subject to reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ; they are temporary and will be burnt up.
IV. Pay Day Is Coming!
Paul tells his readers that there is a fire coming and only quality building materials will survive the fire. The Lord will scrutinize the work of each and every builder in the spiritual house. Only the work of those who have used durable materials like “gold, silver, and precious stones” will survive the fire of the Lord’s scrutiny. Inferior and flammable materials like “wood, hay, straw” would be burned up. This would cause reward loss but “salvation with burns”.
The Apostle Paul says that as a master builder he has laid the foundation. This foundation is Jesus Christ and His teachings. This is the only true foundation that can be laid. He says that every Christian is building on that sure foundation. He cautions his readers to be careful about how they build on the foundation and what material they use in building on that foundation. He urges them to build properly with durable material instead of flimsy or flammable material.
He goes on say that a Day of the building’s inspection is approaching when “the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is” v. 13.
If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. v.14.
If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. v.15.
Work refers to the type and quality of effort one puts in towards building up of the church; “gold, silver, precious stones” are quality materials, fit for construction on the foundation of Christ crucified. Conversely, “wood, hay, straw” are inferior materials, unfit for construction on the foundation Paul laid. The focus is on the quality of the material being laid on the foundation.
It is the individual worker’s responsibility in the Lord’s church as to the type and quality of material used in building up the Lord’s house.
Lesson: We must take care in building the church with permanent materials.
Application: If we want to build a church that lasts, we need to be careful as to how we build it. We must build the church with materials that will withstand the fire of God’s testing. The materials with which we build the church must be in line with the church’s foundation, that is, Jesus Christ and His teachings.
Our reward is dependent upon the type of material we use in our work.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.