Summary: Second part of the view of the Church - The Family, the Field, and Now the BUILDING

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A View of the Church

(Part 2)

1 Corinthians 3:10-23


A. Review: In the last sermon we saw that the church was viewed as a family and a field. Now, we see the church presented as a building.

B. This has an individual application but it is still in the context of the church. It is dangerous to bring damage or destruction to the church. This warning often goes unheeded.

C. Paul is pointing out that God will judge our labors as they are related to the church.

I. Jesus Christ Is the Only Foundation (vv. 10, 11).

A. I laid a foundation—Paul spent about eighteen months in Corinth. He was the one who laid the foundation (v. 10).

B. He laid the foundation that was already given by God, Jesus Christ (v. 11).

C. The foundation is extremely important. Jesus told a story about two men who built houses (Matthew 7:24-27).

1. The story never indicates that one house was better or more expensive than the other.

2. The difference was that only one had a foundation.

3. So we face two questions: First, is our local church really on the foundation? Second, have you laid the only acceptable foundation for the superstructure of your life?

II. Our Deeds Determine What We Build on the Foundation (v. 12-13).

A. Some deeds of the church and the individual are like “gold, silver and costly stones.” These things last.

B. Other deeds are like “wood, hay or straw.” These things simply do not last.

C. We must review the program of the local church. Are we fulfilling our God—given purpose?

1. Remember, things do not go to heaven; only people go to heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

2. As a church and as individual Christians, we must build up people.

III. The Judgment of God Will Test Our Deeds—(vv. 13-15).

A. “The fire will test the quality of each man’s work” (v. 13). I believe this refers to the judgment of our deeds.

B. Have we neglected the doctrine of rewards? The good deeds of a Christian will be rewarded (v. 14).

C. Verse 15 is a word picture of one whose house has burned. He got out but lost everything else.

IV The Church and the Individual Must Examine Themselves.

A. I doubt that verses 16 and 17 refer to suicide. Could it apply to our own lack of productivity? Could it apply to destroying another Christian by slander, bad example, etc.?

B. We can’t run the church as the world runs a business. Christians are “in the world” but we are not to be “of the world” (vv. 18-23). The church must see the needs of the world but not operate by the wisdom of the world.


Have we placed our lives on the right foundation? What are we building on that foundation?


Suppose I meet you tomorrow and you are celebrating. I ask you about the occasion. You tell me that your house burned down and you lost your belongings, your family and a large sum of money in the fire but you are celebrating because you got out. People do not celebrate at a time like this. Apply this to those who say they will be happy if they just make it to Heaven.

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