Summary: Those Christians whose works stand the test of fire will be rewarded
Today we are going to look at 1 Corinthians 3:10-23 And we are going to talk about building a church
• When we think about building a building a physical church what components do we need
• But the most important part of any building is it’s foundation
Now sometimes when we build a house we have to change how we set the foundation
• Depending on where we are the foundation may change / Adapted
• Side of a mountain with a slope we may need to drive steel beams into the ground
• If the ground is relatively flat a simple concrete pad may be enough
At the same time here in Tennessee we are subject to some pretty strong storms
• These storms include rain and strong winds
• And if we aren’t careful these storms can destroy a building
• And the same can be said for a church
• If we haven’t taken the time to build on a secure foundation these storms can destroy us
• Because if we don’t have a secure foundation the building will fall
So that’s what we are going to look at today
• Paul is talking about is how God's servants can build the church of Christ.
• And the steps we have to take to make sure that our church can withstand the storms that come our way
• Some storms are financial, some storms are emotional or personal
• But more often than not these storms are Spiritual
• The devil will do anything that he can to tear down a body of believers
• And that’s why it is so important that we build on a secure foundation.
Whenever we are building a church we always do it the same way
• We start with Jesus Christ and the message of the cross of Christ
• We talked about this a few weeks ago 1 Cor 1:18
• The message of the Cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.
• Discuss Bible Study and the fact of sharing our faith and we all know the story
Read 1 Corinthians 3
12-15 Paul turns his attention to the kind of materials Christian workers are using: the materials of preaching the cross for salvation, building up believers (cf. 1:18), and living a Christian life that is commensurate with that preaching (2:2-4).
• The purity and depth of such Christian teaching and a life corresponding to it are crucial,
• Because that kind of building material will stand the test of fire on the day of the Lord's judgment.
Since valuable metals and precious stones were used to adorn ancient temples Rev 21:18-21
• Paul could have taken his imagery from Herod's temple in Jerusalem
• Or from the beautiful public and religious buildings in Athens and Corinth.
• Such imagery would be sufficient to convey the thought of pure doctrine.
• The frames of ordinary houses and buildings were built of wood; hay or dried-grass, mixed with mud, was used for the walls; and roofs were thatched with straw or stalks.
• So the kind of dull teaching and life that’s represented by these lesser things
• Will also have to face the test of the pure fire of God's justice and judgment, when it will be consumed.
"The Day" is "the day of the Lord" (1Th 5:2-9),
• The day of the second coming of Christ (cf. 2Th 2:2).
• The "quality" of each one's work refers to the kinds of materials of doctrine and life that are used.
The fire is the fire of God's judgment.
• Fire in Scripture is used figuratively in two ways: as a purifying agent
• And as that which consumes
• So it is a fitting symbol here for God's judgment, as he tests the quality of the Christian's work.
Those Christians whose works stand the test of fire will be rewarded
• Those whose works are consumed by the fire will themselves escape the flames and be saved, but without any works of praise to present to Christ (Didn’t accomplish much)
16-17 Paul challenges the church with the fact that they together
• Are the spiritual temple of God, because the Spirit of God dwells in them
• And because of this those who build this temple in a shoddy way deserve the destruction of their doctrine and false testimony as described in v.15.
• Implicit in this is a warning against any false teachers coming in among the believers.
Paul states that anyone who actually destroys or tends to destroy God's temple
• Will be destroyed by God
• The reason is clear: God's temple is "sacred" and set apart to holiness (Rev 3:12).