Summary: Immaturity, Spiritual Growth, Others, Unity
1 Corinthians 3:1-23 (p. 794) February 16, 2014
Do you remember the story of the Three Little Pigs? It’s my grandson Peyton’s very favorite story. I’ve read it to him so many times. He finishes the sentences. It’s the story of three little pigs who set out to build houses of their own after the Momma pig tells them they’re too big to live in her house any longer. The first little pig runs into a man with a load of straw and he quickly constructs a house made out of this material, the second little pig runs into a man with a load of sticks and he quickly builds a house out of this material. But, the 3rd little pig runs into a man with a load of bricks...and painstakingly builds a strong house with two windows and a chimney...it’s a house made to last. When the big bad wolf comes calling, when he huffs and puffs, the first two houses come crashing down. The 2 little pigs run for safety to the brick house, and when the big bad wolf comes calling he cannot blow this house down. It’s built to last, and when he tries to sneak in the chimney he ends up in a big pot of boiling water. The 3 pigs live together in the brick house...happily ever after.
I don’t know if the original author of this story ever read 1 Corinthians Chapter 3, but both stories have the same theme. When you build...build out of material that lasts!
The three little pig story starts out “Once upon a time there were three little pigs whose mother said to them....”It’s time for you to go out into the big world to build houses of your own.”
They are sent out with a very specific purpose. And if we are to be a church with a powerful purpose we need to understand our mission at least as well as these 3 little pigs. (Passionately Preparing All People for an Eternity with Christ)
Here’s what Jesus told his followers as He sent them out into the world.
JOHN 17:15-18 (p. 754)
Jesus does not take his followers out of this world, instead he sanctifies us and sends us out into it for a very specific purpose...build something that will last...use eternal material, and when the big bad wolf comes huffing and puffing...it will remain standing.
Jesus shares this parable (Matthew 7). “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
The Apostle Paul lets us know in 1 Corinthians 3 who that rock is....
I. THE FOUNDATION IS JESUS
1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (p. 794)
[My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. All other ground is sinking sand...all other ground is sinking sand.]
It’s an important question isn’t it? The most important question! What are you building your life on?
The god of this world would have us build it on sand. He’ll lie to you...He’ll try to convince you that your hopes of stability and security are justified. He’ll tell you that relationships will give you value. This accomplishment will seal the deal. This possession will really make you happy...and he laughs hysterically as your house collapses and slides into the sea.
What’s so scary is that people continue to build their lives on this sandy material time after time. Maybe it will be different this time, maybe this relationship will keep me safe, maybe this accomplishment will be enough...collapse...rebuild...collapse...rebuild....and life is over...and you look back only to find the straw and sticks blown to Kingdom Come, by the evil one.
Jesus is the only foundation that offers security and eternal hope. He’s the only foundation that will not collapse as we build for eternity in this world. Before the foundation of the world God prepared this building site...”No one can lay any other foundation than the one already laid, which is Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)
He becomes our foundation for hope when we give Him our lives...When we finally surrender to the truth that this world only offers straw and sticks...and He has a powerful purpose for each house built on His blood and righteousness...The old house is demolished and a new project is begun.
For us to realize the powerful purpose of God’s building plan...the one He is the architect of before time began, we have to realize...
II. THE BUILDING MATERIAL FOR ETERNITY IS PEOPLE
If you go back a little earlier in 1 Corinthians 3 you see the church at Corinth divided and arguing about which minister it was better to have become a Christian under. Was it more spiritual to have accepted Christ because of Paul’s ministry, Peter’s ministry, or Apollos’ ministry.