Summary: Upon the foundation of Christ that we all receive when we are saved, God expects us to build up our faith and mature spiritually! However, HOW we do this is important... we must use the right building materials and do things the right way!
Date Written: March 20, 2014
Date Preached: March 23, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series From 1 Corinthians
Sermon Title: What Are You Building?
(on the foundation of Christ)
Sermon Text: 1 Cor 3:10-17 [ESV]
We have learned a great deal about the church in Corinth and about the Apostle Paul through these first few chapters. We learned how much he loved and cared for these believers, and we have learned how he believed God was NOT done with them as a fellowship! We learned that even though they had their issues, they loved the Lord and they were trying to serve God!
A couple of weeks ago we looked at the 1st 9 verses of this chapter and we looked at Christian Immaturity and how Paul was calling them to move past their spiritual immaturity into a stronger and more mature faith and walk with Christ…
Paul wanted to feed them the ‘meat’ of the Word but he could not because they had gotten caught up in selfish & immature behavior… This letter was an attempt to straighten that spiritual behavior out so they could begin to mature in their walk in Christ…
Today we travel a bit further in ch3 as we will be engaging v10-17. Paul’s teaching is still revolving around maturing in the faith, but here he uses an illustration of construction work to get across his point! Let’s read all 8 verses first and then we will jump into what Paul is saying and how those verses apply to us today…
10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 16Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Now when take a look at these verses we can actually break this section down into three parts…
Setting the Foundation v10-11
Building ON that foundation v12-15
Expectation From the Foundation v16-17
Setting the Foundation – v10-11
10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Here in this passage we have Paul laying out some truths about what he had come & taught when he planted this church & was with them for 18mo.
He wanted them to remember what he had taught them… but here he wanted to point out that he was not a fraud, but that he was the real deal – a REAL apostle of God!
He begins his approach in humility! He tells them that HIS teaching was superior to the teaching they were now dealing with, but it was NOT because HE was superior…but it was because of the grace of God!
Look at v10, “According to the grace of God given to me…” He understood that what he taught & the foundation he had laid was NOT from him but it was a grace-given gift from God himself!
This grace given gift was the very simple Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and redeemer, that Jesus and Jesus alone could save and redeem one from sin and death!
According the grace of God… was a phrase that told the Corinthian believers that Paul was lifting himself up but was pointing to the source of his teaching AND their redemption – that was Jesus!
But don’t mistake Paul’s humility for a limited expertise! I want us to understand that Paul was a finely tuned instrument in the hands of God. Paul’s submission to God’s calling enabled God to use Paul in a great way! This is how & why Paul could compare himself to a SKILLED MASTER BUILDER…
I have met many carpenters in my life as I worked construction thru most of my college years and before. The best carpenters were the ones who were confident in their ability, but they would also be the first one to tell you that they had learned what they knew from a mentor…someone who had invested time in them and taught them the trade!