Jesus Christ – Our Foundation
Body of Christ.
Every human being will have to stand and give account before the God of scripture. The apostle Paul was given a special dispensation. God gave Paul the grace and knowledge to be a wise Master Builder of the Body of Christ. Paul laid the foundation in Jesus Christ, and he is directing us to build upon that foundation. The cornerstone of the foundation is Jesus. Paul tells us that as we labor for the Body of Christ, that we are laborers together with God.
1 Corinthians 3:9
“For we are (Paul-himself included, as we are-Body of Christ) laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
1 Corinthians 3:10
“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.”
Where Peter said, “There hath no other foundation been laid than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.” Paul is saying the same thing with regard to our foundation for the Body of Christ in this Age of Grace.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest (known): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself (a member of the Body of Christ) shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Paul was most likely, dividing the materials into two basic classes. The valuable building materials, which were imperishable (here called gold, silver, and jewels), and the worthless building materials, which probably symbolize worldly wisdom (here called wood, hay, and straw).
This time of testing that is coming at the judgment day refers to Christ’s second coming. At that time, believers will be separated from unbelievers, with believers receiving their promised reward in heaven. Believers will not be judged regarding their salvation. Their salvation is sure. Yet they will be judged to see what kind of work they have done.
Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value.
“Fire” pictures a scorching test that will reveal the value of the “building.” Those made with gold, silver, and jewels will stand up to this test. Those thrown together with wood, hay, and straw will go up in flames and be destroyed.
Christ will evaluate each person’s contribution to the life of the church. The judgment day will reveal the sincerity of each person’s work. God will determine whether or not each person has been faithful to Jesus’ instructions. Good work will be rewarded; unfaithful or inferior work will be burned up.
Let’s remember, because the foundation is Jesus Christ, everyone who builds on that foundation will be saved. These believers will present to God the lives that they have lived for him. Some of them will present lives of gold, silver, and jewels, lives that were built on the truth of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) and spent in sacrifice and service to God. These builders will receive a reward.
Some will present lives that amount to no more than wood, hay, and straw, and all that they did and accomplished in this world will be burned up. These builders will be saved, but only as if they jumped out of a burning building and lost everything but their lives. They will enter heaven but will not receive the same reward as those who built well.
Paul is the architect, the master builder. He is preparing people to come in from generation after generation and to have them (us) keep building and calling out a people for the name of Jesus. These people will come from among the Gentiles. Israel, for the most part, has been set aside.
What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (Christ believers) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
The one and only foundation for salvation in this Age of Grace is faith in Christ crucified, buried, and risen from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). This is the definite promise that God is not through with Israel. Israel has fallen, but they’re still going to be brought back into God’s program to finish the covenant promises made to Abraham.
“I say then, Have they stumbled (over believing Jesus) that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall (unbelief) salvation is come unto the Gentiles,”
By their, the Jews stumbling, they crucified their Christ, their Messiah. But when they crucified the Christ, what did they open up for the Gentiles? The plan of Salvation. They were instruments in God’s hands to bring about everything that had to happen for our salvation. When God is through with the Body of Christ, He’s still going to turn to His chosen people and nation, Israel.
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2015 – 2016