“The quality of materials used by anyone building on this foundation will soon be made apparent, whether it has been built with gold, silver, and costly stones, or wood, hay, and straw. Their work will soon become evident, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by blazing fire! And the fire will test and prove the workmanship of each builder. We are coworkers with God and you are God’s cultivated garden, the house He is building. God has given me unique gifts as a skilled master builder who lays a good foundation. Afterward another craftsman comes and builds on it. So builders beware! Let every builder do his work carefully, according to God’s standards. For no one is empowered to lay an alternative foundation other than the good foundation that exists, which is Jesus Christ!
If his work stands the test of fire, he will be rewarded. If his work is consumed by the fire, he will suffer great loss. Yet he himself will barely escape destruction, like one being rescued out of a burning house.”
1 Corinthians 3:9-15 TPT
Any builder worth his salt will tell you that cheap materials will end up costing the homeowner more in the long run. But inexpensive doesn’t necessarily mean cheap or inferior, it just means someone did their homework and got the high end materials for less. I like a good bargain, but I don’t like cheap. I buy things that will last. I’m not a fan of wasting God’s money. Amen! That’s a principle that works both spiritually and materially. When we become a part of a body or church organization, we need to know what that ministry is built upon. Because it has a cross on the roof or a steeple, it doesn’t mean the foundation is Jesus. We shop for the best bargains- we need to be just as intentional about where we worship.
Paul was reminding his readers if you read the entire chapter, that Jesus had already laid the foundation that He wants His church to be built upon. And that foundation cannot be conformed to an individual’s worldview. We get to continue building on it, and whether we use precious metals or wood hay and straw, which speaks to the quality of our life’s work, the Inspector’s fire will prove if our efforts have paid off. If our message is Jesus, then the materials will stand up to the test. If it’s another gospel whether knowingly or by ignorance, the fire will prove that work and the builder will barely escape and suffer loss.
We need to be certain that we’re building on the foundation that Jesus has already laid, Paul called himself a master builder, because he didn’t lay a foundation of his own but continued building on what Jesus and the apostles before him started. We need to be careful that we don’t fall into the trap of coming up with our own materials or blueprint. He said “no one is empowered to lay an alternative foundation, other than the good foundation that already exists, Jesus Christ.” Jesus is the Blueprint , the Foundation and the Builder. We are to continuously build on Him alone.
We are instructed to build according to God’s standards. This all inclusive, anything goes, new age gospel being peddled now, is wood, hay and straw. Those things are like gasoline to a fire. God wants us to use materials that stand up in the fire, materials that is purified in the fire. When we use the Word of God wisely, allowing the Holy Spirit to instruct us, we can be confident that we’re continuing His work. Pastors and leaders using faulty materials so as not to offend, Christians who are compromising their walk, will find their works exposed in the fire. Their souls won’t be lost, but they’ll barely escape the burning. I don’t want to make heaven by the skin of my teeth as the saying goes. I want to be a co-laborer with Christ, building His way, don’t you?
God has fully equipped us in Christ to complete every assignment. He will not expect a lay person to do the work of a Pastor, or an evangelist the work of a missionary, or a housewife the work of a construction worker. But He does expect us to do well at what He’s gifted us to do. Let’s look at a scripture that supports what I just said. This still has to do with building and using the ability or materials to build well and advance His Kingdom.
“Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like the wealthy man who went on a long journey and summoned all his trusted servants and assigned his financial management over to them. Before he left on his journey, he entrusted a bag of five thousand gold coins to one of his servants, to another a bag of two thousand gold coins, and to the third a bag of one thousand gold coins, each according to his ability to manage. “The one entrusted with five thousand gold coins immediately went out and traded with the money, and he doubled his investment. In the same way, the one who was entrusted with two thousand gold coins traded with the sum and likewise doubled his investment. But the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.” Matthew 25:14-18 TPT
They were all given what the Master knew was in their ability to handle. God has already laid the foundation in His Son, we have been given His Holy Spirit to enable us to build based on the knowledge we have of His Word. God is not pleased with us if we produce inferior work when we’re able to do better, or be our best. If you continue reading in the same chapter you’ll find that He dealt harshly with the one who did nothing. He didn’t build at all, even though he had been given a start suited to his ability. Let’s read.
“Angered by what he heard, the master said to him, ‘You’re an untrustworthy and lazy servant! If you knew I was a shrewd and ruthless business man who always makes a profit, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? Then I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. But because you were unfaithful, I will take the one thousand gold coins and give them to the one who has ten thousand. For the one who has will be given more, until he overflows with abundance. And the one with hardly anything, even what little he has will be taken from him.’ “Then the master said to his other servants, ‘Now, throw that good-for-nothing servant far away from me into the outer darkness, where there will be great misery and anguish!’ ”Matthew 25:26-30 TPT
So, my friends, the material with which you choose to use to build on Jesus’ foundation, should be carefully thought out. We have the ability to build with the best, the Spirit and the Word is readily available to us. Because we have been given a head start, we don’t even have to lay the foundation, we just need to follow the blueprint and build on that. Spreading the good news of the gospel, winning souls for Jesus, is akin to gaining interest on His investment in us. When we align ourselves with the True Gospel, Jesus Christ, We can produce that which stands up in any fire, and we won’t be ashamed.
Father in the Name of Jesus, We thank you for making us co-laborers with Your Son Jesus. You who have started the work is faithful to complete it in us. Help us choose to be and give our best as we build upon the foundation that’s already been laid for us. In Jesus Name. Amen
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit