In his letter to the Corinthian church the apostle Paul wrote,
- “Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident, for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.” (I Corinthians 3:12-13 – NASB)
As the man sat with his dying friend he noted that tears were coming from his friend’s eyes. Since the dying man was young in the faith the man thought he might be fearful of dying, so he sought to comfort him by speaking words of encouragement. But the dying man said to him, “I am not afraid to die; I am ashamed to die.” He went on to affirm that Christ was his Savior, that he didn’t doubt for a minute, but he was ashamed for the way he had lived. He had lived for self and now he was going to meet his Lord with empty hands. His life loomed up before him as “wood, hay, (and) straw.” He was,
- “. . . . saved, yet so as through fire” (I Corinthians 3:15 – NASB)
Our salvation does not come by works but through faith in the Person and in the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We then become God’s workmanship, empowered to bring forth good works that are pleasing to Him who has saved us (Ephesians 2:8-10). There is coming “the day” when we will stand before “the Judgment Seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10-12) to give account for that which we have done in the flesh. There will be rewards for some yet others will find that what they have done amounts to “wood, hay, (and) straw.” Such works will be burned up by the “fire” that will “test the quality of each man’s work.” There are works that cannot withstand the testing “fire” of the One who rightly judges them, and the Scripture declares the verdict on those whose building materials are burned up . . . . . . . they “shall be saved, yet so as through fire.”
Note well brethren, that it is a most worthy endeavor for we who are in Christ to “build upon the foundation with gold, silver, (and) precious stones.” Before the “Bema” (the rewards seat of Christ) such works will stand the test of the fire and will not burn up and the believer who has built rightly,
- “. . . shall receive a reward” (I Corinthians 3:14)
Let’s make it our aim to know the will of God and to inact our wills to do it! Let’s strive to “build” with those building materials that are in keeping with His instructions to us from His Word. Let’s seek to bring forth works that will withstand the “fire” of His testing. Let’s seek to “receive a reward” from our Lord . . . . . All, to His glory!
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk be in the Word, rightly dividing the Word, that you may know and understand the Word, that you might be fully aware of what the good building materials are.
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