Will Your Works Be Burned Away?
“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. “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 Cor. 3:9-13)
The above scripture is talking about the day all believers will stand before the Lord. When every follower of Jesus will account for his life and his deeds before all of heaven itself. Notice what it says very carefully, “…the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.” Not how much work, but rather what kind of work. Not the quantity but the quality. This scripture is speaking of your whole life’s work. In other words, your life’s work can be wood or hay or straw — or it can be silver, gold, or costly stones. And on that day, the fire will put it to the final test. What fire? The Bible tells that God is love, but it also tells us that He is a consuming fire as well. (Heb. 12:29)
Paul continues by saying, “If any man’s work which he had built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. ” (I Cor. 3:14-15) This illustration would be extremely significant to the people of Corinth that Paul was speaking to, because not too long before this was written, their whole city was devastated by fire. They all knew firsthand what damage fire could do. When the fire swept through Corinth, every house that was built out of wood, hay, or straw, was devastated and left in ashes. But the more wealthy people there had houses built with beautiful pillars of granite, and some even had houses built totally out of marble. These houses made of costly stones were still standing after the fire swept through, though they were obviously very badly scorched.
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