In 1 Corinthians 3, the Apostle Paul was calling the Christians in Corinth (and God is also calling us through His divinely inspired Word) to grow in our faith, maturity and Christian lives, remembering that we are “Building For Eternity.”
Without “pulling any punches” and with great candor, Paul says, “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:1) He chides them for their jealousy and quarreling and encourages them, guided by the power and working of the Holy Spirit, to grow (build) their faith on the sure and firm foundation of Jesus Christ who was crucified, died, was buried and has now risen for the forgiveness of our sins and the sins of the whole world.
Paul humbly said, “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3: 10-11)
By His mercy, goodness, forgiveness and grace, God lays the foundation of faith in Christ in our hearts. Through Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and His Word He creates and sustains that life-giving faith which trusts in Him for our eternal salvation. We are called to “build upon that foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw” knowing that our “work will be shown for what it is, because the Day [of Judgment] will bring it to light… and will test the quality of each man’s work.” (1 Corinthians 3: 12-13)
It sounds a little like the “Three Little Pigs,” doesn’t it? The first two each built their homes quickly, easily and flimsily. But the third built his strong and to last so that when the Wolf came, it could not be destroyed and, thus, saved those who took safety in it!
As Jesus’ disciples today, we build our faith, our Christian lives, our families and our church on the foundation of Jesus Christ alone. We know that the devil (the “Big, Bad Wolf”), trouble, hardships and heart-break will certainly “huff and puff and try to blow down” what we have built but, founded on Christ, what we have built will stand the trial and the fire of this world and the world to come.
Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock, the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7: 24-25) And Jesus is, of course, that rock – the firm foundation of our faith and life in Him!
Three bricklayers, all working on the same project, were asked the purpose of their labors. The first replied that he was laying bricks. The second said that he was building a wall, but the third truly comprehended the immensity and significance of his work when he responded that he was building a cathedral to the glory of God! So, what are you building? …with what? …will it last? …on what foundation are you building? May we confidently build our faith and Christian lives on Him who lived and died and is returning again for us! If we do, we can be confident that we are truly “Building For Eternity!”
See you in church this next weekend!
Blessings in Christ,