For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
First of all, the great news is that everyone who is building his life upon a solid foundation will be able to pass through storm and fire without being destroyed. You may be passing through a troubling season but the reality is, if your faith and hope are in the solid unshakable foundation called Jesus, you will become stronger.
The second great news is that there is a way to build your life upon the strong foundation with durable and fireproof materials. The image is that of a building on a solid foundation, and composed partly of durable and precious, partly of perishable materials. The “gold, silver, precious stones,” which can all withstand fire (Re 21:18, 19), are not only teachings. They are also precious and eternal things that you’ve invested in here, in this life, and that will stand the fiery test of judgment. Other materials “wood, hay, stubble,” are those which cannot stand it; not utter heresy, for that would destroy the foundation, but teaching mixed up with human philosophy and other ideologies that are more curious than useful. All the vile and ephemeral activities – earthly investments will disappear forever.
Besides the teachings, the superstructure also represents the people cemented to the Church by them, the reality of whose conversion, through the teachers, will be tested at the last day. Where there is the least grain of real gold of faith, it shall never be lost (1Pe 1:7; 1 Co 4:12). On the other hand, the lightest straw feeds the fire (Mt 5:19).
Our works are compared to these materials. Some become more pure in the fire and others are completely burned up by fire. Fire will try every man’s works. If his are gold, silver and precious stones, they will abide the fire and he will receive a reward for his works. If they are wood, hay and stubble, his works will be burned up, yet he himself will be saved from loss of his soul.
The bible helps us to understand with examples of some works that will be tested (judged) by the fire:
Teachings – Doctrines (Rom. 2:14-16 Rom. 14)
Conduct to others (Mt. 18; Rom. 14)
Carnal traits (Col. 3; Rom. 1-2; 8:1-13; 14:1-23)
Words (Mt. 12:32-37 Rom. 14)
Things that affect others: slander, quarrels, idle words, foolishness (folly), dishonesty, broken promises, wrong dealings, etc. (Rom. 1:29-32 1Cor. 6:9-11 Gal. 5:19-21 Col. 3; Eph. 4:1-32; 5:1-33 Rom. 12:1-21; 14:1-23)
Things that affect the person themselves: neglected opportunities, talents wasted, loose living, lack of spirituality, etc. (Rom. 2:14-16 Heb. 2:1-4 Gal. 5:1-26; 6:1-10 Col. 3)
Things that affect God: refusal to walk in the light, disobedience, rejection, failure to cooperate and yield to the Spirit, etc. (1Cor. 12; Rom. 12; Eph. 4:1-32; 5:1-33)
My friend, life on this earth is challenging as it’s beautiful but short. And all of us have the opportunity to choose the materials that will last eternally. It’s worth it to invest in and choose the fireproof and nonperishable materials. Today, God puts in front of you gold, silver and precious stones to build your life on HIM. They will pass the test of fire, giving God the glory. And as a believer you will receive a great reward.
Prayer: Thanks God, that you put in front of me the different materials I can use to build my life on you. Thanks for being my only foundation, and today I decide to put priorities on my time that you gave me to build a beautiful life. I decide to choose the gold, silver and precious stones to become this temple that carries Your Glory and will pass the fire test with no loss.
Quote: Fire will try every man’s works. If his are gold, silver, and precious stones meaning the Kingdom’s materials they will abide the fire and he will receive a reward for his works.
Song: Refiner’s fire – FT: Brian Doerksen & Twp Band