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1 Corinthians 3,9-17

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1 Corinthians 3:9-17

January 6, 2002

Intro: Paul continues to address the divisions that exist in the church,

         specific (Corinth) and the church general (CCO).

A-  The motivation for this portion of this epistle (1:10-3:23) is the word he received from Chloe.

1 Corinthians 1:10-11,  Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.

1-   Paul is going to show us how worldly and fleshly behavior (contrary to God) does have future ramifications for the Christian.

Revelation 22:12,  “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

a-   We will all stand before the Bema Seat of Christ.

-         Bema = Judgement or examining. 

b-   The Bema Seat of Christ is where the Christian will be judged for the worthiness of heavenly rewards.

Romans 14:10,  But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

c-   This is separate from the judgement that the unbeliever will experience.

See Revelation 20:11-15

B-  So we need to see “rewards” in the proper context.

1-   We are not to be like the guy on the freeway off ramp with the sign “Will serve for reward”.

a-   Our reward is not to be, our motivation, a competition, or compensation.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:9-15

2-   We serve Him because:

a-   V:9, It is well pleasing to our Lord.

b-   V:14, The love of Christ keeps us

c-   V:15, For all He has done for mankind

Romans 10:14,  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

C-  The Apostle Paul said that he ran a race & fought a fight and he did so to WIN.

Turn to 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

1-   Who is the competition for this crown (reward)

a-   Not fellow believers.

b-   But our flesh, Worldliness, and sin.

1 Corinthians 3:9,  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

Read verses 6-8

A-  The first analogy speaks of the elementary things of salvation.

1-   “Planted”: Someone heard the gospel.

2-   “Watered”; Had it conferment in their heart.

3-   “Increase”, The fruits of salvation.

a-   Paul now shifts gears.

-         The La Habra house sold as we finished it.

-         New people tore everything apart.

b-   Ontario house still evolving.

-         As a homeowner I know why a building is not called a built. Because it is a never-ending project.

1 Corinthians 3:10,  According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

A-  (Construction & Sub contractors) Paul was a foundation sub contractor and Jesus Christ was the ones he specialized in.

1-   And how did he become a builder of this type.

“According to the grace of God”

B-  How I became an electrical sub contractor was by:

1-   Studying,  Schooling,  Experience,  Testing

a-   The only way to become a sure foundation contractor is BY GRACE.

1 Corinthians 4:7,  For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

2-   The greatest preacher, the most godly of persons, the mightiest man of God is nothing without grace.

a-   It’s how we are able to exist

b-   How we were saved

c-   And although we do not deserve to serve God it’s by grace that He uses us.

3-   Bill Graham said the biggest lesson for a Pastor is to:

a-   Don’t touch the money, stay from immorality, and always give God the glory.

“And another builds”

C-  After 1½ years it was time for Paul to step aside.

1-   Have you ever seen an abandoned building project with just the foundations.

a-   Not all they could be.

Matthew 28:19,  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

2-   In Ephesus it was then Timothy who built

3-   In Crete it was Titus

4-   In Corinth it was Apollos.

1 Corinthians 3:10,  According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

2 Timothy 2:2,  And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

James 3:1, My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (for rewards)

1 Corinthians 3:11,  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

A-  When evaluating a Theology, a para-church ministry, or a church, what is the foundation that their belief is built upon.

1-   Is it

a-   Traditions,  Direct revelation,  works,  Science

b-   The O.T. (legalism),  The Holy spirit,  God the Father.

-         There is only one workable foundation.

Acts 4:12,  “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Ephesians 2:18,  For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

1 Peter 1:20-21,  He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you  who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

c-   McDonalds and the money pit.

-         The leaning tower of Pisa.

Read Matthew 7:24-27

1 Corinthians 3:12,  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

A-  NOTICE That the point being made in Verse 12 is based upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.

1-   Paul is addressing The Christian,  The Minister,  The Church.

a-   These building materials represent the works of the Christian, Minister, Church.

2-   As the 7 churches are evaluated (judged) by Jesus Christ in Revelation Ch. 2&3, there is a common phrase you’ll see.


Ephesians 2:10,  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

-         The idea is to evaluate your works now before the Lord does.

Ø Are they

GOLD: That which is fit for a king

SILVER: That which is pure

PRECIOUS STONES: That which ministers to God’s children.

Ø Or are they

WOOD: That which is every church program void of the Word

              of God.

HAY: That which is every minister void of the Power of the Holy


STUBLE: Every Christian that lives a carnal life.

1 Corinthians 3:13,  each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

A-  The city inspector and my electrical work

1-   The true test when the breaker is turned on.

a-   Chuck: Blew-up lights and crashed the truck.

2-   The bottom line is:  When your works are tested do they have lasting spiritual significance??

Zechariah 13:9,  I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”

1 Corinthians 3:14,  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

A-  The dedicated obedient servant of God.

Matthew 25:21,  “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

1 Corinthians 3:15,  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

A-  The carnal, worldly Christian.

Jude 23,  but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17,  Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

Turn to Malachi 3:16-4:3

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