1 Corinthians 3: 1-14
Tuesday, 5 January 2020
After all, no one can lay any other foundation than the one that is already laid, and that foundation is Jesus Christ. People may build on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw. (1Corinthians 3: 11-12)
Anything which stands tall and strong needs a foundation and a true Christian life is no exception. As we know Apostle Paul was very keen on establishing the true foundation of Christian belief in the churches he planted. The New Testament unequivocally proclaims the truths about Jesus Christ to be taken as our foundation on which we build up our Christian life— belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, first to begin with. When Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), or to Peter that He will build His church on the rock which is Himself (Matthew 16:18), He was reiterating that no other foundation will take us to the day we all will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Once we have the foundations of our life right, then whatever we do becomes our work on it. There is no distinction as secular or spiritual work-whatever we do becomes the works of a Christian. And the works or the intention behind it will be tested with fire, as Paul says “in the day when the Lord shall judge the secrets of men according to my Gospel.” (Romans 2:16) Invariably we who pride in ourselves as mature Christians will also find that many of our works we thought of as gold or even of higher degree, will turn out to be of wood or straw, which won’t benefit us in anyway. As we progress in our spiritual life and as we begin to see more clearly with the illumination of God’s Word, we conclude that many things we were previously doing were works of straw or wood. For many there is even a possibility that only at the time of testing by fire will they come to know whether it was really of gold (what was showcased as works of gold). At such a time, though the works be burnt up, God’s kindness to us and our faith in Jesus Christ will save us.
Hence a true introspection or distinguishing of our works in the perfect understanding of God’s Word is the only ways to ensure that we are building our lives desirably. Again understanding the Word of God requires studying, meditating, praying for it and commitment to honor the truths which we learned. Such a commitment will enable us to find the will of God in everything we do and in turn will help us to build on our foundation of faith in Jesus Christ with precious stones, silver and gold. This will be pleasing to our Lord also, who is ever willing to help us in honoring our commitment towards Him.
While the good works are very important, it is a sad fact that many who do exceptionally good works are not aware of having Christ as their foundation to build their good works on-which makes all the difference. It is our responsibility to enlighten this fact to them and pray sincerely for them. Our work of silver and gold will definitely influence them. Besides, Jesus Christ our foundation who was beside God, as His delight while He laid the foundation of the universe, will surely help us reach others in the human family (Proverbs 8:29-31).
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to see our works the way you see it and give us the grace to correct it before it is late for us, so that it won’t get burned away on your day of judgement. Help us to reach the “doers of good,” who do not know about you with the good news that You are the real foundation on which to build their lives. Amen