"Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor" (I Cor. 3:8).
Paul is clearly telling us that we belong to God in every respect. We are God's fellow workers. We are God's field for salvation. We are God's church that He is building (I Cor. 3:9). Paul also declared that because of the grace of God, he was given the plans to become a master builder in laying the foundation for the church (I Cor. 3:10). What was Paul's foundation? Paul told the Corinthians that he would focus only on "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (I Cor. 2:2). For this was the only foundation that would build them up and cause them to stand in the wisdom and power of God (I Cor. 1:24,18; 2:5). Paul did warn that we needed to take heed how we build upon this foundation (I Cor. 3:10). We can build with gold, silver, precious stones, or wood, hay, and stubble (I Cor. 3:12). Wood is what we have built and done by our own flesh and strength. Hay is our attitudes and life of selfishness attempting to have or build things that are selfish and are not a part of His will for us. Stubble is our pride to be something with a separate life from Christ in certain areas. We better build with gold, silver, precious stones. This could be a representation of the Trinity of God, with the Father as gold (deity), the Son as silver (redemption), and the Holy Spirit as precious stones. Let's look a little deeper with the context of the passage and the message Paul is presenting to the Corinthians.
The wisdom of God is that our Father put Christ in us at the Spirit birthing. Our Father expects us to live by the strength, power, and life of Christ in us. Christ in us as us, doing and building things is the gold. That is the Christ-life – the shared-life that our Father prepared in love for us to live and walk in. Christ will live in us His crucified life that is a life of love and unselfishness toward God and others. You attempting to put your own flesh to death by your own flesh is asceticism. Christ living His crucified life through you will in love keep flesh crucified in you. Christ living His crucified life in us, is what Paul is discussing when he states, "always carrying about in the the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body" (II Cor. 4:10). Christ-crucified in us with that attitude of love and unselfishness is the silver. Peter says, we are living stones that are being built up as a spiritual house (I Pet. 2:5). In context, Paul has been talking about the wisdom and revelation of Christ in us as us, that cannot be known in the natural but taught only by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:6-14). This provides us spiritual discernment through the mind of Christ (I Cor. 2:15-16). Paul could not talk to the Christians in Corinth as spiritual, as they were focusing on men and men's teaching, without the message of truth of Jesus Christ and Him crucified (I Cor. 3:1-7). In context precious stones represents the building of Christian living stones up in the truth of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
On that Day of the judgment seat of Christ, the fire of God will test all men's work. All works built with wood, hay, and stubble will be totally consumed. Everything built 100% upon Jesus Christ and Him crucified, along with every Christian precious stone, will endure and receive a reward! (I Cor. 3:13-15) V
Written by Dwight Davis
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