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Testing the Quality of Each Man's Work


1 Corinthians 3:10-15

“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.  If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”

This passage of scripture is discussing the building of the church and is in reference to the individual teachers and pastors building the church by building into people’s lives. 

Foundation” is Jesus Christ.


  We build on this foundation which becomes our life’s work.  The context is in reference to the teachers and pastors.  The application can be made to each of our individual lives.

Gold, silver and costly stones where used to adorn the ancient temples.  These building materials refer to the pure doctrine and the precious word of God. 

Wood, hay and straw were used to build the average person’s residence.  They may be nice but you did not find royalty or the priesthood of the ancient world living in this basic type of building.

Wood:  Proverbs 30:6— “Do not add to words”  Isaiah 8:20  Jeremiah 23:25-29  Matthew 15:5-9

The “Day” refers to Jesus Christ return.    1 Thes. 5:2-9  2 Thes. 2:2

Fire” speaks of judgment.  Judgment works two directions:  1)  Fire is a purifying agent  2)  Fire destroys or consumes

Both are true of God’s judgment.  See fire in:  Jeremiah 23:25-29  Isaiah 8:20  Isaiah 28:17  Ezekiel 13:10-16  Zechariah 13:9 

Judgment by the Word of God:    John 12:42  Hebrews 4:12 

The winners:    1 Peter 1:7 

Those who suffer loss:  Matthew 16:23-28 

Ezekiel 44:10-16—Some believing Levites will have a lesser   position in Millennium due to their unfaithfulness.  They did not serve the truth but instead failed morally and in responsibility. 

The faithful Levites will have privileges because they did not fail to perform their assignments. 

Luke 9:25


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