Friday, October 28, 2011

Faith on Fridays: I Corinthians 3

We're moving on to our next chapter, and it's one that struck me hard when we read it in church bible study last year. From the NKJV:

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1 Corinthians 3

Sectarianism Is Carnal
 1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?
Watering, Working, Warning

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 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. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 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. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
16 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.
Avoid Worldly Wisdom

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; 20 and again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.


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I love this--we are the house that God built. He is our foundation, and He gives us freedom in how to construct our building. What will you use? Straw like the first little piggie? No, that will burn up in the fire of trial (never mind the Big Bad Wolf!). Sticks? Ditto. Modern stuff like drywall and two-by-fours? Well see the Wolf might not be able to blow it away, but man's wisdom will fail in that Fire--wood will burn up.

The story of the pigs says to turn to bricks. And that would certainly withstand fire as well as wind, right? Solid. Sturdy. Strong. It would do.

But I find it telling that Paul doesn't mention brick or stone. He tells us to build our house, not with what is sufficient, but with what is perfect. Precious stones. Gold. Silver. What could possibly stand out more from straw?

The fires of trial WILL COME. Our faith, our building will go through it. It's my prayer to day for each and every one of us that we come through the fire with our faith intact, with our mettle proven, with it obvious what Holy Stuff we're made up.

May you gleam with precious metals and stones today.

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