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Question about 1 Corinthians 3:15

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by Gold fish, May 20, 2019.

  1. Gold fish

    Gold fish Member

    United States
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  2. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    Study Guide for 1 Corinthians 3 by David Guzik

    d. The fire will test each one's work: When our work is tested by God, it will be revealed what kind of work it was. Just as fire will destroy wood, hay, and straw, but not gold, silver, and precious stones, so the work of some will be revealed as nothing on that Day.

    i. Notice that the amount of the work isn't going to be evaluated (though it does have some relevance). Paul says the work will be tested to see what sort it is. If one did a lot of the wrong sort of work, it will be as if he did nothing. His work will be burned and will vanish in eternity. D.L. Moody wisely said that converts ought to be weighed as well as counted.

    ii. Paul also referred to this great testing in 2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. When our work is tested before the Lord, we will be rewarded according to what remains.

    iii. It is a sobering thought: many, many people who believe they are serving God, but are doing it in an unworthy manner or with unworthy "materials" will come to find in eternity that they have, in reality, done nothing for the Lord. Some will be saved, but with a life that was wasted, and receive no crown to give to Jesus, for His glory (as in Revelation 4:10-11). He himself will be saved, yet so as through the fire: Saved, but barely saved, and saved with everything gone.

    e. If anyone's work: The fire does not purify the worker, it tests their workmanship."
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  3. mark kennedy

    mark kennedy Natura non facit saltum Supporter

    Some will go through final judgment and only be saved, 'as by fire', in other words saved after having lost everything. There are others who have been involved in good works of various kinds, Paul spoke of a victors crown but there are others. According to Daniel those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever, there's a stone with a name only you can know, a song only you can sing, that sort of thing. There are those who have saving faith but not really a vigorous soul winning faith, they are saved on the last day but only them. Now if after the fire of God's judgment something remains, there is a reward.
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  4. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

    When you put the verse into the context of the entire chapter, what do you perceive that Paul is talking about?

    Through the entire verse, Paul is talking about the problem of people becoming "fans" of different apostles, as though they were competitors in the gladiator arena. He starts talking about that and he ends talking about that, with verse 3:15 in the middle. He hasn't switched subjects--he's still talking about the problem of Christians being fans of one teacher versus another.

    Paul breaks down the fact that each of them performs a part of the total process of planting and developing churches according to the role the Lord has set for them. None of them has a more significant role than the other, but each does his own task as assigned by the Lord.

    Because it's the Lord who makes the assignments and the Lord who gives the power, then all glory is to the Lord, not to the men.

    If the men were doing any of their own work, nothing they did of their own would pass the Lord's test--nothing done on their own by their own plan would last.
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  5. Brendan3248

    Brendan3248 New Member

    South Africa
    In order for us to understand 1 Corinthians 3:15 we have to start with 1 Corinthians 3:1 and take it from there. Because if you read verse 15 by its self it won't make a lot of sence. that is why we have to go back and start reading from verse 1. What this chapter is talking about is that we shouldn't follow those who teach us about Jesus, but we should rather follow Jesus Himself. The chapter is describing the teachings of the apostles as foundations for a building. The image of the fire in verse 15 is then used to portray what will happen to us if we follow the teachings of men instead of those of God. Paul also reminds us in verse 5: "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe... as the Lord has assigned to each his task." What Paul is trying to say is that those who teach God's word have been tasked to do so, and therefore are acting on God's orders. Therefore their words come directly from God, and so following them would be like following the general who won the war instead of following the king who ordered the general to fight.
  6. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    It suggests the refining fire to me. Gold or silver ore is put through the fire to separate the pure metal from the sludge. Because we have the treasure in earthen vessels it's like the gold, silver, and precious jewels of the good things that we have allowed the Holy Spirit to work through us for God's glory is mixed up with the earthy stuff that we have done for other motives. When God's refining fire comes, the treasure is separated out and the sludge is burned away. If our lives have been spent doing things that have been for a the glory of ourselves, or other men, then when the refining fire comes and burns away the sludge, there will be nothing left.

    If we have built our "houses" out of wood, hay, and stubble, and set them on the sand instead of the rock, when the storm and fire of Christ's return comes, the house will be swept away and burned up and nothing will be left to show for what we have done in our lives.

    But if our house is built on the rock and is made up of gold, silver and precious stones, then when the storm and fire comes, it will stand firm.
  7. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

    United States

    The central point is in red and the sub points are in bold

    For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
    (1Co 3:3-15)
  8. bcbsr

    bcbsr Newbie

    For believers, our life is a book of our history. Some pages are wood, hay and straw. These are times when we sinned. Others are gold, silver and precious stone. These are times when we did what was right. It is not ourselves, but our history of works which are subject to fire. The pages representing sin are burned up and we are rewarded upon what remains. As you note "he will be saved" regardless of his personal history, seeing as salvation is not contingent upon his performance but whether his name is written in the book of life.

    Not so for unbelievers, including salvation by works Christians, some of whom have a purgatorial concept of that verse. They will be judge by the whole history of their life, as they rely upon their works to justify them with regards to salvation.

    Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

    So, two different sets of books.
  9. Mark51

    Mark51 Newbie Supporter

    Paul counsel, at 1 Corinthians 3:14, 15, that if we teach poorly, there may be sad consequences.

    It can be very painful to work hard to help someone become a disciple, only to see the individual succumb to temptation or persecution and eventually fall away. Paul acknowledges-in such cases-we suffer loss. Such disappointments may be so painful that our salvation is described as being “as through fire”-like a man who lost everything in a fire and was himself just barely rescued. Therefore, the counsel is to build with durable materials. If we teach so as to reach the hearts of interested ones by moving them to value such precious Christian qualities as wisdom, discernment, fear of God, and so forth, then we are building with durable, fire-resistant materials. (1 Peter 1:6, 7) Those who acquire these qualities will continue to do God’s will; may likely have the sure hope of remaining alive forever.-1 John 2:17.