Building the Church

Tuesday, Feb. 7                           

The Bible talks a lot about how Christians are to live their lives—often expressed in terms of analogies—soldiers or servants.  It’s a gardener in Cor. 3:5-8.  One sows, one waters, but God gives the increase.  Paul then uses the analogy of a construction worker in vv. 9-15—where he points out two things to be aware of.  First is to make sure we build on the foundation of Christ.  It’s Christ’s church and he is the head of it.  Paul doesn’t spell out what is meant by “foundation” here, but he does in other places—salvation by grace alone, humility, suffering wrongfully, self control—and much more.  The second thing has to do with the materials used, materials that will stand the test of time.  Gold, silver, and precious stones qualify; wood, hay, and straw don’t. Again, Paul does not elaborate on what gold, silver, and precious stones represent, but he does in other places—the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, fellow believers . . . The analogy is clear.  Efforts to serve God in our own strength or wisdom are worthless.  Some televangelists fit that picture nicely, but they’re not alone—and there are some televangelists that don’t fit that mold.  Paul mentions rewards for those who build the Church.  Unfortunately, some people are confused with the analogy, supposing that the gold and silver are the rewards, which totally misses the point.  The Church is made of those materials; they are not rewards.  Personal possession of gold and silver in heaven seems a bit absurd to me, anyway.  Just being with my Savior throughout eternity seems quite sufficient.

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