Page 6 - March 2017 - Truth & Tidings
P. 6

Within the same verse (1Cor                    groups of three) of the types of materials
             3:9, ESV), Paul switches from     that can be built into the overall structure.
             one metaphor (“You are God’s      The first trio of “gold, silver, and precious
field”) to another (“You are … God’s           stones” is obviously contrasted with the
building”) in describing the Corinthian        second trio of “wood, hay, and stubble.”
assembly. Yet the two figures are connected    Every believer is building something into
in that labor is expended in both. Paul        the assembly. Which trio of materials best
instructs the Corinthians about the type       describes your contribution?
of labor each believer contributes to the
assembly, God’s building. If we carefully        First, these materials differ in their value.
follow the building code Paul outlines, we     Obviously, gold, silver, and precious stones
can expect approval upon final inspection.     are incredibly more valuable than wood,
                                               hay, and straw. Some good questions to
How Firm A Foundation                          ask yourself today are, “Am I building
                                               something costly into the assembly? Have
  The foundation is the most important         I sacrificed time, energy, and resources
(and often the most time-consuming) part       to contribute to assembly meetings and
of a building. In verse 10, Paul says he       activities?” It is very easy to show up (if at
“laid the foundation,” and that the foun-      all) and do little, say little, pray little, and
dation “is Jesus Christ” (v11). When Paul      make little difference to the work going on
arrived in Corinth, he resolved to preach      in God’s assembly.
only Christ and Him crucified (1Cor 2:2),
and spent 18 months laying the only foun-        Second, these materials differ in their
dation that could last. The Corinthians may    availability. Wood, hay, and stubble can
have been ready to build a foundation on       be obtained easily and with little effort.
the name of a famous preacher (like Paul       Gold, silver, and precious stones can only
or Apollos), which is often done today, but    be discovered by digging, and digging
they would be starting off with nothing        deep. This reminds us of the need to dig
firm under their feet. How important it        deeply into the Scriptures to discover the
is to see an assembly begin with the clear     rich meaning and application of God’s
preaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.            Word to our lives. Obeying and teaching
                                               these discovered riches will build quality
Materials Matter                               materials into God’s assembly.

  Once the foundation is finished, the           Third, these materials differ in their
builder begins to place the entire structure,  durability. The word for “precious stones”
one phase at a time, upon that foundation.     in verse 12 is the same word found in the
In verse 12, Paul gives six examples (two      Greek translation of the Old Testament in

70 TRUTH k Tidings March 2017
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