The art of establishing Christ in a culture takes the skill of a master builder to lay a proper foundation. It is delicate to coherently depict the magnificence of Christ and His eternal work. Christ is the foundation and all that is built on my life or any other follower of Christ depends on a proper understanding of the person of Christ. Paul, as a planter, coherently revealed Christ to the Corinthians; that is he highlighted the power of the cross where Christ died. Paul explains that Christ’s unity overwhelms division. He elevates Christ’s importance by defining the depravity of humanity and their inability to boast in God’s presence. The depravity of man conjoined with the power of Christ is not a stable foundation. The foundation is Christ, because the condition of humanity would build an unhealthy foundation that God the Father would deem unacceptable. Though the foundation of Christ cannot be changed, I’m to be careful how I build on the foundation. Throughout life disciples of Christ build on the foundation through service. This is not salvation, rather it is a manifestation of Christ at work in me. Paul explains a DAY is coming where my work will be revealed by fire.
- Gold will withstand fire
- Silver will withstand fire
- Precious stones will withstand fire
- Wood will burn
- Hay will burn
- Straw will burn
If I build on the foundation with gold, silver, and precious stones I will receive a reward. However, if I build with wood, hay, and straw I will suffer loss though saved but only through fire.
What makes my work gold, silver, and precious stones?
What makes my work wood, hay, and straw?
I think Paul may have been suggesting that whoever is building divisions (Apollos, Paul, Cephas) on the recently laid foundation of Jesus Christ is building with wood, hay, and straw. They are building with the flesh and not the Spirit.