Building Upon the Foundation of Our Faith

In 1 Corinthians the Apostle Paul taught believers about the eternal reward or loss of reward that each of us will experience, depending upon our works. Paul wrote:


According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be

revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)


We have only one time to pass through this life on earth, and as Paul taught, the works that we do during this time will be tested by fire to determine their quality. Therefore, let us diligently strive not to be among those whose works done in disobedience are burned up, because even though we ourselves will be saved, we will suffer the loss of reward. Rather let us be diligent to be among those whose works done in obedience to God


stand the test of fire, and let us rejoice knowing that the time will come when we will receive our eternal blessing and reward for our obedience.


All men are servants of God and will serve His purposes in some capacity, even those who do not acknowledge Him (Isaiah 45:1-6, Romans 9:17-18, others). With this in mind, we will consider the two categories of servants that Jesus mentioned in Luke 12:35-48.


In this passage we see that Jesus admonished everyone present at that time to watch and be ready for service. Believers will be the servants who obey the Master’s command. They will be the ones whom the Master finds waiting and watching for His return, as we read in Luke 12:35-38.


Other servants do not obey the Master’s command. They engage in worldly, sinful indulgences, even beating their fellow servants, demonstrating a blatant lack of any love or concern for them. Jesus spoke of these servants in Luke 12:45-46, saying that the Master would ultimately cut them to pieces and assign them a place with the unbelievers.


We as believers, by the sovereign choice and grace of God are assured salvation, and we will escape the fate of those who are “cut to pieces” and

assigned “a place with the unbelievers”. However, we should be very careful to heed Jesus’ warning in Luke 12:47-48.


In these verses Jesus taught that the servant who knows his master’s will, but does not prepare himself or does not do what his master requires, will be beaten with many stripes. (Again, consider Hebrews 12:11). And Jesus also taught that the servant who is not aware of his master’s will and does things deserving of punishment will be beaten with few stripes. Jesus concluded His teaching in this passage by saying that much will be required from the one who has been given much and entrusted with much.


The longer we walk with God, the more we will understand of His word and His will. And the more we know of God’s word and what He requires of us, the greater responsibility we have to be obedient to what He has revealed to us. Let us therefore be diligent not to be among those servants who know our Master’s will, but do not prepare ourselves or do not do what our Master wants, because there is a consequence for this, and as Jesus admonished us, we will be beaten with many stripes.


Such disobedience is not building upon the foundation of our faith in Christ with gold, silver and precious stones, as Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. Rather it is building with wood, hay and straw, which will not stand the test of fire and will result in lost blessings and rewards for the believer who builds in this way.


There are two ways in which we must be careful to obey God. The first is that we must be obedient to all that is taught in the Holy Bible, which is God’s word. The second way that we must be careful to obey God comes when He reveals to us some special work or place of service that He has assigned for us. These special works or places of service will always be consistent with everything that is written in the Bible and will in no case violate any biblical principle.


When the time comes for us to serve God in some particular capacity as we know He has directed us, let us cleanse ourselves from wickedness in order to be useful in His service (2 Timothy 2:21), and let us also do whatever things are required in preparation for this particular work, as He leads us. Then, when the time comes, let us do what He has told us to do, so that we will not be among those servants who suffer His discipline and the loss of His rewards and blessings.

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