Saturday, January 22, 2000

1 Corinthians 3:10-15

"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."
1 Corinthians 3:10-15

This is an interesting scripture... the whole building imagery is cool. Verse 9 right before this says "ye are God's building" and the verse after this is the one that says "know ye not that ye are the temple of God?" ... so, I think that at least one of the meanings of these in-between verses must be talking about how we develop ourselves... how we build our personalities, beliefs... who we are. this first verse talks about the masterbuilder laying the foundation... and I think, whether or not God uses other people as tools in our lives, that he is the real masterbuilder, who establishes Christ as the foundation of who we are... for, indeed... who would we have a chance to be without him? What freedom to act and make choices, what self-molding of our personalities could happen? I don't think that anything like that would be possible. We'd make our first mistake and then keep that blackness of soul forever... and keep getting blacker... or, we'd have Satan's plan, and have no freedom of thought and action...
Anyway... so, Christ is the foundation, and we build upon it...good and bad things, bold and weak... strong and vulnerable. and then we are tried by fire... not some random forest fire, but God's refining fire, used to purify and cleanse us... to remove the imperfections and bad building materials. So, goodness stays and badness is burned off... and sometimes weakness or vulnerability stay, because they are good. And, then the last verse... part of who we are, in this cleansing process... gets burned. and we suffer because of it... but no matter how much is taken away by the fire... we are always left... because what we started out with was good, and pure, and exactly what God wanted. We might have to start building from scratch in some areas... but the fire will never destroy the beauty and perfection of our souls... the ground where the foundation is laid.

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