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The Judgment Seat of Christ
"Saved, yet so as by fire."
pp. 18 - 20
Expanding the teaching of I Cor. 3: 7, 8, Paul continued:
"For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's
building" (I Cor. 3: 9).
The translation offered by the A.V. is somewhat misleading, the words `of God' occur
three times, and stand at the beginning of the sentence in the original. Thus:
"OF GOD (theou) are we fellow workers;
OF GOD (theou) are we husbandry;
OF GOD (theou) are we building."
"Members are co-workers with one another, not with God as though He were one of
them. Were it so `God' would be in the dative case (theo)" (Companion Bible). The last
reference, namely to the `building' is now amplified. A building supposes a foundation,
an architect, builders and materials. The foundation of God's building can be no other
than Christ. The architect is Paul. The builders are the Apostle's fellow servants. The
materials are likened to gold, silver and costly stones on the one hand, and wood, hay and
stubble on the other. The reason for this choice of material is because of the trial by fire
which is the feature of the illustration.
"According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder
(architekton), I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man
take heed how he buildeth thereupon" (3: 10).
Paul's ministry differed from that of the average believer, as an architect's work
differs from that of the ordinary builder. As an Apostle, he could not build on another
man's foundation as he himself declare:
"To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's
line of things made ready to our hand" (II Cor. 10: 16).
"Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should
build upon another's foundation" (Rom. 15: 20).
Paul's responsibilities as an Apostle were tremendous, and no subsequent builder will
be judged as to the foundation upon which he builds--that is not the responsibility of any
servant of God subsequent to Paul the Apostle. He laid the foundation. Our
responsibility is to build on no other foundation than that already laid for us. This same
emphasis is found in Eph. 2: 20. The exhortation which the Apostle gives is "Let every
man take heed how he buildeth thereupon". It is assumed throughout this figure that
whatever is built, whether good or bad, accepted or rejected, is "upon this foundation"
(I Cor. 3: 12). We are occupied with "God's building" (I Cor. 3: 9) and "God's temple"