The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 8 of 210
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We commented that when a traveler is shipwrecked, he usually loses all his
possessions, yet he is saved. We come to a parallel passage in I Cor. 3: 10-15. Paul
says he was like a wise master-builder, and he laid a good foundation. That foundation
was Jesus Christ. But he warned that every man who builds on that foundation should
take care, for whatever is built on it would be tested by fire.
If a man built with gold, silver or precious stones, when the test of fire
came, his work would abide and he would receive a reward.
If the builder used wood, hay, or stubble, the fire would destroy his work
and the builder would suffer loss.
The builder who suffered loss through building with the wrong materials,
would himself be saved, "yet, so as by fire" (I Cor. 3: 15).
Here is a picture of the Christian who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour,
whose salvation is secure, but whose life of service (or lack of approved service) is
tested, as it will be when we meet our Lord and Saviour face to face. In another article
we have emphasized that our standing in the Lord Jesus Christ is not affected by our
`feelings', but we rely on the finished and complete work of Christ. We cannot add to
His work. We are saved by grace through faith, which is the gift of God. "Not of works,
lest any man should boast". But Eph. 2: 10 continues:
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God
hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
God has a plan for each one of us. He looks to us to serve Him with good works
according to His plan. These works are not to secure our salvation, but are the fruit of
our salvation. We should be like the builder who builds with gold or silver or precious
stones. If we serve Him faithfully, we shall have His approval, and there is a reward for
faithful service.
There is the danger that in this busy life our minds may be occupied with the things of
earth, and activities of service for the Lord may be crowded out.  Paul gave the
Philippians a solemn warning:
"Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us
for an ensample. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even
weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction,
whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things"
(Phil. 3: 17-19).
Their end is "destruction". This means waste, but is translated in various ways. They
are not enemies of Christ, but of the cross of Christ. They do not take up the cross; they
do not suffer for His sake. They will not be "destroyed", but saved "so as by fire". All
their work will be wasted. There will be no reward for there will be no faithful service.
We have insufficient space to examine this word in detail, but should any reader wish
to study it by examining the context where it is used we give the references below in
tabular form: