(1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
Quite often recently I have written about the need for a strong foundation on which we are to build our walk with Jesus Christ. But like a house or building, it does not end there.
You cannot live in just the foundation of a house. You need walls and a roof and furniture to be able to live well. It is essential that the foundation of your house be solid and strong, but that is just the beginning.
Likewise, as Christians we are being built into the house of God and we are also a building in our own right. We have a foundation that is laid and that foundation is Jesus Christ for there is no other foundation that can be laid but Jesus Christ. And then there are the six foundation teachings of Christianity as defined in Hebrews 6:1-2.
But like a physical house, we too do not end with the foundation. The “walls and roof” of our Christian house must be built so we can dwell in Jesus Christ. And these verses today talk about the building of your Christian house.
The scripture tells us that like a physical house, you need to build a quality house. And like a physical house if your builders and contractors do not do a quality job and use good quality materials, the house will not be a quality product. It will not be able to stand up to the rigors of the weather and the environment if it is not built of quality materials.
Likewise your Christian house will only be as good as the “materials” it is built from and the “contractors” you listen to. Note what the scripture says,
12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw- 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. – (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
In verse 12 we see that there are a number of different qualities of house built on the one foundation that is Jesus Christ. These represent the qualities of teaching and doctrine you receive and learn from.
If the quality of what you learn and believe is good, that is, it is fully of the truth and not laced with the half-truths and lies that are often passed off as Christianity, then your house will be built of the better quality materials…gold, silver or precious stones.
But if you accept poor quality teaching and you listen to and succumb to those false teachings that have infiltrated the modern church, then your house will be built of the poorer materials.
It's all about what you accept and believe. And what you accept and believe has a heavy impact on how you will go through life and how difficult your walk will be.
Many people shy away from doctrine, but it is critical that you look for and find the doctrine of truth if you are to build a quality house in Christ. And no one should fear doctrine for it is really only the teachings of Christianity.
The challenge we all face is the need to sift the doctrine that comes before us to determine what is correct and aligned with the truth and what is false. The quality of the house being built on the foundation of Jesus Christ is determined by the doctrines you accept.
So how do you ensure what you accept and believe is correct and in line with the truth?
The key to finding the truth is to read and study the bible, and as Christians that means you need to understand the New Testament first for that is where the teachings of Christ and the New Covenant will be found. There is value in the Old Testament too, but it is important to understand the new covenant first so you know what Jesus wants you to know.
One thing you must understand is that the teachings in the bible do not conflict with one another. All of the teachings hold together and are consistent with each other. There are no conflicts in the truth of the doctrine.
Thus when you have been immersed in the scripture and are fully following what Jesus and the disciples said and taught, then you are in a position to sift what you hear. When someone tells you something that is inconsistent with the scripture as you know it, you are able to question it and determine if there is any truth in what they say or if it is false doctrine.
And it is still important to listen to what other people say for no one has the full knowledge of the truth in the scripture. We all need to learn so we can grow, and the Lord may have opened something up to someone else that has not been fully opened to you. If you listen you can question and ask for scriptures to back up what the person is saying, then weigh that against the rest of the scriptures to see if it stands the test of truth or fails. Then you can either accept or reject it.
Importance of Doctrine
The reason why this is important in the context of the house being built on the foundation of Christ is that it will determine how your Christian life will unfold.
Note that in the scripture above, the quality of the Christian house will be tested by fire. The fires are the trials, troubles and tribulations that come against us to test us.
Now depending what your house is built from, that is, what doctrines you have accepted as truth, your house will either survive or will be burned up. You will either suffer because you have accepted poor doctrine or you will go through unscathed.
If you have accepted and believed a lot of false doctrine, you will be like the houses built of wood, hay or straw. When the fires of life come down upon you, you will get burned, in some cases worse then others.
But if you are more closely adhering to and believing in the truth of the new covenant, then the fires will have little effect for the house is more akin to the quality building materials of gold, silver and precious stones.
Furthermore, if your house is built of gold and silver, the implication is that like physical gold and silver, the fires will improve and strengthen you, not burn you up. Just as the dross is burned off by fire to purify gold and silver, the fires that come against a Christian who is holding fast to the truth strengthens them. The testing and discipline make a strong Christian even stronger.
This is why it is so important to seek out the truth and hold fast to the true doctrine of Jesus Christ. It is to help you grow and become stronger as a Christian as you walk the minefield that is this evil world we live in.
So study the bible, especially the New Testament and pray about what you read. Seek insight and understanding of the scriptures. Understand the foundations and then build on those for they are what enable you to grow and become stronger in the Lord.
(Photo sourced from freeimages.com supplied by Iuriatan Felipe Muniz)
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