TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 3: 10-17
READING: PSALM 48: 1-14
SUBJ: Our only Rock and our Foundation which is Christ our Lord and the manner in which we labor upon that foundation.
AIM: That we might both rejoice in what we see in Him and that we be mindful that we are as individuals and a church of the indwelling Spirit as the Temple of God.
INTR: Having pointed out the causes and effects of the divisions that were hindering their worship, Paul proceeds to set before them the necessity that Christ alone was to be their anchor and their foundation.
1. We would be reminded here of what is intended in the message here for them that we might both be instructed and encourage to continue on a proper way.
2. It is easy to get caught up in the functions that are laid before us and lose sight of Him whom we serve.
3. We will endeavor here to consider Christ our Foundation, the matter of building on that foundation, and the spiritual nature of that which we are about.
THESIS: We are reminded of the words of the Psalmist: Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
I. The Only Foundation (vv. 10-11)
1. Paul continues the metaphor of a building of God's doing, seeing himself as the builder under the master architect: See chapter 2:2 and 5
2. How do we see Christ as the foundation?
1) As to His person - the God-man, the Mediator, As full of grace and Truth, and The Word made flesh.
2) As the basis of the covenant of grace and the author of eternal salvation.
3) As giver and sustainer of faith, hope, peace, joy, consolation, and comfort.
3. Thus, the essential to the divine purpose in grace: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:21-22).
4. And we remember: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28:16).
II. Building on that foundation (vv. 12-15)
1. The builders on that foundation. Who are they? With what are they building? To what end are they building?
1) The thought of many is that the reference here is to the ministers at Corinth
2) Yet, all are concerned with the issues at hand and should, as believers be also concerned with the building.
3) The thoughts are that these are the good works of men, some think the reference is to those people being added to the church, others see this as the teachings that are built around all that is true of Christ.
4) The aims are again varied - some focus on numbers, others on worldly ends, still others make it a matter of pride, whereas the aim should be the glory of God.
2. The context of teaching and pointing them to Christ does not support well the idea of outward appearances and such things as are dealt with in different ways.
3. The metaphors employed are clearly understood; it is the application that challenges our thought.
1) The Gold, silver, and precious stones (building stones) speak of purity and durability.
2) The wood, hay, and stubble speak to us of earthly things used of the more common sort.
4. Thus, we would endeavor to built thereon such things as are derived from scripture, build up in the most holy faith, and redound in every way to the glory of God.
5. A day of manifestation and the trial by fire (a metaphor for proving) and the genuine properly rewarded.
6. The building with false doctrine and those things promoting the works and ideas of men suffer loss.
III. The building indwelt (vv. 16-17)
1. A matter of most serious consideration - Know Ye Not!
1) Considered both individually and in the church collectively.
2) Compare the Old Testament Temple with all the rules and prohibition - The Lord manifested His presence there.
3) How shall we reckon this?
2. Consider what it means to be indwelt
1) The Lord promised that both He and the Father would dwell in us.
2) Here the Spirit dwells in us.
3. It is He who functions in us to bring about the operations of God in us - building on that foundation which is Christ.
4. Verse 17 tells us just how serious a matter to defile the Temple of God; Holiness is ever in view and such we are in Christ and with Christ in us - "which temple ye are."