Christ, the Foundation

MEMORY SELECTION: “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” —I Corinthians 3:11

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 3:10-23

THE purpose of God was expressed in the sending of his only begotten Son into the world to become the corresponding price for Father Adam. Jesus became a man, voluntarily laid his life down in sacrifice for sin, and was resurrected by God’s power to a position of glory, honor, and immortality at the right hand of the Heavenly Father. Jesus, therefore, is the foundation of every doctrine and principle as it relates to the divine plan of the ages.

The Apostle Paul points out in our selected scriptural reading the necessity of proper building. He says (vs. 10): “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” He then explains (memory text) that there is no other foundation than that of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is important to use strong and lasting materials in any building. This is especially true when it comes to the development of our faith. As an illustration of this (vs. 12), let us visualize stone as permanent foundation material, which would represent our Lord. In turn, the elements of our faith may also be illustrated by lasting materials such as gold, silver, or precious stones. These are strong, and they also have value. On the other hand, wood, hay, and stubble are not good for building because there is no substance to them, and for this purpose they are practically valueless.

The degree of our faith will be tested during the time of our earthly experiences. The apostle says (vs. 13) that “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.” Fire is used to illustrate the difficult experiences that the Lord’s people may expect as they proceed in the school of Christ.

Those who have strong faith will not be moved from their determination or steadfastness. “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” (vs. 14) Those who are faithful unto death will receive the promised reward—the crown of life. Some, however, may not have the degree of faith necessary for an abundant entrance into the kingdom. Although they may receive a rich inheritance on a lower spiritual plane, they may not gain immortality. In this connection Paul explains (vs. 15) that “if any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

The child of God will be motivated by the spirit of the Lord and will demonstrate his desire to grow in grace and knowledge. Concerning the Christian, Paul says (vss. 16,17): “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

To gain wisdom in the ways of the world will in no way prepare the Lord’s people for an inheritance in the kingdom. The apostle’s exhortation draws attention to this matter, for he says (vss. 18,19): “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” True wisdom comes from God, a study of his Word, and an appropriation of that wisdom into good and honest hearts.

“And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”—vss. 20-23

“Let no man glory in men” is the apostle’s admonition. And, in true humility, he includes his own name among them. Indeed, we are all brethren in Christ, and we have nothing whereof to boast. We are recipients of grace, and we gratefully acknowledge the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—to whom every knee will bow in due time.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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