February 13th, 2007
Most people’s jobs aren’t quite as vital as that of the helicopter mechanic. Most of us can afford to make a spelling error or an adding error here and there without killing anyone. But a helicopter mechanic’s work is tested every time a helicopter flies. It’s like Paul’s description of testing by fire in today’s reading. If the things which we do in our lives are high quality things, like building with gold and silver, they will survive when they pass through the fire. But if our actions are like building with wood or hay or straw, they will be burned up.
Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians — Chapter 3
3:1 Friends, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but as worldly people, babies in Christ. 3:2 I fed you with milk, not meat, because you were not yet ready. You are still not ready, 3:3 because you are still worldly. Does not the existence of jealousy, strife, and factions among you show that you are worldly, and follow human instincts? 3:4 When someone says, “I follow Paul,” and someone else, “I follow Apollos,” are you not worldly? 3:5 Who is Apollos, and who is Paul, other than servants through whom you believed, and each doing the work the Lord gave to him? 3:6 I planted. Apollos watered. But God caused the growth. 3:7 So the one who plants and the one who waters are nothing, because only God causes the growth. 3:8 The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose, and they will be rewarded according to their labour. 3:9 We are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But each person should be careful in building on it. 3:11 No one can lay any foundation other than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. 3:12 But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 3:13 each person’s work will be revealed for what it is. The Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire, and the fire itself will test what sort of work each person’s work is. 3:14 If anyone’s work survives, that person will receive a reward. 3:15 If anyone’s work is burned, that person will suffer loss. The person will be saved, but as if through fire.
3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 3:17 God will destroy anyone who destroys the temple of God, because God’s temple, which you are, is holy. 3:18 Do not deceive yourself. If you think that you are wise in this world, you should become a fool so that you can become wise. 3:19 The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. It is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” 3:20 And again, “The Lord knows that the opinions of the wise are worthless.” 3:21 So no one should boast about humans. All things are yours, 3:22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. All are yours, 3:23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Entry Filed under: Perseverance