1 Cor.3:12,13 – The quality of materials used by anyone building on this foundation will soon be made apparent, whether it has been built with gold, silver, and costly stones, or wood, hay, and straw. Their work will soon become evident, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by blazing fire! And the fire will test and prove the workmanship of each builder.
This passage is one of those that hits us two ways. First, it stirs an unthinkable excitement as we allow ourselves to ponder the rewards of our work here on earth. John spoke about throwing our crowns at the feet of the Lord. The scripture speaks of crowns for those who love His appearing, for soul winners, for those who stand through persecution, and even a crown for simply loving Him. I wonder what those crowns are like? I wonder what all of His rewards will be like. Secondly, this passage causes us to tremble in fear as we realize we could be laboring in vain. What determines if our work is valid or not? It all stems from our heart. The motives of our heart are everything. Here are some thoughts from the Passion Notes on this verse.
“Paul’s language seems to be anticipating his next subject: the church as God’s true temple. There is here an allusion to the temple of Solomon, which was built using gold, silver, and costly stones. Wisdom will build her house with divine substance (gold), redemption’s fruit (silver), and transformed lives (costly stones). Wood, hay, and straw are emblems of the works of the flesh, the building materials of men, not of God. They grow up from the ground, which God cursed. It is both quality and durability that God commends. Fire will cause the better material to glow brighter, but the inferior material will be consumed. How we build and what we build matters to God. Note that it is possible to build on the true foundation of Christ but with wrong materials. We need God’s work done in God’s way.”
This brings out a very important point. Our labor on earth has to be anchored in His church. Apparently, that is all the Lord is interested in. Our labor is to build up and advance His kingdom on earth which is His church. The Great Day is coming and everything will be totally sorted out.