1 Corinthians 3:10-15

Paul has natural abilities as a communicator and as an administrator.  We see this in his command of pagan literature and even in the small detail of how he held the coats at Stephen’s stoning.  However, these natural talents and abilities are from God who is the creator of the natural world.  I think that Paul is more aware of this than many today.  After he became oa follower of Christ that natural gifts, talents and abilities that he had were further enhanced through Christ.  He also has the power of the Holy Spirit working through him.  For the Christian who is walking the path to life with God in heaven, it is only the parts of our life that are built with God that will survive eternally.  What would we build in ourselves if we lived with eternity in mind?

1 Corinthians 3:10-15

 10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.


  1. What simile does Paul ‘build’ in this passage?
  2. What is the foundation of the building and how does it depend on the individual laying it?
  3. How do the building materials effect longevity?
  4. How is longevity regarded in today’s buildings?
  5. Are you building a life with the long term in mind?  How are you doing that?

Going Deeper

Look again at some of the ruins of ancient Greece from the pictures from the 1 Corinthians Introduction.  How did such buildings last the test of time?  As you travel today look at buildings.  Think, “Will they last?”  Then think, “What am I doing that will last?”

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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