1 Corinthians Chapter Three part 3, A study of 1Co.3:11, 1Co.3:12 & 13, 1Co.3:14 & 15, and 1Co.3:16 & 17

1 Corinthians 3:11

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." NIV translation

Although, today, many are trying to make it seem like there are many paths to a right relationship with God, the  foundation of faith is and always will be Jesus Christ. There is no other way or basis for salvation.

1 Corinthians 3:12 & 13

"If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his 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." NIV translation

Our salvation is on the foundation of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf. The things that we do after we come to Christ are what we build with. If we spend our new life (in Christ) seeking things for ourselves and serving ourselves, it is like building with hay or straw. If, after we come to Christ, we serve Him and concentrate on fulfilling the Great Commission, it is like building with precious durable things. On judgment day, each of us will have our works judged and the things made of hay and straw will burn up. This is what John is talking about in Revelation 20.

1 Corinthians 13:14 & 15

"If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." NIV translation

If we are productive in our new life as a Christian, then we will be rewarded for our service just as a worker receives wages for his work. This is the judgment of believers that John refers to in Revelation 20. Paul reminds us that, if our work is good as directed by God (see Ephesians 2:10), we receive a reward. Although we do not know what those rewards are, we know that it is not salvation as we are saved by grace and not of works (see Ephesians 2:8 & 9). If it is work directed by self and the flesh, then the things that we have worked for will be burned up in the final judgment but we will be left with our salvation.

1 Corinthians 3:16 & 17

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." NIV translation

This passage has been used for many weight loss programs as well as to condemn those who have committed suicide but that is not what it is talking about. What it is talking about is the works of our life after we come to the Lord.