by Joe Alain

This content is part of a series.

Together We Build (4 of 10)
Series: Beautiful Mess
Joe Alain
1 Corinthians 3:9-15

''For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.'' 1 Corinthians 3:9


1. Build on the right foundation (3:10-11)
2. Build with the right materials (3:12-15)

In April of this year (2015) the earthquake that struck Kathmandu in Nepal, 8,675 people died and nearly 22,000 others were injured. It was the most significant quake since the devastating quake of 1934 where it's estimated that up to 12,000 people died. But what killed so many people in the most recent quake was not the quake itself but the poorly designed and constructed buildings. Conditions in countries like Nepal in a rush to provide housing in urban environments and short on funds have combined to produce a dangerous environment. Officials knew it was just a matter of time before another quake would occur. Tragically, around ¾ of all deaths in earthquakes are due to building collapses, not the quakes themselves.

The image of the church as a field that we looked at last week emphasized quantity, how the church grows. The church (God's people) grows by believers sowing the seed of the word of God, cultivating persons, and bringing people to faith in Christ (harvesting). The image of the church in verse 9 as a building emphasizes quality, how we are to build our lives and God's church in a way that will stand the storms of life and the test of time. We want to build our spiritual house in such a way that when the quakes of life come, the house won't come crumbling down.

What's true for individual believers is also true for the church, God's people. We can build our ministry on self-effort, human ingenuity, fads and gimmicks, what Paul describes here as the building materials of ''wood, hay or straw'' (3:12), or we can build our ministry on substance, lasting biblical foundations that make a real difference in the lives of people, what Paul describes as the building materia ...

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