Friday, March 20, 2015

Building according to grace

"According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done." 1 Corinthians 3:10-13 (NRSV)

In verse 10, the apostle Paul says “According to the grace of God given to me,….” The word “according,” is defined in Strong’s Concordance with many different meanings, and three interesting meanings are “down from” , “authority”, and “against.” God’s grace comes “down from” God to Paul, and the fact that it comes from God gives grace authority over Paul. It is grace that has given Paul the skill and knowledge to lay a foundation.

Paul goes on to say that no one can lay a foundation other than the foundation that has already been laid—Jesus Christ. The authority of grace allows us to lay the foundation of Christ skillfully, like a master builder because God has designed the entire building, and trained us to build it to His exacting specifications—Christ.

Paul recognizes that not everyone will lay the foundation, but each contribution to the building of the kingdom is worthwhile. What we build upon this foundation is important, and will be tested “against” grace on the “Day” when Christ, the grace of God, will judge us.