What Are You Building?

11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 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. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3 (NIV) 11-15

This describes the “Bema” or “judgment seat of Christ” which is a place where our works will be assessed. It is not about salvation, but about what we have done with Christ, how we have built on the foundation Jesus has laid for us.

The concept of the Bema Seat comes from the ancient Olympics, where a judge would sit on the Bema Seat at the finish line to determine placement of participants in an event.

How will Jesus judge our works on the foundation he has laid in our lives? We must ask ourselves, have we matured to solid food in our walk with Jesus or are we still drinking milk (Cor 3:2) as babies in Christ.

We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that once we have repented of our past sins and given ourselves to Christ that we are to stay at that place. We are to build on the solid foundation put in place in our hearts by Jesus.

Putting it simply we are not saved from damnation in hell by our works or what we do – we are saved through grace by faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). But on the contrary, we are expected to grow in our faith in Jesus and that is demonstrated by our actions, how we relate to others and what we deem important. We must build on our lives in Jesus.

Everything we do from now until we die is part of that building process, it is either building on the foundation of Christ or constructing on meaningless worldly slabs. Stuff that will burn up such as dry grass is our empty words or selfish actions based on misplaced motives. For example if we show kindness to someone only because someone else expects it from us that would be a wrong motive. Kindness has to come from our own heart.

If we act with kindness because Jesus through the Holy Spirit has prompted us we are building on Christ’s foundation with a priceless stone. In this case we will act the same way regardless of who was watching.

Here are the questions that cry out to us: What are we doing for the Kingdom of God? Are we building on the bedrock in ourselves, in our communities and in the world the way the Bible outlines?

2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. Malachi 3:2

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