A Solid Foundation (Part 4)

Please Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

1 Corinthians 3:11;14-15: “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ… If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1Cor 3:11, 14-15 NKJV)

Christ is the foundation and yet, as Paul goes on to explain, not all who build upon that foundation build with equal skill and glory. Some teachers are like those who build upon the foundation with gold and precious stones. They build a glorious temple to the Lord Jesus that will endure the judgment day. Other teachers build upon the foundation of salvation in Christ alone with materials like hay and straw. Paul does not speak here of false teachers, for false teachers cannot be said to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and is very clear in other places that they will not be personally saved if they lead others to hell. Rather these are they who, in the words of Matthew Henry, “…depart from the mind of Christ in many particulars, substitute their own fancies and inventions in the room of his doctrines and institutions” 

These are not false teachers, but poor and unprofitable teachers. Those who displace the glories of the risen Christ from the central place in the Christian Church and instead substitute it with something else. From politics to their own personal theological hobby horses, indeed anything at all that does not point to Christ and Him Crucified. James puts it like this saying, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment,” (Jam 3:1). A teacher is more accountable to both God and the congregation for what he says than someone who is not a teacher because any action that a Christian performs publicly requires more diligence. Teachers have a particular duty to muzzle their personal opinions and speak first and foremost of the glories of Christ, lest younger Christians get distracted or confused about which things are central in the Christian life.