1Corinthians 3:10-15 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
‘Master-builder’ [Greek: architekton] architect. The plan belonged to God, but the execution of the plan was entrusted to Paul and the other apostles who were commissioned to write the Word of God so that we in this era can live according to it.
‘But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon.’ Let every man be careful to teach the same doctrines that Paul has preached and ask no practice contrary to them.
‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ Christ, not Peter, is the only foundation of His body upon which people must build (Eph. 2:19-22).
‘Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble …’ This is the 2nd New Testament prophecy in 1Corinthians and is unfulfilled. Works are compared to these materials – some become more pure in the fire and others are completely burned up by fire. Fire will try every man’s works. If his are gold, silver, and precious stones they will abide the fire and he will receive a reward for his works. If they are wood, hay, and stubble his works will be burned up, yet he himself will be saved from loss of his soul (3:12-15).
The judgment of believers’ works will consist of the following: Subjects: believers (Rom. 14:1-23; 2Cor. 5:10; Gal. 6:8; Eph. 6:8; Col. 3:24). Time: between the rapture and the second coming (Luke 14:14). Place: in heaven (9:24-27; Rom. 14:10; 2Cor. 5:10). Basis: works, both good and bad (3:11-15; 2Cor. 5:10; Rom. 2:6; 14:1-23; Col. 3:1-25; Matt. 16:27; 2Tim. 4:14). Result: reward or loss of reward, but never the loss of one’s soul for any wrongdoings properly confessed and forgiven (3:11-15). This judgment deals with the believer as a servant (Rom. 14:1-23; 2Cor. 5:10, 11).
Believers will be judged concerning: Doctrines (Rom. 2:14-16; 14:1-23); conduct to others (Matt. 18:1-35; Rom. 14:1-23); carnal traits (Col. 3:1-25; Rom. 1-2; 8:1-13; 14:1-23); words (Matt. 12:32-37; Rom. 14:1-23); things that affect others: slander, quarrels, idle words, foolishness (folly), dishonesty, broken promises, wrong dealings, etc. (Rom. 1:29-32; 12:1-21; 14:1-23; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:1-25; Eph. 4:1-32; 5:1-33); things that affect themselves: neglected opportunities, talents wasted, loose living, lack of spirituality, etc. (Rom. 2:14-16; Heb. 2:1-4; Gal. 5:1-26; 6:1-10; Col. 3:1-25); things that affect God: refusal to walk in the light, disobedience, rejection, failure to cooperate and yield to the Spirit, etc. (Rom. 12:1-21; 1Cor. 12:1-31; Eph. 4:1-32; 5:1-33). ‘He shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.’ A man will suffer loss if his works are burned (3:15), or not suffer loss if they are not burned (3:14). He himself will be saved, if he is in Christ, regardless of what happens to his works (3:13-15).