Good Contractors


We all know how important a solid and level foundation is to any building. The Apostle Paul employed the analogy of construction in the third chapter of 1 Corinthians. There, we’ll find lessons for all of us, whether we are employed in the building trades or not. The apostle told the Christians in Corinth that his sharing the gospel with them was like the work of a skilled contractor. “I have laid the foundation like an expert builder.” (1 Corinthians 3:10). He goes on to explain that the foundation he laid was Jesus Christ.

Like anyone knows, simply having a good foundation is only the beginning of the building process. It is also very important how one builds on that foundation. Do they use good quality materials or do they cut corners and use cheaper, lower quality ones? Paul informed them (and us) that one day the Lord Himself will judge the quality of the building we have constructed.

The apostle’s comments raise two questions in my mind. One, is he talking about building in his own life, or is he talking about building into the lives of other Christians? Two, how can a person know whether he is building with good materials or shoddy ones?

One, I think the answer to this question is BOTH. At the moment you received Christ, Jesus became the foundation of your life. In the years since, you have had to make an effort to grow in your Christian experience. You have also had the responsibility to build up other believers in Christ. 

Two, Paul identified our building materials as either “gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.” (1 Corinthians 3:12). The Lord is going to test the quality of our construction with fire. Three of those materials will endure the flame; three will not. 

This judgment is not to determine who goes to Heaven. That issue was secured the moment you received Christ. This judgment has to do with REWARDS. “The fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Corinthians 3:13–15)  

Our partners are using gold, silver, and jewels as they minister to orphans, widows, and the marginalized. You know they are using these high-quality materials because their actions arise out of gratitude for the Lord and His salvation. Paul’s instruction is true of them, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23–24)  

The wood, hay, and straw are works that tear others down or are done to be seen by others. “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” (Matthew 6:1–2). Our partners are not caring for others to be seen and applauded.  

Your donations are building on the foundation of Christ in our partners’ lives and in those to whom they minister. Thank you.

Marlon Furtado

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