1 Corinthians 3:14-16—If any man’s work abide which he hath 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. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
The Corinthian church had divided into factions over who was the best instructor. Paul is telling them that the value of a person’s life will be revealed on the Day of Judgment. On that day, everyone’s work will be tested by fire. We think someone has done so many things for God, but when the fire hits, what will be left? The fire tests the motive and therefore the ultimate lasting value of the work done. Fire reveals the source of the work. That which was initiated by the Spirit and done in the power of the Spirit will be lasting. Paul compared the church to a building and a field. We all labor in it in one way or another. The point he is making is that not all labor is lasting. Some of us will arrive in heaven with nothing to show for our life on earth. We have been saved by the blood of the Lamb, but we did absolutely nothing of lasting value about it. All the work we did was out of our own nature and for the impure motive of pride. We scratched around in the field and banged on the building, but we never really invested in eternity. Jesus warned us to lay up treasures for ourselves in heaven. Those who do so will find the reward was well worth the investment we made. God’s interest rates are fantastic. We have something of value to gratefully lay at the wounded feet of our Savior. He will return those treasures to us, for He said, “Lay up for yourselves…” We are the temple of God. We are His building. Are you letting Him direct your activity? Are you a house of worship? How we listen to and obey the Spirit within us is directly proportional to our treasure in heaven. These thoughts in the verses above are together for a reason. Don’t neglect to listen to the Spirit. Quench not the Spirit. Don’t let His abiding presence be in vain.