Christ Has Given You A Foundation For Life

Text: 1 corinthians 3:9-16 Speaker: Festival: Passages: 1 corinthians 3:9-16

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1 corinthians 3:9-16

For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled1 master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you2 are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?


[1] 3:10 Or wise
[2] 3:16 The Greek for you is plural in verses 16 and 17


The foundation has been laid

Today we celebrate the graduation of our young people. In them a foundation has been laid for life. For what foundation? And who has laid this foundation? And what will you build upon that foundation?

Your parents and teachers and pastors have labored to lay a foundation but in reality this foundation is not the doings of man but of God. In first Corinthians 3:9 Paul says we are sunergon, fellow workers with the Lord. It is his work that he does through us. Paul says God’s workers, God’s field, God’s building. This is what we heard in our readings as well the giving of the Holy Spirit, who is the helper, who works through us to accomplish his will.

Often when we have worked hard at a thing, we make the mistake of thinking that it is not miraculous, that it is not the Lord’s doing, after all I put in the effort. But rather than being less miraculous it is more miraculous. Not only that God would do this thing but that he would use us in our sinfulness, in our weakness and despite our pride to accomplish it.

Consider the example of Ezekiel in our text. He preached to those dry bones, but that labor was nothing. It was not he who gave the bones life but God working through him. So also, it is this day. We are God’s worker but the power is of God who worked through us and you and all the others who are graduating this year.

This is the very promise that he gave long ago through Isaiah the prophet.

Isa 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.

Just as Ezekiel preached and the breath of the Lord gave life to those bones so also the breath of the Lord has given to you and all of us life. That same breath has laid a foundation in your heart. A foundation of math, and history and grammar yes, but far more importantly a foundation of Christ.  A foundation on which you can build your life.

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

No other foundation is possible.

Through us Christ has given you life and laid a foundation a foundation for your life.

He has given you not just a foundation but the only foundation that is possible. The only foundation that is strong enough not only to build a life here but to give life after death.

1 Corinthians 3:11 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Some will attempt to convince you that there are better foundations to build upon. Just as Paul says in

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men,

There are those who will attempt to convince you to make science the foundation of your life. They will claim for example that science is the only path to know truth. But they ignore the fact that science is only a tool for us to explore. It can help us to understand earthly process. It can not reveal truth or judge morality.

There are those who will claim experience as the source of truth. I experienced this so I know this truth. But the experiences of this sinful world do not reveal eternal truth. All we experience on this earth is sin and anger and hatred. None of us have stood like Moses on the top of the mountain and seen the glory of God. We have not experienced God’s righteousness. Our experiences are sin and following experience will lead to more sin.

Others will claim the foundation of all things is your own reason. Test all things they will say. Reject all preconceived notions they will say. But they also ignore that man’s mind is sinful and selfish, and reason will more often lead us to what we already want to hear rather than truth.

But we and you have the foundation of Christ

Mat 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

 Experiences change often, human reason is often inadequate and wrong, and science can do nothing more than the abilities of those who use it. But the foundation of Christ is a foundation that Hell itself can not stand against.

Act 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Others will try many different foundations, but they will all fail, Christ alone is a foundation on which we can stand.

You Are God’s Temple

Because you have this foundation and because you know that it is God who gave you this foundation you can be confident that he will finish what he has started.

Phi 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

As Paul says in verse 15 of our text. You are God’s temple.

Earlier on as we the CLC did mission work in Africa, desiring to help the people of Nigeria, we built many churches. But we found later that because we built it, we were expected to maintain and keep it. Later, we did not build, although we would often give some aid, so that they would build it themselves and building it themselves would also maintain and keep it.

You are God’s temple and what God has built God will keep.

We are only God’s helpers. It is God who built this foundation in you and it is God who will complete what He has started.  Jesus warns us about what is to come but we do not need to fear it.

John 14:27  27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

This peace is ours because we know that foundation on which our life is built, namely that our sins are forgiven because he died and rose again. Without that truth we would live our lives in constant fear. All our sins continually rising in front of us and following. But built on Christ we have the forgiveness and having forgiveness we have peace. This is also why Christ is the only possible foundation because it is the only one which offers any solution to our own sin.

Therefore, with the firm foundation of Christ and knowing that he will finish in you the work that he started. Graduates go forth in the peace of Christ and live your life to Christ, who redeemed by his blood and made you sons of the kingdom.