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1 Cor. 3:13-15
What motivates you to serve God?
1 Cor. 3:13-15 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 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. [KJV]
Believers MUST build on Christ, NOT on any other person or principle. Christ will evaluate believers at the Judgment Seat (“the Day”) and will reveal the sincerity of each person’s work. He will determine whether or not we have been faithful to His instructions. Good work will be rewarded; unfaithful or inferior work will be discounted. The builder will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames, meaning that unfaithful workers will be saved, but will be like people escaping from a burning building. (Escape by the skin of their teeth, as the old expression goes). All their possessions (accomplishments) will be lost. Only what we do for Christ will stand. I truly do believe Once Saved, Always Saved. I am speaking of those who are really saved, who truly do believe God (1 John 5:10-13), and have trusted Jesus as their Saviour, and believe that He died on the cross for their sins. Only God knows if a person is sincere. SO many people claim to be "Christian" but live like the devil's child (1 John 3:10).
Matthew 6:20-21 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [KJV]
EVERY man's work, EVERY person shall be judged on what they did for Christ. The day . . . of the Lord (1 Cor. 1:8; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Thes. 5:4). Judgment Day. Declare it . . . "make it clear" (1 Cor. 4:4). It shall be revealed by fire . . . it = every man's work. The fire is symbolic here, as is the gold, hay. It is NOT purgatory as Rome teaches. This fire is not till the last day, the supposed fire of purgatory begins at death. The fire of the day is to try the works of people. The fire of purgatory supposedly tries the persons. The fire causes "loss" to the sufferers; Rome's purgatory, great gain, namely, heaven at last to those purged by it, IF only it were true. Thus this passage, quoted by Rome, is altogether against, purgatory.
Abide = survives the testing fire (Mat.3:11-12). Which he hath built thereupon - - - the Foundation on which we should build is Christ!
Reward = "crown of rejoicing" (2 Cor. 1:14; Phil. 2:16; 1 Thes. 2:19).
If . . . be burned . . . work that consists of such materials as the fire will destroy. Suffer loss - - - that is, forfeit the special "reward"; NOT that he shall lose salvation. Salvation is an absolutely free gift, NOT a "reward" or wages. He still remains on the Foundation (Rom.6:23; 1 Cor. 3:12; 2 John 6).
Saved; yet so as by fire - - - rather, "so as through fire" (Zech. 3:2; Amos 4:11; Jude 23). "Saved, yet not without fire" . . . we ALL shall be tested! Our building, NOT our foundation, may be consumed by fire, depending on what we did or did not do for the cause of Jesus! All TRUE believers, all TRUE children of God shall escape, but very possibly with much loss of his work. Just as a shipwrecked merchant, though he has lost his merchandise, is saved, though having to pass through the waves. Malachi 3:1-2; 4:1 explains the imagery. EVERY part of the building which will not withstand that judgment fire shall be consumed. The builders will escape with personal salvation . . . eternal life in Heaven, but many will lose their work . . . AND rewards that they could have had, in the midst of the fire.
2 Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. [KJV] At the Judgment Seat of Christ, only TRUE believers will appear. Christ will NOT be judging believer’s sins, for He FULLY atoned for them on the cross. This special judgment is to see whether you are going to receive a reward or lose one you could have had.
Paul is writing to believers. Every born again believer will be judged, that we may receive the things done in the body. We all will be judged on the way we lived the Christian life. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in our bodies. When we enter into His awesome Presence, we will NOT have these old bodies. We will have new glorified bodies. The question Christ will ask is how we used these bodies. How did we live? Will we be ashamed? Yes, I would want to say each of us will have shame as we stand before this awesome Judge.
Passages mentioned above.
Amos 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Zech. 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? (KJV)
Matthew 3:11-12 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (KJV)
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
2 Cor. 1:14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. (KJV)
1 Cor.3:11-13 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. (KJV)
1 Thes. 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (KJV)
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (KJV)
1 John 5:10-13 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (KJV)
2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (KJV)
Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (KJV)
Difficult or Confusing Bible Verses
1 Cor.3:13-15, What Motivates Us?
1 Cor.chapter 5, Should the Church Judge?
1 John 3:9, God's Child Cannot Sin . . . ???
1 John 5:4-5, Overcoming By Faith
1 John 5:16 . . . A Sin Unto Death???
1 John 5:18-20, Those Born of God Sinneth Not
1 Thes.5:23, Man's Trinity
2 Cor.2:14-17, Savour of Death, Savour of Life?
2 Thes.2:10-12, Those Left Behind
Col.3:12-17, How Believers Are To Live
Daniel 7:13-14, Christ in His Glory
Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel's 70 Weeks
Ecclesiastes 9:5-10, NO Soul Sleep
Genesis 3:15, Seed of the Woman
Genesis 6:1-2, Sons of God
Hebrews 6:4-9, Can a TRUE Christian Fall from Grace?
Hebrews 10:26, Do NOT Reject Christ!
Isaiah 53:4-5, By His Stripes We Are Healed!
John 6:47-58, Eating the Flesh and Blood of Jesus
John 15:1-6, Unfruitful Branches Burned?
Mark 3:28-29, The Unpardonable Sin?
Matthew Chapter 13, Mystery Parables of Jesus
Matthew 16:19, Keys to Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 5:48, Being Perfect?
Matthew 7:21-23, Not Every One Goes to Heaven
Matthew 7:6, Cast Not Your Pearls before Swine!
* * * * Matthew 22:36-40, Believers' TWO Commandments * * * *
Matthew 23:13-30, Woes of Hypocrites