Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 3

The true test of a church leaderís work

1 Corinthians 3:14-15

It is a great responsibility to be a church leader (James 3:1). Many church leaders worry whether they are teaching the right things in their churches. Even Paul had felt this kind of fear (Galatians 2:2). It was not just a fear of whether he was wasting his time. It was also a fear of whether other people were suffering as a result.

There has to be a test of a church leaderís work. God lives in his people, so church leaders are in fact building the house of God (3:16-17). Only the most precious materials belong in Godís house. Godís house must be perfect in every way if it is to be fit and proper for God to live there.

But, of course, church leaders are not perfect, and their work has many weaknesses. So God allows a test that, like fire, removes those weaknesses.

For some church leaders, that test will bring about the loss of almost all their work. They will see that they taught their own ideas, and not Godís word (the Bible). They will understand that they did not teach people to trust Christ. They will know that their work for God was weak and unsatisfactory. But still, if they themselves have sincerely trusted in Christ, God will save them. Their loss will be great, but they will still have their own relationship with Christ.

But other church leaders genuinely study and teach Godís word. They constantly urge people to trust Christ. They may only have small churches, and other people may not consider them successful. But at Godís judgement, their work will last. And God will have a wonderful reward for them.

Next part: Christians are holy; God lives in them (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.