According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me, like a skillful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation, and now another [man] is building upon it. But let each [man] be careful how he builds upon it, 1 Corinthians 3:10 (AMP)
We all would do well to take heed to what the Apostle Paul is telling us here. Let me see if I can briefly break it down:
1) God gives us Grace to accomplish tasks: According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me. It seems pretty simple to me I can do nothing outside of the things God has set aside for me to do. Well let me state that better, I cannot do them well or to His glory. I certainly can strike out on my own and mess things up.
2) A Sure Foundation is Key: I laid [the] foundation, as any good builder knows without a sure (rock solid) foundation everything built above it is a waste of time and resources. While the symbolism to construction is obvious equally important is Paul’s meaning of a rock solid “doctrinal” foundation. What do you believe? Does it stand up to the scrutiny of scripture (Hebrews 4:12-13)? I was reminded today in Sunday School of John’s warning in 1 John 2:19-21. There he states clearly that it is a solid foundation that prevents us from being deceived by the false teachers and prophets of this world (anti-Christs) that Satan uses. He goes on to say we know the truth, how only though a foundation of solid doctrinal teaching. Yet so many today are afraid of doctrine they believe it somehow makes them narrow mined and dogmatic Well I have news for you Our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus was the most dogmatic person ever, (John 14:6). This also applies to everything in our lives do we go it alone each day or do we put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) establishing our personal foundation?
3) How Important is Your Foundation To Others: now another [man] is building upon it. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Many times especially in FBM we have many teams that partner on builds. Paul says they will build upon it but what will they be building? I think it important here to know your part. If you are doing the foundation do it rightly to the Glory of God. If someone else will continue the build your job then becomes to pray for the continuation of the work. In most cases you cannot control the follow on build but God can. This applies equally in non-construction scenarios. You maybe the one to make first contact with someone and share the Gospel, you lay the foundation. Yet it maybe days, weeks, months or years later that The Holy Spirit sends the one person along that makes the final difference that builds upon your foundation.
4) Paul’s Final Warning: let each [man] be careful how he builds upon it. Paul leaves us with a final word of caution. The term “be careful” translated from the Greek “Blepo” meaning to take heed, beware, discern, etc. In other words it is our responsibility to ensure not only that we are building (using God’s gifts) but where we are building. Are we building our own personal faith (Philippians 2:12) on solid biblical doctrine or modern feel good (I call it ‘Burger King Theology’ because they all want God their way). I also believe Paul is warning us to be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) before we start building upon someone else work. Are you building upon a biblically sound foundation? If not are you working for God or yourself?