Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.
That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.
Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.
Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.
Our seventh blog post will begin with passage 7, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw–
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.
If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Is Paul referring to all of humanity in this passage?
How about every Christian in this passage?
Or might Paul be referring to leaders in the church as the “one laying a foundation?
Many times the New Testament speaks of the apostles as foundations of the church, and as those who laid a foundation. Just one verse before Mr. Giles suggested passage above, we find the reference to one laying a foundation, namely Paul the apostle. Could he be referring to himself, and his fellow apostles, as the topic of this passage?
I tend to think that he is specifically referring to his peers in this instance, and that when the Day arrives, the work (of building the early church) will show if the apostles perform faithfully.
After all, Paul speaks of the fire testing “one’s work”, and that the test will reveal the type of work, that is on the foundation. The foundation is not in discussion here, it is the superstructure, the church as a body, that is the object under investigation. The church built on the foundation will be tested.
The church in Corinth had leadership issues, struggling with Paul’s apostleship. Paul was speaking of the worth of the work he had done, and in a sideways manner, spoke of his work as worthy of the testing. Some may build with cheaper material – that is the builders decision, yet the fire will come and test each builders material.
But look – great news – both builders will be saved. Those who built on the foundation with good materials, and those who built on the foundation with bad materials.
I am not sure this passage supports the teaching Mr. Giles suggests, since it appears that the topic is Christian leadership and the testing of it’s quality. Note that this is a rewards passage (vs 14), and the only ones referred to in the passage are the ones that build on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
What are your thoughts? Share your opinion below and lets chat!
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.