|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:10-15 The apostle was a wise master-builder; but the grace of God made him such. Spiritual pride is abominable; it is using the greatest favours of God, to feed our own vanity, and make idols of ourselves. But let every man take heed; there may be bad building on a good foundation. Nothing must be laid upon it, but what the foundation will bear, and what is of a piece with it. Let us not dare to join a merely human or a carnal life with a Divine faith, the corruption of sin with the profession of Christianity. Christ is a firm, abiding, and immovable Rock of ages, every way able to bear all the weight that God himself or the sinner can lay upon him; neither is there salvation in any other. Leave out the doctrine of his atonement, and there is no foundation for our hopes. But of those who rest on this foundation, there are two sorts. Some hold nothing but the truth as it is in Jesus, and preach nothing else. Others build on the good foundation what will not abide the test, when the day of trail comes. We may be mistaken in ourselves and others; but there is a day coming that will show our actions in the true light, without covering or disguise. Those who spread true and pure religion in all its branches, and whose work will abide in the great day, shall receive a reward. And how great! how much exceeding their deserts! There are others, whose corrupt opinions and doctrines, or vain inventions and usages in the worship of God, shall be made known, disowned, and rejected, in that day. This is plainly meant of a figurative fire, not of a real one; for what real fire can consume religious rites or doctrines? And it is to try every man's works, those of Paul and Apollos, as well as others. Let us consider the tendency of our undertakings, compare them with God's word, and judge ourselves, that we be not judged of the Lord.
Verse 14. - If any man's work shall abide. St. Paul is speaking primarily of teachers, though, of course, his words apply by analogy to all believers. He shall receive a reward. One of the teacher's rewards will be his converts (1 Thessalonians 2:19), who will be "his joy and crown of glorying" (Philippians 2:16); another will be "a crown of glory that fadeth not away" (1 Peter 5:2, 4; Daniel 12:3); yet another will be fresh opportunities for higher labour (Matthew 25:23).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If any man's work abide,.... That is, if any minister's doctrine will bear the test of daylight, to be looked into, and abide the fire of the word; as gold, silver, and precious stones will, or such doctrines as are comparable to them, which will shine the brighter for being tried by this fire:
which he hath built thereupon; upon the foundation Christ, in entire consistence with, and proportion to it, and highly becoming it:
he shall receive a reward; either from the churches of Christ here, who shall honour and respect him for his faithful labours in the ministry; or from Christ hereafter, who will say, well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. abide—abide the testing fire (Mt 3:11, 12).
which he hath built thereupon—which he built on the foundation.
reward—wages, as a builder, that is, teacher. His converts built on Christ the foundation, through his faithful teaching, shall be his "crown of rejoicing" (2Co 1:14; Php 2:16; 1Th 2:19).
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