The Perishable from the Imperishable
1 Corinthians 3:12-15
Now if any man build on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;…

One man writes a big book about baptism, and says it means "immersion," and winds up by thanking God that, whatever other men have thought fit to believe, he has had grace enough to take up his cross and follow Christ! Another man writes another big book and says it is not immersion, and thanks God, if he has only been sprinkled, he is not so uncharitable as some people! And then they read each others' books, and "vain janglings" follow, as the apostle calls them, "whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, and perverse disputings." "Stubble!" Every inch of it. For all purposes of profit to the kingdom of Christ — worthless. The fire shall consume their books and the injury will be, not to Christ, depend upon it, but to themselves. "If any man's work shall be burned he shall suffer loss," &c. I was asked if I thought Roman Catholics would be saved. "Saved!" Assuredly, if they believe Christ died to save them. "But they practise auricular confession; they offer prayers for the dead; they celebrate the mass; they invoke the saints; they pay homage to the Pope." Undoubtedly; and as we believe, unhappily and unlawfully, they do. But if they believe in Christ, is all this to imperil their salvation? Is not this the "wood, hay, and stubble" of their false systems in God's estimation, and useless for every purpose of progress or consolidation in the operations of the Church? These, with other phases of error — some of them peculiar to Protestantism — the "fire" will reveal; and they shall perish, and their removal will prove them to have been human in their origin, and innovations upon the truth of God. But the "truth," and the one embodiment of that truth as it shall be seen in a purified and finished Church, shall remain unmoved. Gold, silver, precious stones! Faith, love, zeal! No fire shall effect these. They are invulnerable. The removing of those things that are shaken as of things that are made shall prove the strength and solidity of those things which could be shaken and which shall remain. "Therefore, receiving a kingdom which cannot be removed, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire."

(S. Holmes.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

WEB: But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble;

The Losses of the Saved
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