A Clay Jar

Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

Can You Take It with You?

1 Corinthians 3:14-15

Published on:

Last updated on:

If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. If someone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

1 Corinthians 3:14-15 NET

You may have heard the expression, “You can’t take it with you!” It expresses that everything is left behind when we die and leave this life. Nothing will accompany me beyond the grave. But is that true?

In 1 Corinthians 3:9-15, Paul compares the church to a building built on the foundation of Christ. And each believer is involved in its construction. We might build with valuable, high-quality materials like gold, silver, and precious stones. Or we might be building with lower-quality materials like wood, hay, or straw.

In a typical construction project, the builders are distinct from what they are building. But that is not true with the church. I am helping to construct the building, but I am also a part of it. I am a brick used in the construction of Christ’s church. And the quality of my life impacts the quality of the church.

What Am I Building With?

So, what kind of brick am I? One made of gold? Or one made of straw? Does my life as a believer glorify God and build up his church? If so, I am building with gold, silver, or precious stones. But if my life is lived primarily for myself, and the church is no better off for my being a part of it, then I am building with wood, hay, or straw.

This discussion of building on the foundation of Christ closes with a warning that what I have built will be tested on the Day of Christ when “each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (Rom. 14:12). If what I have built survives that fire of testing, there will be a reward. But if what I have built is consumed, I will be saved but will suffer loss.

Yes, You Can Take It with You

Returning to the opening question, “Can we take anything with us?”, the answer is yes. My physical possessions and whatever else this world values will stay behind. But when I build with gold, silver, or precious stones, living a life that honors God and builds up Christ’s church, what I have built will survive. It comes with me, along with the reward of hearing my master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:23).

Additional Related Posts

If you have found value in this post, please consider sharing it with your friends.

Subscribe to A Clay Jar

If you have found value in this post, please consider subscribing to A Clay Jar so that you don't miss any other posts. 

Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

Leave a Comment