- In 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Paul talks about two categories of works: wood,
hay, and straw; and silver, gold, and precious stones. Explain the
difference between these two categories of works.
- Paul also states in this passage that these two categories will be tested
by fire in the day of judgment. Which aspects of our works will survive the
- Why shouldn't we fear getting to know the Holy Spirit personally?
- Why is it we cannot separate ourselves from the Holy Spirit in our
relating to Jesus?
- What is the key to effective ministry outreach and release?
Paul states in the 1 Corinthians 3:10-15,
"According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master
builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man
be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the
one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
"Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious
stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day
will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will
test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built
upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he
shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."
Paul States in this passage of Scripture that there is no other foundation
besides Jesus Christ that gets us into heaven, but Jesus has more in mind than
just getting us saved. Jesus has works for us to do. Paul states in another
passage of Scripture,
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should
boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which
God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Eph 2:8-10).
Being that we are no longer under the Law of the letter, what are these works
that Jesus wants us to build upon the foundation of the cross? What is gold,
silver, and precious stones? And what is wood, hay, and straw? Paul tells us in
another passage of Scripture,
"Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming
from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as
servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit;
for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death,
in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could
not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading
as it was, how shall the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with
glory?" (2 Cor 3:5-8).
Wood, hay, and straw is anything we do out of our intellect or feelings, our
soul; or our appetites and desires, our flesh. it is also anything we might do
out of legalism as related to the Law. Gold, silver, and precious stones are
those things that we do motivated out of love relationship with Jesus through
the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit through our spirit.
In the day of the judgment of believers, the only thing that we will have to
show for our lives, other than our salvation through putting our trust in Jesus
Christ and what He did on the cross and that alone to save us, is what we did or
spoke out of the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit. For this reason,
coming to know and understanding the person, nature, and work of the Holy
Spirit and what our relationship to Him is to be as related to our relationship
to Jesus, is paramount, of greatest importance, to be effective and fruitful in
the Christian life.
Jesus said in John, "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much
fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." (John 15:8). We are being Jesus’
disciples when we are submitting ourselves to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The writer Jamie Buckingham states that the Holy Spirit is, ". . . the
character of Jesus Christ, the holiness of God, the prime mover of the
Only what the Holy Spirit is doing is going to remain on the day of judgment
because the Holy Spirit came not to do His own will, but that of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said about the Holy Spirit,
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the
truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He
will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. he shall glorify Me;
for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you." (John 16:13-14).
Because the Holy Spirit represents only Jesus’ instructions to Him, if we
are to be effective in ministry, outside of what God clearly commands us to do
in His Word, we should not move out or do anything unless we are sure that the
Holy Spirit has revealed Jesus’ will in the matter concerned about first.
Kathryn Kuhlman shares in a sermon which was the key sermon
that opened the door that led to the success of her ministry in the years that
"I see in my mind the three persons of the Trinity
sitting down at a great conference table before the formation of the earth ever
took place. God, the Holy Father, gave the others the news that even though He
would create men to have fellowship with Him, that man would sin--and break that
fellowship. The only way fellowship could be restored would be for someone to
pay the price for that sin. For if another did not pay it, then man himself
would have to continue to pay the price in unhappiness, disease, death, and
"After the Holy Father finished sharing, His Son Jesus
spoke up and said, ‘I’ll go. I’ll take the form of a man and go down to
earth to pay that price. I’ll be willing to die on a cross so that man can be
restored to perfect fellowship with us.’
"Then Jesus turned to the Holy Spirit and said, ‘But I
cannot go unless you go with me--for you are the one with the power.’
"The Holy Spirit responded and said, ‘You go ahead.
And when the time is right, I shall join you on earth.’
"So Jesus came to earth, born in a manger, and grew to
manhood. But, even though He was the very Son of God, He was powerless. Then
came that magnificent moment at the River Jordan when Jesus, coming up out of
the baptismal waters, looked up and saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Him in
the form of a dove. It must have been one of the greatest thrills Jesus received
as He walked in the flesh on this earth. And I can almost hear the Holy Spirit
whisper in His ear, ‘I’m here now. We’re running right on schedule. Now
things will really happen.’
"And they did happen. Filled with the Spirit, He was
suddenly empowered to heal the sick cause the blind to see even raise the dead.
. . ."10/103
The Holy Spirit is the ministry work of Jesus and so our
focus and attention needs to be on what the Holy Spirit is doing. Anything
outside of what the Holy Spirit is doing is wood, hay, and straw and will be
burned up with fire on the judgment day of believers, though the believer
himself will be saved because he put his trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Focus on the Holy Spirit is focus on Jesus and
Jesus-dependence, because the Holy Spirit only acts or speaks out of the
initiative of Jesus. If we are going to glorify the Father and bear much fruit
for Jesus, then we are going to have to learn how to hear and know the Holy
Spirit’s voice and get completely in tune with who the Holy Spirit is and what
he is doing, because only what the Holy Spirit is doing is glorifying the Father
and bearing fruit for Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the ministry work of Jesus and
our key to effective ministry outreach and release.
We need have no fear of getting to know personally the Holy
Spirit and associating with what the Holy Spirit is doing, because the Holy
Spirit only speaks and acts out of the initiative of Jesus. Because this is
true, getting to know and associating with the Holy Spirit is literally getting
to know and associating with Jesus Christ himself, because the Holy Spirit is
sent by Jesus Himself and only represents Jesus and His Character.
Jesus is the answer to our needs. We go to Jesus with our
needs, but Jesus’ mailman with the answer to those needs is the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, to not recognize the Holy Spirit and to not open ourselves up to the
Holy Spirit is to quite literally reject Jesus Christ himself and to greatly
hinder Jesus’ answer to our needs in relation to ourselves, God, and others.
You cannot separate Jesus from the Holy Spirit. They are a working team and we
cannot be successful in our walk with Jesus without relating to both.
The goal of Evangelism is to bring Jesus to the world and to
show man his need of Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus said in the Gospel of John,
"No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will
raise him up on the last day." (John 6:44). How does the Father draw people
to Jesus? Jesus said in another passage in the Gospel of John,
"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that
I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I
go, I will send Him to you. And he, when He comes, will convict the world
concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do
not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and
you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this
world has been judged." (John 16:7-11).
The helper is the Holy Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit who
convicts men of their sin and their need of Jesus. If we are to be most
effective in Evangelism then we need to know what the Holy Spirit is doing and
saying to individuals and in groups so that we can be sure that what we say
confirms what is being said by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus does not need us to save the world. In fact the prophet
Isaiah states that, ". . . all our righteous deeds are like a filthy
garment." (Is 64:6). When we try through our own reasoning to reach the
world for Jesus, we produce wood, hay and straw and get more in the way of Jesus’
purpose than become a help. When sharing the gospel, we can help Jesus by
finding out what His Holy Spirit wants us to say and do in our individual
witnessing situations to bring men to a place of acknowledging Jesus as Lord of
their lives and their need of Him as their Savior.
The Lord, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, states, "‘Woe
to the rebellious children,’ declares the Lord, ‘Who execute a plan but not
Mine, and make an alliance but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin.’"
(Isaiah 30:1). Isaiah states that anything that we do without the Holy
Spirit is sin. The Apostle Paul acknowledges this in the book of Romans
as well. He states, "But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his
eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin." (Rom
14:23). As outlined in Section
4, we know we are living by faith and being
led of Jesus’ Spirit when we are experiencing the fruit of the Spirit of love,
joy and peace in what we are doing, or of any of the other fruits of the Spirit
as outlined in the book of Galatians.19 When you are being led of the
Holy Spirit to do something, there will be no doubt in the rightness of what you
This does not mean that if we do not presently know what the
Holy Spirit is doing in our lives that it may mean Jesus may not be wanting to
use us in ministry outreach and release, whatever that will mean for the
individual. Sections 1 and
3 already did away with this myth, that there are
those who are called and there are those who are not called to seek and to save
the lost by drawing men to Jesus. We all, without exception, in whatever
capacity Jesus leads us, are called to do this work. What we are saying here is
not the question of whether or not we are, but while we are how He is wanting us
to respond to man’s response to the Gospel as we are sharing it with him.
Jesus wants us to look to Him to open our eyes to see how He is wanting to reach
out to the lost through us by opening our eyes to see how He is doing this
through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Once we recognize this, we
will then know what to do and say in each and all aspects of ministry. Obedience
to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives is the key to effective ministry
outreach and release.
Jesus said to His apostles and disciples recorded in the book
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has
come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea
and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8).
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity and absolute
prerequisite to be effective in ministry outreach and release.