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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:14

 

 

If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.

Adam Clarke Commentary

If any man's work abide - Perhaps there is here an allusion to the purifying of different sorts of vessels under the law. All that could stand the fire were to be purified by the fire; and those which could not resist the action of the fire were to be purified by water, Numbers 31:23. The gold, silver, and precious stones, could stand the fire; but the wood, hay, and stubble, must be necessarily consumed. So, in that great and terrible day of the Lord, all false doctrine, as well as the system that was to pass away, should be made sufficiently manifest; and God would then show that the Gospel, and that alone, was that system of doctrine which he should bless and protect, and none other.

He shall receive a reward - He has not only preached the truth, but he has labored in the word and doctrine. And the reward is to be according to the labor. See on 1 Corinthians 3:8; (note).


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

If any man‘s work abide … - If it shall appear that he hast taught the true doctrines of Christianity, and inculcated right practices and views of piety, and himself cherished right feelings: if the trial of the great Day, when the real qualities of all objects shall be known, shall show this.

He shall receive a reward - According to the nature of his work. See the note on 1 Corinthians 3:8. This refers, I suppose, to the proper rewards on the Day of Judgment, and not to the honors and the recompense which he may receive in this world. If all that he has taught and done shall be proved to have been genuine and pure, then his reward shall be in proportion.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

If any man's work shall abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

The fact that people do not fully understand this passage is implicit in the truth that some have built up the theory of purgatory, based partly on what is stated here. The whole concept of purgatory is foreign to the word of God, but the advocates of it are still deriving immense revenues through the preaching of it. Again from Macknight:

The Romish clergy, seeing that this doctrine properly managed, might be made an inexhaustible source of wealth to their order, have represented this fire of purgatory as lighted up from the very beginning of the world, and have kept it burning ever since, and have assumed to themselves the power of detaining souls in that fire, and of releasing them from it; whereby they have drawn great sums of money from the ignorant and superstitious.[23]

This writer is grieved to know that even now there are some, who were once baptized into Christ and served as elders of God's church, whose children are paying to get them prayed out of purgatory!

What this verse actually means is that the persons led to Christ through the efforts of any Christian may defect from the faith, proving themselves wood, hay or stubble, and that the loss of such souls will not affect the salvation of a Christian teacher, whose reward would in some manner unknown to us have been far greater if they had not defected, and whose salvation "so as through fire" is understood by such language to be only by the narrowest margin, "by the skin of his teeth" (Job 19:20).

Yet so as through fire ... has the meaning of "something resembling" an escape from fire, as in "snatching them out of the fire" (Jude 1:1:23); and it is certain that this phrase has absolutely nothing in it of actual fire. It is a figure of speech, prompted possibly by Paul's reference to the judgment and the fire of that day, but not to be identified as the same thing.

The doctrine of purgatory is not merely unscriptural and anti-scriptural, there being not one word in the entire scriptures to support such a monstrous thesis; but it is effectively refuted in a single question: "If any church believes in such a thing, and in their own power, through prayer, to deliver people from it; why do they not pray all people out of it immediately for sweet charity's sake?"

ENDNOTE:

[23] James Macknight, op. cit., p. 53.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-corinthians-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole 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.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

abide — abide the testing fire (Matthew 3:11, Matthew 3:12).

which he hath built thereupon — which he built on the foundation.

rewardwages, as a builder, that is, teacher. His converts built on Christ the foundation, through his faithful teaching, shall be his “crown of rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 1:14; Philemon 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:19).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

If any man‘s work shall abide (ει τινος το εργον μενειei tinos to ergon menei). Condition of the first class with future indicative, determined as fulfilled, assumed as true. When the fire has done its work, what is left? That is the fiery test that the work of each of us must meet. Suitable reward (Matthew 20:8) will come for the work that stands this test (gold, silver, precious stones)


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-corinthians-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

He shall receive a reward — A peculiar degree of glory. Some degree even the other will receive, seeing he held the foundation; though through ignorance he built thereon what would not abide the fire.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-corinthians-3.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

14.If any man’s work remains, he will receive a reward. His meaning is, that those are fools who depend on man’s estimation, so as to reckon it enough to be approved by men, for then only will the work have praise and recompense — when it has stood the test of the day of the Lord Hence he exhorts His true ministers to have an eye to that day. For by the word remains, he intimates that doctrines fly about as it were in an unsettled state, nay more, like empty bubbles, they glitter for the moment, until they have come to be thoroughly tested. Hence it follows, that we must reckon as nothing all the applauses of the world, the emptiness of which will in a very little be exposed by heaven’s judgment.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-3.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

reward

God, in the N.T. Scriptures, offers to the lost, salvation, and, for the faithful service of the saved, rewards. The passages are easily distinguished by remembering that salvation is invariably spoken of as a free gift (e.g.) John 4:10; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8; Ephesians 2:9 while rewards are earned by works; Matthew 10:42; Luke 19:17; 1 Corinthians 9:24; 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 2:10; Revelation 22:12.

A further distinction is that salvation is a present possession Luke 7:50; John 3:36; John 5:24; John 6:47, while rewards are a future attainment, to be given at the coming of the Lord; Matthew 16:27; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 22:12.

reward, 1 Corinthians 9:17; Daniel 12:3; 1 Corinthians 3:14


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/1-corinthians-3.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Ver. 14. If any man’s work abide] Error as glass is bright, but brittle, and cannot endure the hammer or fire, as gold can, which, though rubbed or melted, remains firm and orient.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

14.] If any man’s work shall remain (i.e. stand the fire,—being of inconsumable materials. μεν εῖ fut. (so latt syrr coptt), is better than the pres. of rec., as answering to εἰκατακαήσεται below), which he built on the foundation,—he shall receive wages (as a builder;—i.e. ‘shall be rewarded for his faithful and effectual work as a teacher’):


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-corinthians-3.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:14. εἰ τινος, if any man’s) Hence Paul is accustomed to promise glory to himself from the constancy of his brethren [hence also to derive exhortations], 2 Corinthians 1:14; Philippians 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:19.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-corinthians-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

If any preacher keeps the foundation, and the doctrine which he hath built upon the true foundation prove consonant to the will of Christ, God will reward him for his labour: he shall hear the voice saying: Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

If any man’s work abide; if his preaching and practice are approved, he shall receive a reward; a reward of grace.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-corinthians-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

14. μένει. Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort read μενεῖ, with the Vetus Lat. and the Peshito.

ἐποικοδόμησεν א ABD. C only supports the rec. reading ἐπῳκοδόμησεν. Winer (Pt II. § 12) remarks that authority preponderates in favour of the augment in the tenses of the simple verb. But he omits to notice the fact that in its compounds the practice is the contrary.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14. Abide—Unconsumed.

Built thereupon—Upon Christ, the true foundation; for those who build not on Christ but reject him, will not only suffer loss but be lost.

A reward—For him whom Christ is the foundation, good works are an investment with God. See note on Romans 3:27.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-corinthians-3.html. 1874-1909.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

14. If the work of any one which he has built upon it abides, he shall receive a reward.” You see here that regeneration is the foundation; neither of these representative characters becomes an apostate, because in that case the foundation would be destroyed, which is not true in the transaction here described. On the contrary, the foundation of each one abides, the difference being in the superstructure built on it. The one builds a superstructure consisting of gold, silver and precious stones, which are fire-proof and competent to endure all the seventies of God’s castigatory and scrutinizing judgments, not only in this life, but at the last day. While the other having the same foundation and hence just as good substratum on which to build as his neighbor, instead of using fire-proof materials, builds a house consisting of wood, hay and stubble, all of which are not only very evanescent, but exceedingly combustible. Therefore, in times of fiery trial, he finds his superstructure utterly incompetent to resist the flames. Hence it must go down in ashes, utterly incompetent to endure the seventies of the Divine judgments.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/1-corinthians-3.html.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:14. If any man’s work shall abide which he built thereupon—as being built of the incombustible materials and on the true foundation, and hence able to abide the fiery trial.

he shall receive a reward—with the welcome word of the Master Himself, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-corinthians-3.html. 1879-90.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Corinthians 3:14 If any man"s work shall abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

"shall abide"-while fire consumes wood, hay and stubble, it only is able to melt such things as gold and silver.

"he shall receive a reward"-Satisfaction and praise from God. (2 John 1:4; 3 John 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20; Philippians 2:14-16; Philippians 4:1). When we compare verses 14 and 15, this reward consists in something more than one"s own salvation.


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Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

abide. Greek. meno. See p. 1511.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-corinthians-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Abide - the testing fire (Matthew 3:11-12).

Which he hath built thereupon - on the foundation.

Reward - wages, as a builder. Converts built on Christ, the foundation, through, his faithfulness, shall be his "crown of rejoicing" (2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:19).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) This is the general application to Christian teachers of what has gone before. Those who have built well shall have their reward in their work having survived the trial of the fire; those who have built otherwise shall lose everything—their work, which should have remained as their reward, will perish in the fire—and they themselves will be as men who only make good their escape by rushing through a conflagration, leaving all that was theirs to be destroyed. (See Mark 9:49.)


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
8; 4:5; Daniel 12:3; Matthew 24:45-47; 25:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Peter 5:1,4; Revelation 2:8-11

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-corinthians-3.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

Survives the fire. [Some, misunderstanding and thinking the Day of Christ to mean the Judgment, have taught that both the righteous and wicked will be burned in the fires of hell (purgatory); the wicked burnt up, and the righteous made pure.] If the disciples he has taught are faithful when persecuted, he will receive the reward mentioned in Daniel 12:3. See also notes on Matthew 20:13-15.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:14". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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