Sunday, July 23, 2023

Can Straw Become Gold?

By Joe Slater
    Paul lived long before the Brothers Grim published their fairy tale about Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold. The apostle did, however, hold out hope that straw could be transformed into gold (not materially but spiritually).
    Likening the Corinthian church to a building, Paul compared himself to “a wise master builder” who laid the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10). That is, he had come to Corinth and preached Christ’s gospel, leading many to faith and obedience. The foundation was firm and secure.
    Others (Apollos, for example) had built on that solid foundation. A knowledgeable, eloquent teacher, Apollos had skillfully continued the superb work Paul had begun.
    But builders can use only those materials which are available to them. Paul wrote of using “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw” (3:12). Individual Christians in Corinth and elsewhere would fit these categories. The first three types would stand the test of fire while the latter three would burn. In other words, on Judgment Day some would be saved but others lost.
    In Corinth, many had fallen victim to petty disputes and divisions, fornication (and tolerance of it), corrupt worship, and blatant false doctrine. What a mess! No doubt some were like straw. Yet God hadn’t given up on them, and neither would Paul.
    Could straw become gold? Yes, it could happen then in Corinth, and it can happen today right here! Jesus, not Rumpelstiltskin, can and will transform you when you repent and submit to His will.
(Note: I am indebted to my friend and brother, Guy Orbison, Jr., for the seed thoughts for this article from his excellent publication, Working in the Word.)

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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