Building with Gold and Silver
1Cor 3:12 But if anyone builds upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones…
2Pet 1:4 Through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature , having escaped the corruption which is in the world by lust.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life
which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Gold, the first of the precious materials mentioned by Paul, refers to the first of the Trinity, God the Father. Gold
signifies neither redemption nor transformation; rather, as a precious element, it signifies something which does not change or become corrupt in nature. Gold always remains the same. Hence, in the Bible it signifies the nature of God the Father. The divine nature, like gold, never changes. What does it mean in a practical way to build with gold?
Suppose a certain brother contacts you for fellowship. This brother is humble, kind, and loving. However, you realize that he is natural and that all his virtues are natural. You need to minister to him in such a way that he realizes that his virtues are natural, something obtained from birth, and that they do not contain anything of the element of God. Eventually, this brother will be helped to see that there is not anything of the nature of God in his good virtues. He will realize that his love, kindness, and humility do not contain the divine gold, but are simply the wood of his natural humanity. Religion encourages believers to develop their natural virtues. But for God’s building we need gold; we need the divine nature added into us.
Silver signifies the redemptive work of Christ. The more genuine experience we have, the more we shall know what is true gold and what is true silver. If we seek the Lord, we shall eventually come to realize that, no matter what we may be like in our natural being, we are fallen. There is a sinful element even in our goodness and love. This indicates that we are altogether fallen. Whatever we are and whatever we have is fallen in nature and needs God’s redemption.
(c) Living Stream Ministry. Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from
Witness Lee, Life-study of 1Corinthians, pp. 234-235, 280