Life-Study of Genesis, by Witness Lee

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Paul warned us to build the church in a proper way. Most of the work among Christians is not with gold, silver or pearl, and precious stone, but with wood, grass, and straw. As gold in typology signifies the divine nature, wood represents our human nature. Thus, wood is versus gold. We are fond of saying that we are all human, especially when we make a mistake. However, we should not make our humanity an excuse. Our humanity must be a resurrected humanity, for the natural humanity is inadequate for the building of God’s church. The building of the church requires a transformed humanity, not a humanity of wood.

Grass is versus silver. The Bible tells us that all flesh is grass (Isa. 40:6; 1 Pet. 1:24). Grass typifies the people having become flesh. Grass is not solid like wood; it is weak and fragile. Thus, grass represents the fallen nature of man.

The last item that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 3:12 is straw. Straw is the stock or stem of a crop which remains after the grain has been threshed. Straw, which comes out of the ground, is versus the precious stone, which is a transformed substance. First Corinthians 3:12 presents a vivid contrast. Wood is a tree without fruit, and straw is a crop without grain. We should not be wood or straw, materials that will be burned away and that are useless for the building of God’s church.

For the Lord’s building, we need the divine gold, the regenerated pearl, and the transformed precious stones. The more we have of these items, the easier it will be for us to be built together spontaneously. If we experience the gold, pearl, and precious stones, we will not only be the precious materials, but also a building fitly joined together to form a habitation of God in our spirit (Eph. 2:22). Thus, transformation is for God’s building. We need to pray about these matters and fellowship concerning them that the Lord may bring us all into the reality of transformation for His building.

(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)