New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:8 are one. When God gives the increase, then “both he that soweth and he that reapeth [will] rejoice together” (John 4:36).
3:9 labourers together with God. Both the Father and the Son have been working together ever since the fall of man on their great work of reconciling man to God (note John 5:17), and we have the great privilege of sharing in this “ministry of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:18). Our faithfulness in this “labour in the Lord” (Romans 16:12) will be evaluated when Christ comes again “to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).
3:10 masterbuilder. “Masterbuilder” is the Greek architekton, meaning essentially “structural engineer.”
3:11 foundation. No part of a structure should be built without a strong foundation if it is expected to stand. Similarly creation is the foundation of the life of the cosmos, and Jesus Christ was the Creator before He became the Savior. The record of His creation in Genesis is the foundation of all revelation. Jesus Christ, first as Creator, then as Redeemer, is the foundation of any true and lasting Christian life.
3:13 what sort. The purifying fires of Christ’s judgment seat (II Corinthians 5:10) will try our works of what sort they are, not how numerous or how great they are. Quality and motivation count more with the Lord than quantity and reputation.
3:15 shall be saved. All who have made Christ the foundation of their lives are saved, and they will be saved even though their works are burned up at the judgment seat. This judgment, therefore, is of believers only, and will determine only rewards or loss of rewards. Note also I Peter 4:17 and I Corinthians 4:5. Judgment will “begin at the house of God,” when every man shall have “[his] praise of God” (I Corinthians 4:5).