Building a Legacy

by Phil Simpson


1 Cor 3:9-15


1Co 3:9  For we are God’s fellow-workers: ye are God’s husbandry, God’s building.

1Co 3:10  According to the grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder I laid a foundation; and another buildeth thereon. But let each man take heed how he buildeth thereon.


  1. 1.     Building a Legacy Requires work.
    1. God’s Work.  Vs 9.

                                          i.    He is building each Christian.

  1. Husbandy in vs 9 can also be translated, tillage or farmland.  Some translations say, “workmanship.” Tillage, farmland, workmanship all have the connotation of continuous work.  This means God is continually working in us so he can work through us. 

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.

                                        ii.    He is building the Church.

  1. Building (1 Cor 3:9) refers to the “Church.”  The Christians who make up the, “Body of Christ.”  Only God can build the Body of Christ.

Eph 2:19  So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,

Eph 2:20  being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone;


  1. God is molding, forming, growing, each Christian to have a specific role/part in his Church.
    1.    The, “Church,” at CHBC is being built according to God’s own plan.  Eph 2:21.  The phrase, “Fitly framed together,” could also have been translated as, “Formed to fit together tightly.”  Each piece of the “Church,” (Body of Christ) is being formed and fitted specifically to work closely with the other pieces around it.   

Eph 2:21  in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord;

Eph 2:22  in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.


  1.  The Christian’s Work.

                                          i.    The Christian must prepare himself to work.


  1. 1.    2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The word Study can also be translated, “Give diligence to.”  This means we are to deliberately prepare ourselves so that we will not be ashamed before God. 

We also are to study the Word of God so we will know what it really says.  Not what we think it says, or what someone else tells us it says, but what we have learned.  This is personal study for the specific purpose of learning the Truth.

                                        ii.    The Christian must perform the “Good work,” he has been gifted to do. 


  1. 1.    Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.

God designed and made each person to fill a specific role in the body of Christ.  He has given each Christian a “Gift,” or, in other words, the ability to perform, that specific role.  The Scripture talks about the results of our Christian work as “Fruit.” 


Psa 1:1  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Psa 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psa 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.


In Psalms 1:1-3 we see that our preparation (Vs 2, meditating on his “Law,”) and our obedience (Vs 1) results in successful Christian life.  We also see in John 15:4-8 that our Heavenly Father expects us to be fruitful in our Christian life and is the power that will make us successful!  We don’t have to do it alone!  He didn’t create a bunch of wind-up toys that he set out and then walked away from.  In his analogy of the Vine, the branches, us, are the things that bear the fruit.  But we cannot bear the fruit without being plugged into and drawing our, “Strengths and abilities,” from the Vine!  Vs 8 says that bearing, “Much fruit,” is how we glorify God.


Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Joh 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Joh 15:8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.



  1. 2.     Building a Legacy Requires a Vision.

Pro 29:18  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Vision in Prov 29 could also be translated, “Dream.”  God is saying that having something to work towards.  The word translated perish also means, “Loosen, uncover, expose, or dismiss.  The author is speaking of cohesiveness.  A group of people without a common dream, or goal to work towards together with slowly dissolve and disappear. 


What does that mean to Chapel Hill?  If we only exist to see each other on Sunday, we will gradually disappear.  Chapel Hill will die.  There will be nothing for our children, grand children, to worship and serve God with for themselves.  I believe it also means that we will not leave a Godly Church, “Christians,” to be an outreach to the lost coming behind us. 


In the parable of the Sower, in Matt 13, the sower was planting the seed.  He was planting to seed to be able to harvest it later.  He had to have a vision of where he was going to plant the seed, what kind of seed he was going to plant, when he was going to plant it, and when he was going to harvest the fruit.


CHBC needs a vision, dream, or goal, to work together towards for the purpose of a later harvest. 


Joh 4:35  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.


The time for a vision is NOW.  There are people in our area who haven’t heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Christians in Chapel Hill need to be disciple and trained to do the Work of the Church.


  1. 3.    Building a Legacy Requires Perseverance.
    1. Sometimes we will do the work and not see the fruit.


  1. 4.    Joh 4:36  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
  2. 5.    Joh 4:37  And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.

Often times we do the work of sowing the seed of the Gospel and don’t get to see anyone get saved.  Sometimes it takes years for the seed to grow to maturity and bear fruit and that person come to a saving knowledge of Christ.


In the 1890’s an American missionary to China decided to go to Australia when her husband died in China.  In the small eastern coastal city of Townsville, she began witnessing to the South Pacific Islanders who came in on sailing ships to work in the sugar cane fields.  The very first convert among the islanders eventually returned to his home Island of Guadalcanal in the around 1900.  For most of the 1980’s through 2002 the Solomon Islands were a dangerous place to be with cultural and tribal fighting that left many dead.  In 2003 American Missionary Tim Meyer traveled to the Solomon Islands to see about establishing a mission outreach from his home base in Australia.  What Tim Meyer found was several small Christian Churches on Guadalcanal.  After several trips to the island the Oceanic Bible Institute was started at the request of the local pastors.  The first student to enroll is also the great, great, grandson of the first Christian islander to return from Australia back in 1900!  The legacy for that first Christian missionary was that 100 years later there is still active Christian churches on a small island in the south pacific ocean that are a direct result of her work for the Lord.


We may not get to see the results of our work, but we will share in the reward in heaven for being faithful.


                        b. Sometimes we will get to see the fruit.


Mar 4:8  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus talks about some of the seed falling on the side of the field and being eaten by the birds, then some fell on rocky ground and was scorched by the sun, then some fell among thorns and was choked off.  But some fell on good ground!  Mark 4:8.


Sometimes it is in God’s plan to let us experience some of the harvest.  Sometimes he lets us be the one who leads that soul to Christ, or makes a difference in the life of a child that impacts them for His glory. 

Remember Psalms 1: 3?


Psa 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.   


The tree planted by the waters is the Christian who is prepared and obedient.  Vs 1&2. The Psalmist says that Christian will bare fruit but in his season!  In other words, when the time is right.


We also see that, “His leaf also shall not wither;” This is the strength to persevere.  Remember Christian’s work for earlier in the lesson?  The preparation of study and obedience results is receiving the strength to persevere.  The picture here is of a tree in the desert that is planted near a river.  As the tree grows and its roots sink deep into the ground it has a source of water in the desert.  The closer to the river, the greater its ability to tap into the water that is it’s life source. 


We get our strength to persevere, stick it out, hang in there, or just keep on keeping on, from the one whose work we are doing.  Jesus Christ.  When it feels like all we do is work and work some more without seeing any of the fruit we need to be the tree by the river.  Tap into our source of strength.


Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:


Building our legacy is mearly us as Christians obeying the great commission.  If you notice in Vs 18.  Before he gave us the commission, Jesus told the disciples that He had all the power.  This commission, us building our legacy, is to be accomplished by His power!


Col 1:10  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Col 1:11  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;


Building a legacy requires work, a vision, and perseverance.  Jesus Christ by his power is working in us to prepare us as individuals and as a church to do his work.  He requires us to prepare ourselves and plant ourselves in His Word.  Through faithful perseverance we will see the participate in the eternal reward, even if we don’t get to the see the fruit of our labor here on earth.


What is our legacy?  It is the souls of men that we have reached for the Glory of the Father.  It is the souls they reach for God’s glory after we are gone.  It’s what we do to reach the lost souls in our city and around the world.  


What will your legacy be?




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