If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.1 Corinthians 3:15(NASB)
As believers we are saved by grace through faith, but once we are part of God 's family we are to mature in the faith and to live our Christian life as unto the Lord. As believers our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are living stones - being built up into a spiritual house.
Having started our Christian pilgrimage by grace through faith we are to continue living our Christian life the same way. This means depending on the Lord to carry out the good works which God has prepared for each of us to do.. in His power and not in our own strength - not according to our own standards or in according to our own human merit, which is done in the power of the flesh.
We are to build our life on the right foundation. We are to stand on the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Rock of our salvation. We are to build our life with the right material, which are the spiritual gems of wisdom and godly nuggets of truth, that are found in the precious Word of God.
We are to build our life according to God's plans and purposes, which is laid out for our learning in Scripture, where Christ is all in all and not according to our own human wisdom or our own legalistic works of the flesh. And we are to 'build' with the right motive.. so that God alone is to be glorified - by grace through faith in Christ.
Once we are saved we can choose to live a spiritual, godly life, where we mature in the faith OR we can take the carnal, legalistic route, which result in an immature Christian life. The first example is a man who lives as unto the Lord, by walking in spirit and truth, and who will receive a reward at the judgment seat of Christ but the second lives according to self, resulting in a fleshly works, an unspiritual, immature Christian life and a loss of reward.
The first results in a reward for works that were carried out in the spirit - godly work carried out by the new-man in Christ, to the glory of God the Father. But the second results in loss of rewards, for works that God had prepared in advance for us to carry out in His power, but which were fulfilled in the energy of the flesh.
As believers we are all saved by grace through faith, but if we live our Christian life in our own strength and not in dependence upon the Lord Jesus, we will still be saved, but we will suffer loss - for the wood, hay and stubble that results from works of the flesh will be consumed in the fire that tests each of us. The soul of the believer will be saved, yet as through fire.
Heavenly Father, teach me I pray to walk in spirit and truth and to live as a spiritual man and not as a carnal Christian. Teach me to live my life as unto You.. May my self-life remain nailed to the cross and may my new-life in Christ do only those things that are honouring to Your name - to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.