1 Corinthians 3:15 -but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire

De Maria's picture

For Catholics the answer is Purgatory.

What is the answer for Protestants?

1 Corinthians 3:15
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Yes there is

But it takes this section of 1 Corinthians and puts it back into the context of Paul's letter, instead of a soteriological or eschatological matrix.

The short answer: the building is doctrine, not works, not a person. The fire is judgment and punishment, but not the final judgment or punishment. And the salvation is the core of the man that is left after the false doctrines and misguided notions have been torn away through trial and tribulation.

Even in the short passage you quote, you can see this--the man's WORK shall be burn, and he shall suffer, but the worker, the person building the building (symbolically the church, one could argue, girded with doctrine) is himself saved from the destruction because now he realizes his doctrine was mistaken. "Saved by fire" indicates his WORKS, and not the individual, are being torched. In short, he is rescued, but through destruction. It's a theme running through the entire Bible, and Paul is talking about personalities and false doctrine before/after this passage is written.

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