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.

JeffLogan's picture

The language is that of atonement

JQLogan quoted -
From the Catholic Encyclopedia -

Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.

ML said -
Yes?! I am not sure what your point is here, because this quote does not use the idea or wording of atonement, or any of the other problems you seem to have with this idea. It restricts itself to the terms and ideas as expressed in scripture.

JQ says -
Michael, notice the words and terminology used to define Purgatory.

    Purgatory in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who...are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.

We have punishment and a debt owing for transgression. If we look at the Doctrine of Atonement we find similar language. Again, from the Catholic Encyclopedia. [Note that there is no admission that everything contained in the Catholic Encyclopedia is correct but this portion serves to show that the two doctrines of Purgatory and Atonement are closely related even to the Catholic mind.]

    Doctrine of the Atonement

    The word atonement, which is almost the only theological term of English origin, has a curious history. The verb "atone", from the adverbial phrase "at one" (M.E. at oon), at first meant to reconcile, or make "at one"; from this it came to denote the action by which such reconciliation was effected, e.g. satisfaction for all offense or an injury. Hence, in Catholic theology, the Atonement is the Satisfaction of Christ, whereby God and the world are reconciled or made to be at one.

With Purgatory we have those who "have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions" suffering temporal punishment presumably to fully pay the satisfaction due to their sins. Thus, punishment = satisfying debt for sin. And this is accomplished through man's suffering which implies merit.

With Atonement we have the same thing only the satisfaction is met in Christ's suffering, not human suffering--"satisfaction for all offense or an injury". This is the act by which reconciliation was effected.

How are they different? Both have merit. Both involve satisfaction owing for transgression. In the Atonement the merit is found in Christ suffering the punishment owing for our transgression. In Purgatory we find merit in man's suffering which then fully pays, or satisfies, the debt owed for transgression. The implication of this doctrine is that Christ either did not fully pay the debt owing for our transgression but left a portion of the atoning work for man, or he did not wipe it away completely as he promised to do.

This is the type of forgiveness God promises to us.

    All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: Ezek 18:21-22 (KJV)

So why, after a man dies, does God bring up those sins again and make the man suffer punishment to fully pay the satisfaction owing for his transgressions?

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"Iniquitas mentita est sibi"


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“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."




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