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

Who decides?

jwmcmac comments:

You still do not 'hear' or 'see' the differences. . .
I suppose you guys just 'fly' past Paul and consider that it is one of those things 'difficult to understand' of Paul's.

jq says, your language betrays you. You are still assuming you are correct.

God allows us to suffer with him and to work with him in our salvation. But the atonement for sin has already happened by that time. All we need do is believe it is sufficient and pertains to us and that it is so in our lives. Then it becomes a reality.

Our belief does not make it so but the promise of God does. And God has designed that we should believe in Him as a first step in receiving anything of Him. It was, after all, disbelief which led to man's first sin. And after that evil works. So a restoration should begin there, with belief, and good works follow being once again restored to God the source of all good.

In your viewpoint a person has no assurance that their sins have been forgiven because they are always wondering if they have done enough. In fact, purgatory has been invented to resolve this problem with that theology. This help me understand Mother Theresa's doubt that she would be saved. Perhaps she was unsure whether she had done enough to escape purgatory or to have fully paid the satisfaction owing for transgression--as is the purpose of purgatory.

In my viewpoint a person can know absolutely that every sin they have ever committed is both forgiven and forgotten by God and that he has given them a clean heart and a clear conscience. Not because they feel it, not because they earned it, but simply because God promised it.

Your method requires belief in self to expiate sin. Mine requires belief in Christ's death to accomplish that purpose. Who would you rather put your belief in? Something you can do or something Christ has done? I would rather trust to God.

But this is not an invention of Protestantism. I appeal to scripture.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; --Heb 1:3 (KJV)

Yes, before Christ sat down he purged our sins by himself. We did not participate. The angels did not participate. It was Christ alone who paid the price. Now, is there any greater price that could have been paid? Is there anything more valuable that God could have offered than His only begotten Son? What motivated God to give His Son. Scripture tells us "For God SO LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." so that we might not perish but have life instead of death.

Once we have been reconciled to God then He works in us and through us to accomplish our salvation. He chastens us which may include punishment for disobedience but it does not in any way involve punishment for sin. We see the punishment for sin upon the cross of Calvary. The wages of sin is death. And, since Jesus took our sins upon himself He had to die to pay for those sins. It is because of this substitutionary act that we can escape death which is the punishment for sin. "The soul that sinneth it shall die."

Since the wages of sin is death we cannot pay that debt and have life too. So no matter how severely you feel God has chastened you just remember that you have not suffered unto death. You have not paid the wages of sin by death.

However, that being said, many times we bring our own suffering upon ourselves by our disobedience to natural laws and then look upon it as though it were God punishing us. Yet, suffering which God allows is designed to remind us of what we have lost through sin.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. --Romans 8:20-23 (KJV)

Our good works, those done by faith working through love, do accomplish God's purpose in our lives. Through a habitual surrender to temptation our moral characters have been weakened and we have developed a propensity for sin. Once God renews a right heart within us through the new birth in the spirit that child must be reared according to God's plan so that a right character can be developed. This work was on-going in Adam before the fall and was resumed from the beginning after the fall. Jesus grew in stature and grace. We too must grow. We must learn to submit to God and learn to habitually do those things which are pleasing to Him. This work will never cease. We can never exceed our Master in glory so our goal is always ahead of us and throughout all the ages we will continue to grow up in Christ.

Do we suffer? Yes. Did Paul suffer after Christ had suffered? Yes. Jesus said that if the teacher suffered the pupils would also suffer. But when Paul suffered what was lacking in Christ's suffering he was not referring to expiation for sin. Not at all. He was referring to the power of Christ to draw men to him and Paul offered himself as an example to demonstrate the love of Christ for his church for all who did not personally witness Christ's love.

Am I closer now or further away?

"Iniquitas mentita est sibi"

_______ _______ ______ ______ ______

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