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.

Reply to JWMCMAC & de Maria on Purgatory's supporting doctrines

Mark 12 does not need anything read into it to get the point of it in plain and simple terms:

41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” NLT (Mk 12:41-44).

What is special about either the widow or her coin? Nothing other than what was in her heart. There is nothing here of an abundance of merit that flows to other people at the control of the keys held by the pope. The woman gave a higher percentage of her income than the rich people did. Like Jesus teaching to pay our bills or dont expect to be let out of debtors prison until the debt is paid, the simple meaning of the passage does not need a deeper meaning applied to it. From the faith and love in her heart, the widow gave out of her great need rather than a surplus of discretionairy income. That is what people of faith are supposed to do so there is no superabundance of merit to be stored up for later use involved or implied.

This example is not so dissimilar than the passage in 1 Kings, where a woman and her son, dying from hunger, were at least temporarily saved by faith and obedience.

8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”
10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”
12 But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”
13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”
15 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat for many days. 16 There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
17 Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. 18 Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”
19 But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed. 20 Then Elijah cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”
21 And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” 22 The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! 23 Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!”
24 Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.” NLT (1 Ki 17:8-18:1).

The treasury, if you will, lie in this woman's faith and subsequent obedience to God. There was supports either directly or indirectly a superabundance of merit being stored for later use when the pope says so. Or did I miss that part?

The author of Hebrews lets us in on the secret of God's blessing in this widows life: faith not the accumulation of her merit under your church's control --- leading to direct control of people through the teaching of Purgatory.

32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. 33 By faith ... Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. NLT (Heb 11:32-40)


Since it is central to teh teaching of purgatory, let's look at these keys Jesus gave the Church

19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” NASB (Mt 16:19)

Staying in Matthew
Audience: "At that time the disciples came to Jesus" (18;1) - not just Peter.

From the prior passage demonstrating how to deal with human problems, Christ establishes discipline in His Church.

17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

18 “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. 19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” .NASB (Mt 18:17-20).

Apparently the same keys were extended to all the disciples since this same power of binding and loosing was delegated to them. Who are the Lord's disciples? The entire Church and any gathering thereof. Down to two. Nothing is said that either has to be a Pope or a priest either.

What does scripture say looses people?
How might this binding and losing look?

Contra what your church says:
936 The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is "head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth" (CIC, can. 331).
553 Jesus entrusted a specific authority to Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." The "power of the keys" designates authority to govern the house of God, which is the Church. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confirmed this mandate after his Resurrection: "Feed my sheep." The power to "bind and loose" connotes the authority to absolve sins, to pronounce doctrinal judgements, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. Jesus entrusted this authority to the Church through the ministry of the apostles and in particular through the ministry of Peter, the only one to whom he specifically entrusted the keys of the kingdom.
881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head." This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.
1444 In imparting to his apostles his own power to forgive sins the Lord also gives them the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church. This ecclesial dimension of their task is expressed most notably in Christ's solemn words to Simon Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head."

In my opinion, the last one is the most accurate. The Church, beginning with the Apostles, were given the authority to bind and loose, which is most notably in the area of forgiveness. How does the Church offer or withhold forgiveness? Acts is filled with examples. In the Jerusalem council, the disciples were freed by the scripture consistent and scripture creating events described. Gentile Christians dont become Jews. Others were bound. The Judaizers were declared wrong but implication. Peter was the first to preach to the Jew, Samaritan or Gentile (that is after Acts 2). God used Peter. I am not taking that away at all. But not in the way you teach. The Gospel is what frees people. God is the one who forgives. The power extended to the Church is the Gospel message deposited in scripture. Whether a group teaches the Gospel determines whether a given group is in the Church. Jesus is the one who frees and the message of the Gospel is the means by which the Church offers that forgiveness to the world. This is supported by the following.

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
NASB (Jn 8:31-36)

The Gospel found in Acts 2, preached by Peter IS what brings people to the place of forgiveness. A place based on message of the crucified Christ not the power of Peter, per se, to offer forgiveness. His power lie in whether to preach the Gospel, which he did, that pointed to Christ as opposed to the message we hear that points to Peter (see catechism above). Contra the Declaration Nostra Aetate, Peter preaches the guilt of killing the Savior and the forgiveness offered in Christ. He preached the Gospel message that, like Paul in Romans 3:10-23) declares us all guilty and then offers forgiveness in Christ.

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” NASB (Ac 2:36-39).

In Acts 3:14ff Peter again declares the guilt associated with killing the Christ of God through ignorance, and offers forgiveness through repentance ... simple repentance ... no confession or absolution ... just pointing to Jesus who brings forgiveness (v26). The Church is the guardian of the Gospel contained in the Bible and those who represent the Church preach forgiveness based on faith in Jesus. That is the keys given to teh Church and power to bind and loose.

In Christ,

Dan Fugett