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.

De Maria's picture

Excellent reply Dan.

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.

True. This only touches upon one part of the doctrines of indulgences and purgatory which are intimately related.

But there is an abundance of merit in that woman's heart, isn't there? And this verse touches upon where this merit is stored. Not in an earthly box with earthly coin, but in heaven.

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.

Need? Need has nothing to do with it. Jesus spoke in parables because He spoke in parables. He spoke thus to the crowds and explained the meaning to the Apostles. Why? Because Jesus wanted the people to go to the Church, the Apostles for their answers.

The same is true today. The Scriptures do not clarify every one of Jesus parables. Because Jesus still wants us to go to the Church for the answers.

Need has nothing to do with it. It is God's will that it be so.

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.

Sure there is. Otherwise why did Jesus mention it. Obviously, the widow was going to use that coin on that day. This is a direct reference to building with gold (1 Cor 3) and to storing your treasure in heaven where moths do not corrupt (Matt 6:20).

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.

I agree. But what does Scripture say?

Matthew 10:41
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.

Hebrews 6:10
For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

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?

No. That part comes when Jesus says to St. Peter, "what you bind is bound in heaven, what you loose is loosed in heaven."

Jesus gave Peter and the Church authority in heavenly matters. Essentially, Jesus gave Peter and the Church the power to save:

Whose sins you remit are remitted, whose sins you retain are retained.

Jesus did not establish a lameduck Church with no authority. He gave His Church His authority:

Matthew 28:17-19 (King James Version)

17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

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.

Where are you getting this stuff? Yes, the secret is faith. But what is this editorial about controlling the people through purgatory? Is that in Scripture?


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.

You like explicit statements. We find that Jesus explicitly gave the keys to Peter in Matt 16:19.

Now we find that Jesus gave the power to bind and loose to all the Apostles.

What is the difference? Read Isaiah 22:22. Keys are a symbol of office as well as power. Jesus did not just give Peter the power to bind and loose, but the keys symbolize that Jesus established for him the office of Peter, the office of the person who represents Jesus Christ to all humanity.

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.

No, it isn't. This is why Tradition is so important. Did the people of that time believe that the Apostles were a hiearchy in the institutional Church. Look in the book of Acts:

Acts 4
34Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

35And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

Are those the actions of a people who do not recognize the leadership of the Church?

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

You have printed the answer below.

Contra what your church says:
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?

The Sacraments of Baptism and of Penance.

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.

You missed a little something. Once forgiveness was extended and accepted, did those people become members of the Church. And once members of the Church, were they expected to submit to the Church's authority?

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.

True. Now all you have to do is show me where Scripture says that one can follow Christ apart from the Church.

Matthew 18:17
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

3 John 1:10
Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.


De Maria