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Bill and Dove offer different--and badly flawed--interpretations of I Corinthians 3:9-15.  Dove attempts to use this passage to support the doctrine of purgatory.  Bill twists the passage in an effort to make it support his Calvinistic doscrint of perseverance (once saved--always saved). Both interpretations completely miss the mark.  Both interpretations fail to see the obvious point that the writer (Paul) is making.  The reason that both these would-be interpreters blunder into so much confusion is that each has ignored what is very obvious from the context of the passage.  Allow me to explain (as though you had any choice):

 

The analogy used by Paul is one where  church occupies the position of "God's building."(v. 9). Paul, Apollos, and others (v.. 6) who won converts were placing stones on the foundation, Jesus Christ (v. 11 & 12). But Paul cautions that not all the building elements placed on the foundation were "precious stones" or gold or silver (v. 12). Sometimes, in this life, that which is placed on the foundation is of inferior stuff that will not endure: "wood, hay, stubble" (v 12). But in the end--just as in the parable of the tares (Matt. 13: 23-30)--both the the genuine and the corrupt will be revealed.

The "loss" Paul writes of in verse 15 refers to those "converts" who prove in the end not to be faithful. They claimed a place among the "gold, silver, precious stones," but they will not endure and their true nature will, in the end, be revealed "as by fire." He who brought those converts into the "building" (the church) will suffer loss, or disappointment, to learn that they were not sincere, but he will himself be saved.

It is an overbroad extension of the context to expand this parable to include the totality of a man's works. That is not what Paul is writing about. Nor is he positing an accounting of those sins that would require some kind of post-mortem reconciliation. Paul here is specifically dealing with church building, with the principle that there are false brethren (he elsewhere complained of "perils of false brethren" 2 Cor. 11:26) and insincere "converts," but that in the end their true nature will be revealed. It might be convenient to your argument to stretch the limited context of this passage to try to show that it embraces all "works," or do attempt to demonstrate a Divine punitive system in the afterlife, but honest hermeneutics will not permit those. interpretation.

 

Bill attempts to justify his OSAS doctrine by arguing that the passages that seem to teach that a believer can be lost are not really such, that the persons described "never were saved in the first place."  Here in this I Corinthians passage we have a description of some persons who actually were never saved in the first place, and whose falsity in life is disclosed in judgment (with nothing there to suggest that any of them can redeem their lost states througn penance after death) and of others whose faithfulness is proven in trial. Bill's Calvinist slant  entirely misses the point by asserting that all of them were, after all, saved--that it was just "their works" that were burned up.  The Pauline description analogizes the true believers and the false Christians to different categories of building materials and concludes that when put to the test, the true (saved)  and the false (lost) will be revealed. Dove of Peace errs just as badly [ https://www.tnvalleytalks.com/displayForumTopic/content/299234110287454872  ]by attempting to define the outcome, as regards the "work" that is revealed by fire as one of salvation through purgation, a concept that Paul's analogy, considered as a whole, simply will not support.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Sorry upside I just don't see anyway that holds up. Paul is clearly talking about the judgment seat of Christ here where "every man's work shall be made manifest" not just a few. If we have failed to add things to our faith as Peter commanded or if we have been unprofitable we will be ashamed at his coming. Every believer will have to give account and if our works (life) is not acceptable we shall suffer loss.

 

See also

2 Cor 5:10

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Originally Posted by Red Baron:

Sorry upside I just don't see anyway that holds up. Paul is clearly talking about the judgment seat of Christ here where "every man's work shall be made manifest" not just a few. If we have failed to add things to our faith as Peter commanded or if we have been unprofitable we will be ashamed at his coming. Every believer will have to give account and if our works (life) is not acceptable we shall suffer loss.

 

See also

2 Cor 5:10

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.


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The term "every man's work," within the domain of the analogy, refers to those who were earlier described as doing the WORK of building the church--the WORK of planting and watering (see verses 6-8), the WORK of converting the lost.  Paul is saying that every person who does this WORK will ultimately learn whether his work product--those whom he has brought into the church--were genuinely converted and remained faithful (gold, silver, precious stones) or were among those who were false and faithless (wood, hay, stubble). By refusing to recognize the analogy, you refuse to acknowledge the lesson being taught.

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