Purgatory and 1 Cor. 3:10-15 (Any Catholics?)

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Dimmesdale
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Purgatory and 1 Cor. 3:10-15 (Any Catholics?)

Post #1

Post by Dimmesdale »

Hello all,

I’m having trouble understanding this passage in relation to the doctrine of Purgatory. (I'm Catholic).

1 Cor. 3:10-15

“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.”

I assume the “building” upon the foundation (Jesus Christ) is one’s works, and that these works are “tested” in the fires of purgatory. However, I have trouble understanding how in Purgatory one man (the first ‘any’) receives a REWARD, while another, (the second ‘any’) suffers LOSS – though he is nonetheless saved, “as through fire.”

As I see it, this can be looked at in only two ways. One is that there is both reward and loss in purgatory for each man. This is to mean that, a person who goes to Purgatory (‘any’ person) has some works that are burnt up, being inadequate, but that he has other works which are good, and for which he receives a reward. So there is both reward and loss for each, respecting different works.

However, the way Paul uses the word “any” inclines me to think that he refers to two distinct types of human being, - that is, either one who experiences loss, or one who experiences reward. If these two types of person are distinct and are mutually incompatible, how can they go to the same place, Purgatory, where there obviously IS loss? It would seem only the man who suffers loss can go there, not the man who receives a reward. The man who receives only a reward would not suffer any loss in other words. He would not have to be saved “through fire” as it were. He would belong in a completely different category.

So the question then is, are these verses talking about Purgatory at all, or something different?

I look forward to hearing from you all. God Bless.

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Re: Purgatory and 1 Cor. 3:10-15 (Any Catholics?)

Post #2

Post by Overcomer »

Look at the context of that passage. Paul is talking about planting the church in Corinth. In verse 6, he talks about having planted the seeds for it himself, but it was Apollos who watered those seeds and God who made them grow into the Corinthian fellowship. You are correct when you say that Jesus is the foundation on which a church must be built.

On the day of judgment, when believers stand before the Lord, he will assess the works we have done on earth using fire that separates the good stuff from the dross. We will be given rewards based on those good works. It's important to note that this passage is NOT talking about salvation. It's talking about rewards given to those who are saved and enter the presence of the Lord upon death. And note that it is the works that are passed through the fire, not the people who did the works.

There is nothing in the passage that suggests there is a place called purgatory or that we can pray for people after they have passed away to get them into heaven. After death, we either enter the presence of the Lord or we don't. Period.

To suggest that there is a place where some people go after death where, through their own suffering, they will finally be worthy of entry into God's presence is an insult to Jesus. It suggests the work he did on the cross was insufficient, that we have to add our works and our suffering to his to earn a place in heaven. Eph. 2:8 and 9 make it clear that salvation is a gift: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."

Heb. 7:27 makes it clear that Christ's work on the cross was sufficient: "He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself."

See here for more:

https://www.gotquestions.org/purgatory.html

http://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-dif ... purgatory/

http://micahcobb.com/blog/1-corinthians ... purgatory/

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