1 Corinthians 3:15, universal salvation in?


#1

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.

Universalists have been divided re whether or not the passage (v.12-17) supports the salvation of all human beings. I’ve not considered it supportive, but recently was taking another look at it. Jason Pratt says:

“I agree that St. Paul has Christian workers immediately in view, but he also says in verse 11 that no one can lay any foundation other than the
one that has been laid which is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the foundation of all things, and whenever we sin we are abusing His grace by building
that which is worthless upon His foundation. That isn’t only true about Christians, that’s true about anyone.”

evangelicaluniversalist.com/foru … hp?p=48610

Tom Talbott writes the foreward to the book “Christ Triumphant: Universalism Asserted as the Hope of the Gospel on the Authority of Reason, the Fathers and Holy Scripture”, By Thomas Allin. On pages p. xl and xli he addresses our passage:

books.google.ca/books?id=qCL6CQ … 03&f=false

The Inescapable Love of God: Second Edition By Thomas Talbott [p.97-8 re 1 cor 3]:

books.google.ca/books?id=L6WPBQ … 03&f=false

3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

If Paul did not intend verse 12 to refer to “any man”, why did he say “any man” instead of saying “any saint”, “any Christian”, “any church member”, “any saved person”, “any of us”, “any of His body”, or “any believer”, etc?

In Scripture what does “silver” signify? Redemption? In relation to works in 1 Cor.3:12-15 could the reference to silver suggest the “work of faith” (1 Thess.1:3) in Christ’s redemption?

What do wood, hay & stubble indicate? The works of the flesh (Gal.5:19-21)?

Additional thoughts re “works”:

Matthew 7:2 1Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Eph.2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

James 2:20b-26 faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

In light of those 3 passages of Scripture, would those whose works are “wood, hay & stubble” (1 Cor.3:12-15) necessarily be Christians?

Jesus distinguished the righteous from the unrighteous based on works in Matthew 25.

One might object re 1 Cor 3 supporting universalism, saying, " “No man,”“any man,”“every man” in this passage only refers to “labourers together with God,”“God’s husbandry,”“God’s building.“who has built on the foundation of Jesus Christ,” vss. 9, 11-12, not all mankind.”

Yet Paul said “every man”, not “every saint”, not “every believer”, not “every church member”, not “every Christian”, not “everyone of us”, and not “every labourer”, etc.

Paul didn’t say only believers can build on the foundation [Christ] works of “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble”.

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Jn.1:9

He lighteth “every man”, not just Christians. So every man could be said to build on Christ by his life’s works according to how one responds to the “Light” which “lighteth every man”. And the quality of those works, whether of precious metals or useless things (1 Cor.3), would depend on how each one responded to that “Light” which “lighteth every man”, not just Christians.

But, it is objected “This passage says nothing about anyone going through a fire. It says “fire shall try every man’s work” and “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss” And it does not refer to the work all mankind but only the work of the “laborers together with God” etc. in vss. 11-12.”

Jesus said: “Everyone will be salted with fire.” (Mark 9:49)

But, it is objected again, "Also it does not say that man is saved by fire but “yet so as by fire”

Every man’s work…shall be revealed by fire; v.13
the fire shall try every man’s work v.13
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss v.15
but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. v.15

How will “every man’s” works be “revealed by fire” (v.13)?
How will “every man’s” works be tried by fire (v.13)?
How will their works be “burned” (v 15)?
How will they “suffer” loss (v.15)?

For our God is a consuming fire. (Heb.10:29)

A final objection (1 Cor.3:16-17),

(16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

"These two verses certainly don’t say that all mankind will be saved. it says, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy” "

1 Cor.5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Can a believer lose his salvation?

Those 2 verses don’t deny Jesus can & will save the world.
Those 2 verses don’t deny Jesus has the love & power to save all humanity.
Those 2 verses don’t deny Jesus seeks the lost till He finds them.

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.


#2

This comment concerns Origen’s view:

“In reference to Matt 25:41 he remarks: “the devil and his angels will be transferred to the αἰώνιον fire when the Lord Jesus Christ will sit as a king and judge and will say to those who will have triumphed over evil earlier or later: ‘Come, blessed of my Father, to inherit the Kingdom prepared for you by my Father.’ But to the others he will say: ‘Go to the αἰώνιον fire prepared by God for the devil and his angels,’ until he will take care of every soul with the remedies that he alone knows, and ‘all of Israel will be saved’ [Rom 11:26]” (Hom.in Ies. Nav. 8,5). 1Cor 3:12 is interpreted in the same cathartic sense in Princ. 1,1; CC 5,15 (the αἰώνιον fire burns the “wood, straw, and stubble” of evil in souls); Hom. in Ex. 6,3; Hom. in Lev.14,3. It is the “perversity of habits” of each one that aliments this fire (Hom. in Ier. 5,15).” (p.186)

Ilaria Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp.)


#3

I agree that St. Paul has Christian workers immediately in view, but he also says in verse 11 that no one can lay any foundation other than the
one that has been laid which is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the foundation of all things, and whenever we sin we are abusing His grace by building
that which is worthless upon His foundation. That isn’t only true about Christians, that’s true about anyone."

I think to read CU into this section is a stretch to far as the subject matter seems to be about ministers of the gospel and the kind of foundation they lay for their ministries. I think the point that Jesus is the foundation is because some were saying :“i am of Apollos” instead of Christ and that kind of ministry is wood and stubble but Christ is the precious stone that endures.
I think the context of “any man” is within the subject matter of ministers of the gospel.


#4

If i understand you, Steve, this is the same view that seems to be commonly held by Christian commentators. See, for example, biblehub.com.

What do you make of verses 16-17:

(15) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
(16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Malachi 3:2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
3"He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may
present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. "

Zeph 3:7-9 "I said, ‘Surely you will revere Me, Accept instruction.’ So her dwelling will not be cut off According to all that I have appointed
concerning her. But they were eager to corrupt all their deeds. 8 “Therefore wait for Me,” declares the LORD, "For the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, To assemble kingdoms, To pour out on them My indignation, All My burning anger; For all the earth will be devoured By the fire of My zeal. 9 "For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.

Job 23:10~He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold”

In the context of Mark 9 would you say “everyone” (v.49) means “everyone” or just some:

42and whoever may cause to stumble one of the little ones believing in me, better is it for him if a millstone is hanged about his neck, and he hath been cast into the sea. 43‘And if thy hand may cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is better for thee maimed to enter into the life, than having the two hands, to go away to the gehenna, to the fire — the unquenchable — 44where there worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched. 45‘And if thy foot may cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into the life lame, than having the two feet to be cast to the gehenna, to the fire — the unquenchable — 46where there worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched. 47And if thine eye may cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is better for thee one-eyed to enter into the reign of God, than having two eyes, to be cast to the gehenna of the fire — 48where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched; 49for every one with fire shall be salted, and every sacrifice with salt shall be salted. 50The salt [is] good, but if the salt may become saltless, in what will ye season [it]? Have in yourselves salt, and have peace in one another.’

Compare 1 Corinthians 3:

Every man’s work…shall be revealed by fire; v.13
the fire shall try every man’s work v.13
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss v.15
but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. v.15

Paul said “every man”, not “every saint”, not “every believer”, not “every church member”, not “every Christian”, not “everyone of us”, and not “every labourer”, etc.

1 Cor.13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing…
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away…
13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf


#5

Absolutely steve… the context i.e., the preceding verses, make this abundantly clear. This is the problem with EU where it seeks to boost its case by ill-thought through arguments. These types of shallow arguments are the very things that create a whip for EU’s own back, IMO.

Paul didn’t need to specify each… “saint” “Christian” “church member” “saved person” “believer” etc, BECAUSE his letter was solely addressed to THEM… thus “any man” can mean none other than those addressed; context.


#6

Though the epistle is “addressed” to the church in Corinth, that doesn’t stop it from talking about other peoples, other churches, angels, demons, false teachers, prostitutes, drunks, Apollos, Peter, all mankind, every man, any one & many other topics that are not talking about the “church of God which is at Corinth”.

Mk.9:49 for every one with fire shall be salted

Every man’s work…shall be revealed by fire; v.13
the fire shall try every man’s work v.13
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss v.15
but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. v.15

How will “every man’s” works be “revealed by fire” (v.13)?
How will “every man’s” works be tried by fire (v.13)?
How will their works be “burned” (v 15)?
How will they “suffer” loss (v.15)?

For our God is a consuming fire. (Heb.10:29)

Malachi 3:2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
3"He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may
present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. "

Zeph 3:7-9 "I said, ‘Surely you will revere Me, Accept instruction.’ So her dwelling will not be cut off According to all that I have appointed
concerning her. But they were eager to corrupt all their deeds. 8 “Therefore wait for Me,” declares the LORD, "For the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, To assemble kingdoms, To pour out on them My indignation, All My burning anger; For all the earth will be devoured By the fire of My zeal. 9 "For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.

If verses 10 to 15 apply only to those in the church in Corinth & loss of rewards not salvation, what does vs. 17 refer to:

(15) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
(16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Compare:

1 Cor.5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

The context speaks of other people besides the Corinthian church:

18Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

Paul had no problem identifying the Corinthians in those verses.

But for more than 5 verses (1 Cor.3:10b-15) on the most important topic of salvation he doesn’t identify them once.

Instead he uses language such as this:

Every man’s work…shall be revealed by fire; v.13
the fire shall try every man’s work v.13
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss v.15
but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. v.15


#7

Yes that’s true… BUT the context 1Cor 3:1-10 DOES indeed define verses 11 and following. You can deny this BUT any regular reading of the text seems particularly obvious of this. As for spreading thereafter all those other proof-texts… they stand on their own relative to their own contexts and neither deny nor affirm this issue raised above.


#8

It seems that the claim that 1 Cor.3:1-10 defines verses 11-15 is the commonly accepted theory amongst commentators i’ve seen. Of course few of them are universalists, so they are going to try to harmonize the passage with their anti-universalist theology.

Another theory is verse 17 of the context immediately following v.15 speaks of those who are not saved:

(15) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
(16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Compare:

1 Cor.5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

And therefore, in context, 3:15 is also referring to those who are not saved, but become saved “as by fire”.

Therefore 3:15 can & does refer to any & all unsaved persons. The most immediate context proves it beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Is that theory possible within the context of chapter 3 & the epistle as a whole?


#9

It seems that the claim that 1 Cor.3:1-10 defines verses 11-15 is the commonly accepted theory amongst commentators i’ve seen. Of course few of them are universalists, so they are going to try to harmonize the passage with their anti-universalist theology.

Another theory is verse 17 of the context immediately following v.15 speaks of those who are not saved:

(15) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
(16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

I don’t think this s/b read with trying to harmonize this with any theology pro or anti CU. Of course it’s possible Paul in 3.15 was referring to CU but he gave no warning he was changing subjects in midstream.


#10

In which case it probably doesn’t hurt to at least consider the possible legitimacy of their rationale on this matter.

You’re probably assuming the commonly accepted theory by some… that NON-universalist equals ANTI-universalist… that might lead to some wrong conclusions.

That would seem to be the case… BUT THAT doesn’t necessitate your interpretation applying to that which is prior i.e., THAT’S not the natural reading of the aforementioned verses.

This actually doesn’t work for your position at all as the one being delivered to Satan is not a so-called “unsaved” person BUT a fellow brother i.e., a BELIEVER.


#11

1 Corinthians 5 speaks of one who is merely “called” a brother (v.11), while Paul calls this “fornicator” (vs 1,8,11) a “wicked person” (v.13), says not to keep company with him (vs. 9-13) and that such will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor.6:9-11). Not until such repent (5:5).

In the O.P. Jason Pratt referred to v.11, that “no one” can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid which is Jesus Christ. The words “no one” are not limited to the saints in Corinth, but refer to all mankind. This is the last reference identifying any group of people in the next several verses leading up to v.15. Thus prior context and the more immediate following context both support the theory that v.15 refers to the unsaved being saved.

I would welcome any more comments on this theory.

Thanks for your assistance, good brothers, in putting this theory [which is a work in progress] to the test with your perusals.


#12

He wasn’t “merely “called” a brother” in the general sense of national kinship but specifically in terms of a brother in the Lord; notice Paul’s “among you” of vs.1 indicating this. Also… vss. 9-10 makes this pretty clear drawing the distinction between this fellow who was “among you” i.e., a believer AND those beyond the congregation, i.e., the “people of this world”. IOW Paul was addressing an in-house problem.

Here was a man a brother taking the ultimate name of the Lord in vain i.e., calling himself a Christian BUT not living like one. Or as Paul stipulates to Timothy elsewhere…

Further to this we have Paul strongly alluding back to this self-same scenario when he writes this…

Also, ask yourself the OBVIOUS… how/why does a supposed non-believer need delivering BACK TO Satan? IF such a person was a “non-believer” logic dictates such a one was ALREADY there… consider Acts 26:18.

Finally… you make mention of Paul’s assigning this fellow as a “wicked person” assuming such indicates him to be an unbeliever. An oft overlooked fact is that the wicked in Scripture often speaks directly of the children of God in DISOBEDIENCE.


#13

In the O.P. Jason Pratt referred to v.11, that “no one” can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid which is Jesus Christ. The words “no one” are not limited to the saints in Corinth, but refer to all mankind. This is the last reference identifying any group of people in the next several verses leading up to v.15. Thus prior context and the more immediate following context both support the theory that v.15 refers to the unsaved being saved.

I just reread verses 5 - 15 and Paul mentioned Apollos as the waterer and Paul mentions himself as the planter and he explains that every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. Then in verse 10 he repeats the same theme which is a Hebraic method of writing and Paul says “I have laid the foundation and another builds thereon, but let EVERY MAN take heed how he builds thereon.”

So the “every man” is simply taking the example of Apollos and Paul regarding planting and watering a ministry and making it generic, but the subject matter never changed. Verses 11&12 just continue the theme of making it generic, but the “it” is building a ministry. At least that’s how it looks to me and if you see it differently , that’s cool too!


#14

IMO, 1 Cor 3:15 supports UR from the perspective that the fire purges the inferior works, which is judged by motive, and that the destruction is of the reward, not the man himself- so it goes to the nature of the fire, and being saved but as through fire.

Similarly the man who is delivered over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit might be saved “on the Day of the Lord”(1 Cor 5:5)… we see in 1 Cor 13 that the Day is the fire, His face like the sun shining in its strength, His eyes like flames of fire and I think this can be demonstrated from scripture to be the nature of the Day for everyone who ever lived…“their conscience either accusing or excusing them on the Day when God judges the secrets of mens hearts by Jesus Christ.”

“I am He that tries the reins and the hearts” Rev 2:23

The destruction in verse 17…“if any man defile(phteiro )the temple of God will destroy(phteiro) him…” the continuity is with the preceeding sentences having to do with judging the quality of ones work. “Destroy” is a poor translation for this word, “phteiro”, and again we see translators using “destroy” wherever it suits them, even translating differently the same word(phteiro) right next to itself.

5351 phtheírō (from phthiō, “perish, waste away”) – properly, waste away, corrupt (deteriorate); (figuratively) to cause or experience moral deterioration – i.e. decomposition (break-down), due to the corrupting influence of sin.

[This root (pht-) literally means “waste away” (degenerate), "moving down from a higher level (quality, status) to a lower form.]

Since Paul is talking about quality of building and materials used in construction as to purity of motivation and purty of teaching in the things that are laid upon the foundation, he is obviously speaking of believers, but the principles of judging/discerning/exposing is the same for all because God is not a respecter of persons of a shifting shadow of variableness and Romans 2 declares this clearly. Matthew 25:41-46 is similar to 1 Cor 3:15 when they are viewed together it is no longer about eternity in hell but rather purity of works and motives being “exposed” to the “Day” which is the “fire” of correction- pyr to aionion and kolassin aionion- in His presence.

"A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened. " Dan 7:10

“For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.” Mt 10:26

“But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” Eph 5:13

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And there is **no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him **with whom we have to do.” Heb 4

“…they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.” Rev 14:10

The fire is His presence, and in His presence, exposing, making manifest, purging, etc. I think it works the same for all, believer and unbeliever, to deliver the spirit into life through submission to His Lordship.

I think we hav been so trained by orthodox soteriology that we can’t read the word without screening it through our previous assumptions, so we think like “who is going to hell” and “who isnt”- even as we teach that there is no eternal burning hell. There is no “hell”, only Gehenna and the “lake of fire” and “aionion pyr”- which are all metaphors for various elements and expressions of the same thing, the overwhelmingly irresistable and penetrating light of His presence, His face.

"There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus." Romans 2

"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. "1 Cor 5

It is the light of His face, the revelation of Christ that both saves and judges, the same fire, working its glory in all in each order, in every age until God, who is a consuming fire, is all in all, everything in everyone- which is the salvation of the kingdom of God.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.


#15

Thank you for the food for thought guys.

1 Corinthians 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Compare:

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12, KJV)
And lo, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to render to each as his work shall be; (Rev.22:12, YLT)

Jeremiah 17:10
"I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man will come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done.

Revelation 2:23
Then I will strike her children dead, and all the churches will know that I am the One who searches minds and hearts, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

Romans 2:6-11 Who will render to every man according to his deeds…

In Mt 25:31-46…the righteous & the unrighteous are distinguished by their works.

James says faith without works is dead:

James 2:20b-26 faith without works is dead 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


#16

Some great verses there, Origen. Do you think the word ‘works’ has gotten a bad rap in Christianity as a whole, by being taken out of context?

In relation to the Law, of course, and being justified, ‘works’ has one meaning; but in the verses you stated, ‘works’ appears in a different setting that perhaps we all need to think more upon.


#17

All those texts above give reference to the status of works in the generic sense, i.e., where one’s works stand in either ruin or reward in terms of judgment — BUT THAT has nothing to do with the likes of the salvation of all being argued from the text of 1Cor 3:15, nothing.

I’m NOT disputing God’s grace to humanity in toto. However, to try and claim “salvation for all” from this text under discussion is pushing water up hill and cheapens your universalist rationale. There are other texts that make this case other than butchering this one, IMO. IOW… you can, as you are doing, extrapolate by extension your argument, BUT this is NOT what the text itself actually says as it specifically has believers in view; as per ALL the other arguments previously given etc.


#18

Such as?


#19

Here’s one, which in flavour with the above works / rewards theme says this…

Clearly the “whoever” and “he” of the above are persons OTHER THAN believers who “belong to Christ” — and such according to Jesus shall… “by no means lose his reward. Cf.Mt 10:42


#20

As i see it, they are two sides of the same coin. Or, as someone put it:

“We are justified by faith alone, but good works prove that our faith is genuine.”

Similarly, Ephesians says:

2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1 Corinthians ties certain works to loss of salvation, e.g. 1 Cor.3:17 & 5:1-5 & 6:9-11.

Compare also 7:19, 9:27; 10:5-13; 10:18-22; 11:27-32.