1 Cor 3:15-17: Assurance of salvation or warning

Moon-Ryul Jung moon at sogang.ac.kr
Thu Mar 28 20:14:01 EST 2002

The thread on 2 Cor 5:10 triggered Wilson to mention 1 Cor 3:15-17.
I referred to the book "Paul, Judaism, and Judgement According to Deeds".

But I thought it would be a good idea to talk about 1 Cor 3:15-17 on the 
list. Let me summarize what the book says on these verses to start 

"As through fire" was an idomatic way of saying "just barely", 
"by the skin of one's teeth". Paul is not assuring the one who built
poorly (i.e, though you will lose your reward you will still be saved),
warning - though you may attain salvation, it will be by the skin of your
teeth as it were. The point here is to stress the rist being entertained
by those who may be building in a manner incompatible with the teaching
of Christ. That risk will be amplified in verses 16-17 where Paul warns
that improper building can, in fact, edge over into actual destruction of
the church, resulting in the eternal destruction of the builder. To teach
human wisdom instead of Christ carries with it the gravest of risks; 
at best the loss of any recompense for all one's labor, at worst the loss
of eschalogical life itself.

Moon R. Jung
Sogang Univ,
Seoul, Korea

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