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1 Corinthians 3:15

Shall be burned (katakahsetai). First-class condition again, assumed as true. Second future (late form) passive indicative of katakaiw, to burn down, old verb. Note perfective use of preposition kata, shall be burned down. We usually say "burned up," and that is true also, burned up in smoke. He shall suffer loss (zhmiwqhsetai). First future passive indicative of zhmiw, old verb from zhmia (damage, loss), to suffer loss. In Matthew 16:26 ; Mark 8:36 ; Luke 9:25 the loss is stated to be the man's soul (psuchn) or eternal life. But here there is no such total loss as that. The man's work (ergon) is burned up (sermons, lectures, books, teaching, all dry as dust). But he himself shall be saved (auto de swqhsetai). Eternal salvation, but not by purgatory. His work is burned up completely and hopelessly, but he himself escapes destruction because he is really a saved man a real believer in Christ. Yet so as through fire (outw de w dia puro). Clearly Paul means with his work burned down (verse Luke 15 ). It is the tragedy of a fruitless life, of a minister who built so poorly on the true foundation that his work went up in smoke. His sermons were empty froth or windy words without edifying or building power. They left no mark in the lives of the hearers. It is the picture of a wasted life. The one who enters heaven by grace, as we all do who are saved, yet who brings no sheaves with him. There is no garnered grain the result of his labours in the harvest field. There are no souls in heaven as the result of his toil for Christ, no enrichment of character, no growth in grace.