Help On 1 Cor 3:15, Does this mean false teachers who have the right foundation of salvation can be saved even if they preach blatant error?

Moses PsalmCII

Puritan Board Freshman
I read Matthew Henry's commentary on 1 Cor 3:15, he said If he have built upon the right foundation wood and hay and stubble, he will suffer loss. His weakness and corruption will be the lessening of his glory, though he may in the general have been an honest and an upright Christian. This part of his work will be lost, turning no way to his advantage, though he himself may be saved. Observe, Those who hold the foundation of Christianity, though they build hay, wood, and stubble, upon it, may be saved. This may help to enlarge our charity. We should not reprobate men for their weakness

John gill says : the sense is, that he shall be tried by the fire of the word, and convinced by the light of it of the errors, irregularities, and inconsistencies of his ministry; either in his time of life and health, or on a death bed; and shall have all his wood, hay, and stubble burnt up, for nothing of this kind shall he carry with him in his judgment to heaven; only the gold, silver, and precious stones; and will find that the latter doctrines, and not the former, will only support him in the views of death and eternity.

Other commentaries seem to imply that once a man has the right foundation, no matter the errors, wrong doctrine or the likes, they would be saved. Does this mean men like Joel Osteen Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn can be saved even in the continous state of preaching wrong doctrines? Got me thinking since I have been very harsh on preachers who teach wrong doctrines, or mishandle the word of God so poorly. I usually think they (including other believers) don't have the holy spirit since they consistently mishandle the word of God whether it's by the prosperity gospel or false prophecies and abuse of the spirit, and the likes. I had taken Paul's stern remarks about those who heap unto themselves false teachers, God sending them a strong delusion damning them in error and many more passages that imply that such people (preachers or believers) are not saved including the anathema in Galatians.

Would love any thoughts. Thanks
 
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Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
I read Matthew Henry's commentary on 1 Cor 3:15, he said If he have built upon the right foundation wood and hay and stubble, he will suffer loss. His weakness and corruption will be the lessening of his glory, though he may in the general have been an honest and an upright Christian. This part of his work will be lost, turning no way to his advantage, though he himself may be saved. Observe, Those who hold the foundation of Christianity, though they build hay, wood, and stubble, upon it, may be saved. This may help to enlarge our charity. We should not reprobate men for their weakness

John gill says : the sense is, that he shall be tried by the fire of the word, and convinced by the light of it of the errors, irregularities, and inconsistencies of his ministry; either in his time of life and health, or on a death bed; and shall have all his wood, hay, and stubble burnt up, for nothing of this kind shall he carry with him in his judgment to heaven; only the gold, silver, and precious stones; and will find that the latter doctrines, and not the former, will only support him in the views of death and eternity.

Other commentaries seem to imply that once a man has the right foundation, no matter the errors, wrong doctrine or the likes, they would be saved. Does this mean men like Joel Osteen Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn can be saved even in the state of preaching wrong, doctrines? Got me thinking since I have been very harsh on preachers who teach wrong doctrines, or mishandle the word of God so poorly. I usually think they (including other believers) don't have the holy spirit since they consistently mishandle the word of God whether it's by the prosperity gospel or false prophecies and abuse of the spirit, and the likes. I had taken Paul's stern remarks about those who heap unto themselves false teachers, God sending them a strong delusion damning them in error and many more passages that imply that such people (preachers or believers) are not saved including the anathema in Galatians.

Would love any thoughts. Thanks
I'm not sure I can give a full answer to your question, but just one thought. There are errors and there are heresies. A man may be a believer and teach some error, more or less egregious, and yet be saved. Teaching damnable heresy, and for one's own enrichment, is in a different category, and I think demonstrates that the individual is outside of Christ.
 
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Colin

Puritan Board Freshman
.....He himself will be saved, etc. It is certain that Paul speaks of those who, while always retaining the foundations, mix hay with gold, stubble with silver, and wood with precious stones — that is, those who build upon Christ, but in consequence of the weakness of the flesh, admit something that is man’s, or through ignorance turn aside to some extent from the strict purity of God’s word. Such were many of the saints, Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, and the like. Add to these, if you choose, from those of later times, Gregory and Bernard, and others of that stamp, who, while they had it as their object to build upon Christ, did nevertheless often deviate from the right system of building. Such persons, Paul says, could be saved, but on this condition — if the Lord wiped away their ignorance, and purged them from all dross. full commentary from Calvin here: 1 Corinthians 3 - Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Bible Commentaries - StudyLight.org
 

Vernon

Puritan Board Freshman
Of the title question, “Help On 1 Cor 3:15, Does this mean false teachers who have the right foundation of salvation can be saved even if they preach blatant error?”, I wonder if it is possible to have the right foundation of salvation while preaching blatant error. Maybe it is, but God will have to be the ultimate judge. Blatant is a strong term, but perhaps not damnable.

Balaam was not only blatant, but “pernicious,” “intentional,” “obstinate,” and “rebellious” as well. The same could be said of Hananiah, the opponent of Jeremiah.

On the other hand, Apollos preached what he knew of Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John, until Priscilla and Aquila taught him more accurately. Similarly, about twelve disciples of John did not even know of the Holy Spirit, but were taught more fully by Paul, and were baptized a second time.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello @Moses PsalmCII ,

It's a good question. There are some who, in an area or two, or even more, depart from sound doctrine, yet in the main hold to the fundamental truths of the gospel. But this is different than false teachers, such as the ones you mentioned – Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn – who appear to me to run afoul the warning of Paul: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (see Gal 1:6,7,8,9).

Some come very close, such as those that preach the Arminian error, departing from the Biblical doctrines of grace, though despite their errors still love the Lord and seek to live godly.

I do think that the saying of Paul in 1 Cor 3:11,12,13,14,15, about building on the foundation, which is Christ, "gold, silver, precious stones, [or] wood, hay, stubble", may refer to such teachings / doctrines which so dilute the gospel that the ministry is mostly unfruitful, though I have usually thought of the passage as ministry (whether lay or ordained) rendered ineffective due to worldliness or being too much "in the flesh".

Then there is the saying of Stephen Charnock, "A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant" – which may also be classed under "in the flesh" yet a more "exalted" fleshliness. I have observed this. It is a warning to me also, that I not trust in myself, and gifts I might have, but in the LORD, for – truth be told – I am poor in spirit, and wretched in myself, and it is Christ that is made unto me wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification (1 Cor 1:30) and I must find such in Him.
 

DecafCoffee

Puritan Board Freshman
I read Matthew Henry's commentary on 1 Cor 3:15, he said If he have built upon the right foundation wood and hay and stubble, he will suffer loss. His weakness and corruption will be the lessening of his glory, though he may in the general have been an honest and an upright Christian. This part of his work will be lost, turning no way to his advantage, though he himself may be saved. Observe, Those who hold the foundation of Christianity, though they build hay, wood, and stubble, upon it, may be saved. This may help to enlarge our charity. We should not reprobate men for their weakness

John gill says : the sense is, that he shall be tried by the fire of the word, and convinced by the light of it of the errors, irregularities, and inconsistencies of his ministry; either in his time of life and health, or on a death bed; and shall have all his wood, hay, and stubble burnt up, for nothing of this kind shall he carry with him in his judgment to heaven; only the gold, silver, and precious stones; and will find that the latter doctrines, and not the former, will only support him in the views of death and eternity.

Other commentaries seem to imply that once a man has the right foundation, no matter the errors, wrong doctrine or the likes, they would be saved. Does this mean men like Joel Osteen Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn can be saved even in the continous state of preaching wrong doctrines? Got me thinking since I have been very harsh on preachers who teach wrong doctrines, or mishandle the word of God so poorly. I usually think they (including other believers) don't have the holy spirit since they consistently mishandle the word of God whether it's by the prosperity gospel or false prophecies and abuse of the spirit, and the likes. I had taken Paul's stern remarks about those who heap unto themselves false teachers, God sending them a strong delusion damning them in error and many more passages that imply that such people (preachers or believers) are not saved including the anathema in Galatians.

Would love any thoughts. Thanks
The foundation Paul mentioned does not refer to the foundation of these false preachers themselves, but their methods of building the church.
Paul himself laid the foundation (1 Cor. 3:10). They are building on top of Paul's works. He is speaking of foundation not in an individual sense, but a corporate, ecclesiastical sense. Paul build the Corinthian church by preaching Christ crucified (2:2). There are those who come after him (i.e. Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila, others, cf. vv.5-9) who seek to build the Corinthian church after Paul is gone (he had to go back to Jerusalem at the end of every missionary journey). Not all ministers build the church up with the same quality of workmanship (3:10). Some build upon it with godly wisdom (i.e. through faithful preaching of Christ and his doctrines (2:14-16), while others employ worldly means to build the church (which is the referent of the wood, hay straw in 3:15).

The contemporary example of this would be preachers who themselves believe in the true gospel but employ worldly methods to build the church, but they themselves do not compromise the integrity of the gospel message itself. In other words: true content, but worldly methods/delivery. (The Corinthian letters deal heavily with the issue of worldly methods of delivery the gospel message). These ministers can be saved but loss their rewards. Hinn, Osteen, Dollar, etc. these guys do not themselves hold to the true gospel message. They are heretics and wolves in sheep clothing (Matt. 7:15).

In short: true message + worldly delivery = saved but no rewards 1 Cor. 3:15
but wrong message + any deliver (doesn't matter at this point) = false prophets Matt. 7:15... (read: no salvation)
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
“I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 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.”

This foundation is being laid by Paul…. You’d have to get pretty far removed to get to “Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn.” It’s basically apples to oranges. Those guys lost the foundation entirely. There’s more faithful agnostics.
 
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