Question on 1 Cor 3:15 "...shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

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Puritan Board Freshman
Greetings Friends,

I was reading 1 Corinthians 3 and was digging into verse 15 using SwordSearcher and this note from Albert Barnes caught my attention. Does anyone know which Early Church Fathers he is referring to (underlined below)? I'm primarily interested in the development of the RCC doctrine of purgatory and which fathers may have taught that in seed form (if in fact any did).

Yet so as by fire. This passage has greatly perplexed commentators; but probably without any good reason. The apostle does not say that Christians will be doomed to the fires of purgatory; nor that they will pass through fire; nor that they will be exposed to pains and punishment at all; but he simply carries out the figure which he commenced, and says that they will be saved, as if the action of fire had been felt on the edifice on which he is speaking. That is, as fire would consume the wood, hay, and stubble, so on the great day everything that is erroneous and imperfect in Christians shall be removed, and that which is true and genuine shall be preserved, as if it had passed through fire. Their whole character and opinions shall be investigated; and that which is good shall be approved; and that which is false and erroneous be removed. The idea is not that of a man whose house is burnt over his head, and who escapes through the flames; nor that of a man who is subjected to the pains and fires of purgatory; but that of a man who had been spending his time and strength to little purpose; who had built, indeed, on the true foundation, but who had reared So much on it which was unsound, and erroneous, and false, that he himself would be saved with great difficulty, and with the loss of much of that reward which he had expected, as if the fire had passed over him and his works. The simple idea therefore is, that that which is genuine and valuable in his doctrines and works shall be rewarded, and the man shall be saved; that which is not sound and genuine shall be removed, and he shall suffer loss. Some of the Fathers, indeed, admitted that this passage taught that all men would be subjected to the action of fire in the great conflagration with which the world shall close; that the wicked shall be consumed; and that the righteous are to suffer, some more and some less, according to their character. On passages like this the Romish doctrine of purgatory is based.​

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Puritan Board Junior
We actually just discussed this in Sabbath school today. A world of lessons to learn from his time.

Gregory the Great had published thoughts that tend to purgatory, or at least contained the seed-form tenants from which the doctrine would develop. The view of Gregory the Great is that if a sin had not been sufficiently dealt with in this life, there would be a purging of that sin after death.

Small view of sin and grace, which implies a small view of God's holiness.

Quote from an RCC blogger:

“Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet, there must be a cleansing fire before judgment, because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away.

Does not Christ, the Truth, say that if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit he shall not be forgiven “either in this world or in the world to come” (Mt 12:32)? From this statement we learn that some sins can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For, if forgiveness is refused for a particular sin, we conclude logically that it is granted for others. This must apply, as I said, to slight transgressions.”

Pope Saint Gregory the Great, Dialogues, 4:39 (A.D. 594).
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