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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians


“If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”


If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss;

If Jesus burns up our service at the Judgment Seat of Christ, we will suffer a loss of reward. We will lose reward because we served with poor building materials such as a carnal life or manipulation of people.

but he himself will be saved,

Although a believer may lose the reward, he himself will retain eternal life. “He himself” is emphatic, contrasting the person from his work. There is a patent contrast between losing reward and losing eternal life.

yet so as through fire.

The “fire” here is not the eternal fire of hell but the “fire” of verse 13 – “the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” The believer’s service, in this case, burns down like a house, but he escapes with his life, his eternal life.


Our ministry needs to be fireproof.


Loss of reward does not denote loss of salvation.

Many attempt to serve the Lord through pop psychology, manipulating people, and other distorted means of service. God does not reward these techniques. They serve no eternal purpose. That is why this kind of service is combustible. The losing team always walks off the field with their heads hanging.