The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 7 of 210
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A Castaway?
"... but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (I Cor. 3: 15).
pp. 151 - 155
The heading "A Castaway?" may possibly remind us of a popular radio programme
called Desert Island Discs. It is based on the idea that the person interviewed suffers
shipwreck and is a castaway on a desert island. Shipwreck is mentioned in Scripture
(either factually or figuratively), and the factual example is described in detail in
Acts 27: and 28: 1.  But Paul says in II Cor. 11: 25 that he suffered shipwreck
three times. Shipwreck is mentioned as a figure of speech in I Tim. 1: 19 where Paul
encourages Timothy to be faithful to the charge given to him, so that he might "war a
good warfare" (18), and he gives examples of Hymenaeus and Alexander who "having
put away concerning faith have made shipwreck". When one fails to hold fast to truth,
this experience of shipwreck not only affects the unfaithful person, it influences others
who then share spiritual shipwreck.
The castaway who reaches land despite the danger of being shipwrecked, does not
carry with him all his possessions. He is saved, but suffers loss. When Paul was
shipwrecked and escaped to Malta, the ship and all its cargo were lost.
The only time we read the English word "castaway" in the N.T. is in I Cor. 9: 27.
Paul had been comparing the Christian life with a race. He does not run "in an uncertain"
manner (26). All his energy is concentrated in an effort to win the race. His final words
were "lest by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway".
This words castaway is a translation of the Greek adokimos, which means
"disapproved". It is translated "rejected" in Heb. 6: 8. There are six passages where it
is translated "reprobate", for example in Rom. 1: 28 and II Cor. 13: 5, 6 & 7.  We
quote two passages in detail:
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away ...
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and
Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds,
reprobate concerning the faith" (II Tim. 3: 5, 7, 8).
"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable
and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate" (Titus 1: 16).
These two passages describe those who make a profession of faith, but who have not
received and believed the truth. Their lack of faith is reflected in their manner of life.
They are "corrupt, abominable, reprobate". These men are "disapproved" so that all their
works are wasted. Like the castaway, they may be saved but all their work is lost.
Before we leave adokimos (disapproved) we should mention the reverse dokimos
(approved), and the example that comes readily to mind is II Tim. 2: 15:
"Study (be diligent) to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not
to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."