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Body Blows

Posted on September 28, 2019 at 2:15 PM

Doesn't 1 Cor. 9:27 sounds a lot like a “struggle” in which Paul is presently and [at least to some degree] engaged?

I may miss your question, but I don’t see this as related that much to what I am addressing. My claim is that God’s forgiveness and salvation are complete and that we longer need to struggle daily with sin as if sin is about to overcome us at any minute.  This passage is not really addressing Paul’s salvation or any battle or struggle with sin. Rather, he is discussing his preaching of the Gospel and what he must do to reach people. He picks up on the idea of slavery to show to what extent he will go to be successful. In verse 19 he says he will become a slave to everyone in order to win them to Christ. What does being a slave involve? It involves in some respect giving up something like control or freedom. Here, Paul gives up his freedom in Christ in order to live under some of the restrictions that the Jews or the Greeks lived under. He is willing to take on some duties of the law when he is around those who follow the law meticulously. Again, he is not talking at all about his salvation or his wanting to avoid sin. In the 19-23 section sin is not even mentioned.


Paul does like to mix metaphors so he throws in about training. But he is still talking about preaching the gospel and does not leave the slavery idea. In vs 27 he says, “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize (1 Corinthians 9:27 NIV).” How is he becoming a slave? He is giving up his time and freedom to train hard. This is still tied to his preaching and he claims again to make himself a slave as he did before. He does not want to miss the prize. What is the prize? We tend to think that is salvation or heaven, but again there is nothing here in this passage about those things. Why did he want to make himself a slave in verse 19? To win as many as possible. Why did he want to make himself a slave in verse 27? So he will not be disqualified for the prize. Logic would say these two goals are the same thing or very related. He did not want to lose the prize of winning as many as possible. The prize is not his personal salvation, his entering heaven, or freedom from sin. Training your body to preach and struggling with sin may seem to sound alike but really are two different things.


Notice in Romans 7 Paul really is not talking about a struggle with sin either. He is discussing a struggle to try to be perfect through keeping the law, a struggle that was behind him.

Categories: Erased: God's Complete Forgiveness of Sins

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