Monday, February 04, 2013
This one was for yesterday, SUNDAY 3 FEBRUARY
26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat 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 9:26-27
Just like the athlete who strives to have complete control of his entire body so that he is in the best position to compete, Paul strives to master his own body.
The Greek phrase for “beat my body” translates more directly as “beat up and wear down my physical body”. Paul keeps his physical body in subjection to the race set out before him – namely his calling as a preacher of the gospel. He’s making a clear correlation between his physical acts in this life and their potential to later impact his spiritual rewards for running his race.
Wanting to be clear, Paul expounds upon this idea in Chapter 10:
10 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
They were Israel. God’s chosen people. Set apart with Moses. Partakers of spiritual food, drink, and Christ.
5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
Out of the approximate 2 MILLION Hebrews that were part of the Exodus…only 2 earned the reward of entering the Promised Land.
Paul then gives examples of how some of the other 1,999,998 people were disqualified from the prize:
7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
Idolatry, sexual immorality, testing (i.e. – challenging) the Lord, and grumbling against the Lord…each of these physical acts brought about physical death which prevented them from obtaining their reward.
27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Disqualification – very serious stuff indeed.
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