“but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV
No, 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
Though I am a stickler for reading the King James Version of the Bible, mostly because when they found the Dead Sea scrolls in the early 1900’s, especially with regards to the Book of Isaiah and compared those scrolls to the King James Version of the Bible they found it was almost an exact match.
Therefore, I personally gravitate to the King James Version because it appears to be the least tampered with. However, what I do love about the different Bible versions is being able to read various versions usually makes the message that is being conveyed clearer.
In this scripture, Paul was speaking to the Corinthian church about the importance of beating his body (in a figurative manner not physically) by killing the fleshly desires and/or appetite. Paul talked about the carnal mindset or fleshly appetite as an actual enemy and how significant it was to hold it captive or conquer it. In other words, he stressed the significance of having complete victory over the flesh.
Paul continued to speak about the importance of this especially in his leadership position in the church as an apostle. And though he is speaking from a leadership perspective, this goes for anyone who considers them self a child of God or a Believer. He finishes the verse off by stating after all is said and done, it would be a total waste, a complete loss, a true disappointment for me to have preached the gospel to others and yet I myself be a castaway. The New International Version (NIV) makes it so even more plain. What sense would it make that I preach the good news and then myself be “disqualified for the prize?”
See Paul had endured many things in his walk for Christ. He had preached the gospel effectually with boldness and endured much persecution for his holy stance. And as a Believer, the scriptures tell us we shall suffer or be persecuted for the faith, but it would be pointless to have pointed so many people to Christ, yet be the one who be disqualified to go to heaven.
We must understand that it doesn’t matter how successful our church ministry looks. We must understand that it doesn’t matter what position we hold in the church. We must understand that it doesn’t matter how eloquently we put together the scriptures. We must understand it doesn’t matter how long we can minister a prayer.
If we don’t bring this flesh under subjection, if we don’t kill the old man daily, if we don’t pray from a position of repentance, if we don’t add more Holy Ghost to the Holy Ghost we already have, if we don’t read, study, meditate and believe God’s word, we will be disqualified. If we are disqualified, then we forfeit the prize, or miss Heaven.
So when the scriptures are being prepared or presented, please make sure you “eat” or partake of the word first, before you so freely give it away. In order to “eat” the word, you must chew it up, swallow it and digest it which requires you to not just believe it but even more importantly obey it.