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HomeAbidingWhat Did Paul Mean by "I Keep Under My Body"?

What Did Paul Mean by “I Keep Under My Body”? [podcast]

In this Bible verse, was Christ's apostle Paul speaking of losing rewards or losing his eternal soul?

 

If OSAS/eternal security is true, WHY did Paul say he himself that he could be “castaway” if he didn’t endure to the end, keep under his body (the cross life)?

“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

Here Paul speaks of his own need for the crucified life – to keep under his body, the flesh – in light of the sins that kept God’s people out of their promised land and his own jeopardy of soul if he were to neglect the cross in his own personal life (1 Corinthians 9:27-10-13).

Why O why would this apostle of Christ have uttered these words if he believed he was “once saved always saved”/”eternally secure” or that he was automatically going to be in Heaven no matter how he lived his life after being genuinely saved? Why would he ever had said that he would be cast away from the LORD in the end if he didn’t keep under his body if such were not possible? Paul follow Jesus and knew he was responsible to “endure to the end” of his earthly life to be saved into eternal glory (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Colossians 1:22-23; Hebrews 3:6, 12-14; 10:26-39, etc.).

Most evangelicals have been sold on the lie that initial salvation means a saved person will automatically be in Heaven, no matter what he does after being saved. Not. Jesus and His holy apostles taught initial and final salvation.

Though the vast majority of those who pretend to represent Christ today do not preach His original Gospel, Jesus says that to follow Him, one must deny self and take up the cross daily (Luke 9:23-24). These are what Paul calls “enemies of the CROSS of Christ” who are building a ministry busine$$ and know that the golden calf heresy of eternal security $ell$ (Philippians 3:18-19; 2 Peter 2:1-3).

We therefore can safely conclude that this daily denial of self, this cross, this crucified life, is exactly what the apostle is speaking of when speaking of keeping under his body, his flesh. When Paul penned these words, he was speaking of what he so often spoke about – the cross.

What is there to crucify, to “keep under”, to subdue?

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. … O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:18, 24

Believing we can live sanctified, abiding in Christ without the cross He prescribed is self-deception and only confirms further our need to be truly crucified with Christ, buried, and raised up daily (Galatians 2:20).

I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection” = the cross, the crucified life.

Some who are hell bent of corrupting the plain words of Christ would say that this is not speaking of eternal glory, of one’s salvation being in jeopardy. Better think again.

Of this passage, Donald Stamps, in the Life in the Spirit Study Bible notes:

“9:24-27 RUN, THAT YE MAY OBTAIN. Paul illustrates the principle that if one fails to exercise self-control, self-denial, and love with regard to others, he himself will be rejected by God, even if he is a gospel preacher.”

“9:27 I MYSELF SHOULD BE A CASTAWAY. ‘Be a castaway’ (Gk. adokimos) conveys the idea of ‘failing the test,’ ‘being rejected.’ Paul uses this same term in 2 Cor. 13:5, where he states that Christ does not dwell in any who are ‘reprobates’ (Gr. adokimoi). Paul is not referring merely to the loss of ministerial reward. What he recognizes is the possibility that he may fail to obtain the prize (i.e., the inheritance of final salvation (vv24-25) if he should cease living a holy life, exercising self-control, and enduring hardships for Christ (vv 25-27).”

The correct preaching of the full counsel of God’s WORD creates in us the desire to be set apart to our LORD (holy) and to cease the things, the sins that defile such purity necessary to abide in vital union with our Maker who is our Savior!

Notice below how Jesus knits the denial of self, the daily cross, the putting off the deeds of the body, of keeping under the body – the iniquitous fallen nature – with the destiny of the eternal soul.

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” Luke 9:23-25

Jesus made it clear here that the cross is an original Gospel essential, an absolute imperative to eternal glory with Him! The cross is essential to eternal glory. In other words, following Jesus on His stated terms – living the crucified life! (Luke 9:23-24)

Each of us proves exactly who we love the most by the way we are living! – God or self!

Everything that is happening in your life now is being allowed by God in order to get you down low into the death and burial with Christ. Read 2 Corinthians 4.

There’s no such thing as a Heaven-bound person who does not love God enough to offer their life to Him a living sacrifice and thereby overcome sin. Read this passage closely.

“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 
17  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you
18  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness
19  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 
20  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness
21  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 
22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life
23  For the wages of sin is death (separation); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:15-23

Notice in verse 22 that those having been born again and now truly abiding in Christ of the fruit of holiness, not sin. And to them alone will end up with everlasting glory!

Jesus made it clear here that the cross is an original Gospel essential, an absolute imperative to eternal glory with Him! The cross is essential to eternal glory. In other words, following Jesus on His stated terms.

The deeds of the body must be kept under the power of the Holy Ghost and such is only possible by way of adhering to the cross Jesus mandated!

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13

The cross is the condition for overcoming the ensuing 5 sins that Paul then teaches kept some of the children of Israel out of their promised land. Our promised land is Heaven and just as some of the God’s people didn’t make it, didn’t “endure to the end”, were like the 5 foolish virgins, some of those Jesus had saved will not “endure to the end” and be in glory with Him (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; 25:1-3, etc.).

Here are the ensuing words, the text immediately following 1 Corinthians 9:27. It’s a contiguous theme, warning from the apostle. Let’s read the whole passage, the context. He made no chapter divisions when he penned this divinely-inspired letter. Paul speaks of the personally responsibility and necessity of the crucified life in light of the 5 sins we all face which if we live in, will disqualify us from eternal glory. Here’s our main Bible verse, truth again and what follows:

“27  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  Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea (represents salvation)

2  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 

3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 

4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 

5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness

6  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also LUSTED

7  Neither be ye IDOLATERS, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 

8  Neither let us commit FORNICATION, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 

9  Neither let us TEMPT CHRIST, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 

10  Neither MURMUR ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 

11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 

12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 

1 Corinthians 9:27-10:12

Clearly in this passage we see that the cross is a prerequisite for overcoming the 5 disqualifying sins. | The 5 Sins that Kept God’s People from their Promised Land

Life in the Spirit Study Bible on 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

10:1   I WOULD NOT THAT YE SHOULD BE IGNORANT. The fact that one may be redeemed, partake of divine grace, and yet later be rejected by God, a “castaway” (see 9:27), because of unbelief and evil conduct is now verified by examples from the experience of Israel (vv. 1-12).

10:5   THEY WERE OVERTHROWN IN THE WILDERNESS. The Israelites had experienced the grace of God in the exodus. They had been delivered from bondage (v. 1), baptized (v. 2), and divinely sustained in the wilderness, experiencing close fellowship with Christ (vv. 3-4). Yet in spite of these spiritual blessings, they failed to please God and were destroyed by Him in the wilderness; they forfeited their election and hence, failed to reach the promised land (cf. Num. 14:30. Paul’s point is that, as God did not tolerate Israel’s idolatry, sin, and immorality, so He will not tolerate the sin of believers under the new covenant.

10:6   THESE THINGS WERE OUR ESAMPLES. The terrible judgment of God upon the disobedient Israelites serves as an example and a warning for those under the new covenant not to desire evil things. Paul warns the Corinthians that if they repeat Israel’s unfaithfulness to God (vv. 7-10), they too will receive His judgment and fail to enter the promised heavenly country.

10:11   WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION. The history of God’s judgment of His people in the O.T. was written down in the Scriptures to provide those in the N.T. with ample warnings against sinning and falling from grace (v. 12; see Num. 14:29).7

10:12   TAKE HEED LEST HE FALL. The Israelites, as God’s elect, thought they could safely dabble in the sins of idolatry, and immorality; yet they met with God’s judgments. Those who believe they can securely live without turning away from unrighteous conduct and worldly passions should take notice of the warning of God in this passage.

10:13   GOD IS FAITHFUL. A professing believer may not justify sinning with excuses that he is simply human and thus imperfect, or that in this life all born-again believers continue sinning in word, thought, and deed (cf. Rom. 6:1). At the same times, Paul assures the Corinthians that no true believer need fall from the grace and mercy of God. (1) The Holy Spirit explicitly affirms that God provides His children with adequate grace to overcome every temptation and thus to resist sinning (cf. Rev. 2:7,17,26). God’s faithfulness expresses itself in two ways: (a) He will not allow us to be tempted above that which we can bear, and (b) He will with each temptation provide a way by which we can endure the temptation and overcome sin (cf. 2 Thes. 3:3).

   (2)   The grace of God (Eph. 2:8-10; Tit. 2:11-14), the blood of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:24), the Word of God (Eph 6:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17), the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:5-6; 1 Pet. 1:5), and the heavenly intercession of Christ bring sufficient power for the believer to be victorious over the poser of sin  and demonic influences (Eph. 6:10-18; Heb 7:25).

   (3)   If the Christian yields to sin, it is not because Christ’s provision of grace is inadequate, but because the believer fails to resist his own sinful desires by the power of the Spirit (Rom 8:13-14; 2 Pet. 1:3).”

Was Paul involved in a relationship with Christ? Was Paul required to participate or was he a robot? Was it “all God,” “all grace” as the calvinist would claim?

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have FOUGHT a good fight, I have FINISHED my course, I have KEPT the faith: 8 Henceforth (therefore) there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8

If a person whose has been saved in the past is not fighting the good fight, finished what God began in him and called him to do – finishing his course, and keeping the faith, how can he possibly say with Paul “there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness”?

The kingdom of Heaven is to be pressed into and not taken casually.

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12;

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14 

Colossians 3:1-10

1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 

2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 

3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 

4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 

5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 

6  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 

7  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 

8  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 

9  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 

10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 

“The old man” must go down before “the new man” can be raised out of that grave – death and burial.

Ephesians 4:20-24

20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 
21  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 
22  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 
23  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 
24  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 

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