What Does 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Mean?
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 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 9:24-27 KJV)
Paul is encouraging the followers to be disciplined over their life so that they will come under total subjection to the master Jesus Christ. He uses the example of a sport competition that the followers are to make a lot of effort to discipline and train themselves, just like how athletes would spend lots of time every day to exercise and build up their muscles so that they can win the competition. The heavenly rewards that await every obedient Christian is the crown of life.
Be Disciplined and Keep Your Life Holy
If you want to get saved and go to heaven, you not only must believe in Jesus Christ but also walk in God’s commandments. The first step to inherit eternal life is to confess your mouth that Jesus Christ is lord and believe that God has raised him to life on the third day. After conversion and baptism, it doesn’t mean that you can sin all you want as the blood of Jesus Christ will only wash away your sin when you repent and confess your sins.
You must start to build your relationship with God by getting close to him. There are a lot of things you can do to build a close relationship with God including praying, reading the bible and worshiping. Every day, you should spend some time to worship and sing hymns and psalms to God. You must spend time to pray for yourself and others daily. You should also read the bible every day. If you don’t understand something you read in the bible, you can ask your pastor, a fellow Christian who is spiritually mature, or reference the commentary.
Christians are obliged to obey the whole commandments in the New Testament as well as the moral laws in the Old Testament. Breaking the least of God’s commandment is equal to breaking the whole of God’s commandments. You must never compromise with the world by following their practices. You must set apart yourself from the world by keeping your life holy so that you can be a good testimony to others.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10 KJV)
For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (James 3:2 KJV)
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (2 Peter 1:10 KJV)
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 KJV)
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20 KJV)
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (Galatians 5:3 KJV)
Obey the Holy Spirit, Not the Lust of Your Flesh
Christians must be self disciplined and not follow the desires of the flesh. Instead, you must walk by the Spirit. You must do what God wants you to do, not following the lust of your flesh. For example, cakes may seem delicious to you and you want to eat it. However, eating too much cakes will make you grow fat. Therefore, you must be disciplined and be self control over this temptation. If you have good self control over your body, it will be harder for you to give way to sin. We must always be alert and never give any foothold to the devil because the devil is constantly looking for people who are weak to devour.
It can be difficult to overcome all your bad habits at one time. However, with God’s help, it is possible to overcome your bad habits such as smoking, drinking beer and etc. You must be willing to change and let go of your bad habit if you want the Holy Spirit to help you. You must completely surrender to God all aspects of your life before God can change you. You can pray for God to help you overcome your bad habit if you feel that you don’t have the will power to do it. You must keep on praying patiently and persistently if you want God to help you change your bad habit. If you are completely obedient to the Holy Spirit, he will help you to change and you will be able to develop the 9 fruit of the Holy Spirit over time.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:1-11 KJV)
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:16-26 KJV)
Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. (Philippians 3:19 KJV)
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)