And makes it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified

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In 1 Cor. 9: 27 the apostle Paul says that he disciplines his body “and makes it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”

  • Many people do not think that a Christian can be disqualified.

  • This is the doctrine of “Perseverance of the Saints” or common known as “Once saved always saved” and basically the idea is, “Salvation is a gift from God, you receive it by grace, and what God gives you He is not going to take away from you no matter what, so once you are saved you cannot be lost and if you are it is because you were never saved in the first place.”

  • From what Paul says here in chapter 10:1-13 these Christians at Corinth thought much this same way after all, they had been baptized into Christ, and since the blood of Christ continues to wash away your sins they could live any way they wanted.

    • In chapter 1 it was ok to be quarrelsome and divisive…after all they had been baptized…they were saved.

    • In chapter 1 it was ok to glory in and adhere to the teachings of the great intellects of the day and corrupt your morals, religion, and lifestyle.

    • In chapter 3 it was ok form them to cause jealousies and strife.

    • In chapter 5 it was ok if a brother committed gross immorality.

    • In chapter 6 it was ok to take each other to court and defraud one another.

    • In chapter 8 and 9 it was ok to be selfish and cause a brother to stumble.

    • Like many today they had it in mind that they could act unruly, immorally, and ungodly and still be saved after all, they had been baptized into Christ, salvation was theirs, and it couldn’t be taken away.

    • They apparently didn’t think they could be “disqualified.”


For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

  • Paul takes us to the Exodus to give us an example of some who were “saved” and yet were “disqualified.”

  • These Israelites were “baptized into Moses.”

  • They had been delivered from bondage and captivity by God.

  • They had eaten the spiritual food and drank the spiritual drink.

  • They were on their way to the Promised Land!

  • But…

5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

  • They never made it to the Promised Land!

  • You can be baptized into Christ, you can pass through the water, you can be delivered, but that does not guarantee that you will make it to the Promised Land.

  • The idea of “Once saved always saved” is not true; see vs. 12.

  • To ultimately obtain the Promised Land you must remain faithful and obedient to God.


Vs. 6: Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved.

  • In Numbers 11, God had delivered the Israelites and yet they longed for what they had back in Egypt…some even desired to go back so strongly they insulted God and rebelled against Him.

  • If we are constantly longing for things we had before we were delivered...if we constantly long for the things of the world and rebel against God…we too will be “laid low in the wilderness”…we will be disqualified.

Vs. 7-8: And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, " The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play." 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.

  • Paul refers to Exodus 32 and Numbers 25 where the people worshipped idols and pagan gods…in short they abandoned God and did what they wanted.

  • If we abandon God and make for ourselves our own gods and follow after them, then we too will be “laid low in the wilderness”…we will be disqualified.

Vs. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

  • The apostle refers to Numbers 21 and Numbers 16 where you find that the people “became impatient with God, spoke against God and Moses, and rebelled.”

  • If we complain and speak against God, if we think we know better than God and rebel against Him, even though we have delivered and are on our way to the Promised Land, we will be disqualified and die in the wilderness.

Vs. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

  • Paul writes all of this for us to learn that you can be baptized and delivered, and still die far short of the Promised Land.

Vs. 12: Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

  • People today either arrogantly or foolishly think that they can’t be lost.

  • However, Paul says, “take heed, be warned, be alert, because even though you think you can’t be lost…you can.”

Vs. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

  • For the arrogant and self-reliant man who thinks he stands no matter what, for him there is no fear of being lost thus he doesn’t seek God’s guidance or way of escape.

  • But for the humble man who knows he can fall, when temptation comes he knows that God will give him a way of escape…that there is a way out…endurance is possible.

May we all take heed lest we fall!

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