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27but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.

 


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27. keep under—literally, "bruise the face under the eyes," so as to render it black and blue; so, to chastise in the most sensitive part. Compare "mortify the deeds of the body," Ro 8:13; also 1Pe 2:11. It is not ascetic fasts or macerations of the body which are here recommended, but the keeping under of our natural self-seeking, so as, like Paul, to lay ourselves out entirely for the great work.

my body—the old man and the remainders of lust in my flesh. "My body," so far as by the flesh it opposes the spirit [Estius] (Ga 5:17). Men may be severe to their bodies and yet indulge their lust. Ascetic "neglect of the body" may be all the while a more subtile "satisfying of the flesh" (Col 2:23). Unless the soul keep the body under, the body will get above the soul. The body may be made a good servant, but is a bad master.

bring it into subjection—or bondage, as a slave or servant led away captive; so the Greek.

preached—literally, "heralded." He keeps up the image from the races. The heralds summoned the candidates for the foot race into the race course [Plato, Laws, 8.833], and placed the crowns on the brows of the conquerors, announcing their names [Bengel]. They probably proclaimed also the laws of the combat; answering to the preaching of the apostles [Alford]. The The Christian herald is also a combatant, in which respect he is distinguished from the herald at the games.

a castaway—failing shamefully of the prize myself, after I have called others to the contest. Rejected by God, the Judge of the Christian race, notwithstanding my having, by my preaching, led others to be accepted. Compare the equivalent term, "reprobate," Jer 6:30; 2Co 13:6. Paul implies, if such earnest, self-denying watchfulness over himself be needed still, with all his labors for others, to make his own calling sure, much more is the same needed by the Corinthians, instead of their going, as they do, to the extreme limit of Christian liberty.




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