1 Corinthians 9:27

But I buffet my body (alla upwpiazw mou to swma). In Aristophanes, Aristotle, Plutarch, from upwpion, and that from upo and op (in papyri), the part of the face under the eyes, a blow in the face, to beat black and blue. In N.T. only here and Luke 18:5 which see. Paul does not, like the Gnostics, consider his sarx or his swma sinful and evil. But "it is like the horses in a chariot race, which must be kept well in hand by whip and rein if the prize is to be secured" (Robertson and Plummer). The boxers often used boxing gloves (cestu, of ox-hide bands) which gave telling blows. Paul was not willing for his body to be his master. He found good as the outcome of this self-discipline ( 2 Corinthians 12:7 ; Romans 8:13 ; Colossians 2:23 ; Colossians 3:5 ). And bring it into bondage (kai doulagwgw). Late compound verb from doulagwgo, in Diodorus Siculus, Epictetus and substantive in papyri. It is the metaphor of the victor leading the vanquished as captive and slave. Lest by any means (mh pw). Common conjunction for negative purpose with subjunctive as here (genwmai, second aorist middle). After that I have preached to others (alloi khrxa). First aorist active participle of khrussw (see on Colossians 1:23 ), common verb to preach, from word khrux (herald) and that is probably the idea here. A khrux at the games announced the rules of the game and called out the competitors. So Paul is not merely a herald, but a competitor also. I myself should be rejected (auto adokimo genwmai). Literally, "I myself should become rejected." Adokimo is an old adjective used of metals, coin, soil ( Hebrews 6:8 ) and in a moral sense only by Paul in N.T. ( 1 Corinthians 9:27 ; 2 Corinthians 13:5-7 ; Romans 1:28 ; Titus 1:16 ; 2 Timothy 3:8 ). It means not standing the test (dokimo from dokimazw). Paul means rejected for the prize, not for the entrance to the race. He will fail to win if he breaks the rules of the game ( Matthew 7:22 ). What is the prize before Paul? Is it that reward (misqo) of which he spoke in verse 1 Corinthians 9:18 , his glorying of preaching a free gospel? So Edwards argues. Most writers take Paul to refer to the possibility of his rejection in his personal salvation at the end of the race. He does not claim absolute perfection ( Philippians 3:12 ) and so he presses on. At the end he has serene confidence ( 2 Timothy 4:7 ) with the race run and won. It is a humbling thought for us all to see this wholesome fear instead of smug complacency in this greatest of all heralds of Christ.