9:27 I discipline my body. He continues the athletic metaphor by reminding his readers that fighters must discipline their bodies if they expect to win. Similarly, Christians must be willing to set aside their selfish interests for the sake of their primary goal.
lest . . . I myself should be disqualified. This statement has often been used as evidence that Christians can lose their salvation. The witness of the New Testament and of Paul in particular is that those whom God has brought to Himself are His forever (Rom. 8:28–30) because the life they have been given is eternal in character (John 5:24; Heb. 7:16). What God has begun He will bring to completion (Phil. 1:6). However, it would be wrong to dismiss or minimize Paul’s concern (cf. 15:2; Phil. 3:11; Col. 1:23) by suggesting that it is merely hypothetical or relates only to rewards and not salvation. Paul was confident that absolutely nothing would be able to separate him from God’s love (Rom. 8:38–39), but he never presumed that he was saved regardless of what he did. No Christian can afford to take lightly the warnings of Scripture (10:12).