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Will Your Preaching Disqualify You?
by Mike Wells

"But I keep charge of my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." I Cor. 9:27

This is a beautiful, love-filled, strong warning by Paul, whose concern is legitimate. The fear is simple; that we will preach one thing and then do another, and thus discredit our message. As you know, we stand and fall on our definitions. The common definition given to that passage would lead one to believe that Paul was preaching law and judging his lack of hypocrisy by his ability to keep the law. I would be willing to assert that most who preach on this passage use it to set a standard that they donít even keep, then draw the contrast between what the listeners do and what Paul did, and leave everyone bleeding on the ground as hopeless hypocrites.

But what was Paul preaching that he didnít want to go against? Are you preaching the same thing that Paul was preaching? Is your standard different from his? For Paul was preaching grace, love, mercy, hope, and, more than anything, a devotion to Jesus. I believe it is these things, being preached regularly, that he was afraid not to do and disqualify himself. Many preach grace, but then when they fail, they move farther away from Jesus. They have just disqualified themselves from the message they preach. When a Christian fails he must get up and love forward in the love of God. If he cannot, there is a big problem. In short, Christianity is different, much different.

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