Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 9 September 2014
Page 9

Wisdom's Corner

Keep Under My Body

Mark McWhorter“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27). In this letter, Paul was writing to the Corinthians. These Christians were having problems with thinking that the freedom they had in Christ allowed them to do things they should not do. They also thought that they did not need to consider what other Christians thought of their choices. They thought their freedom gave them the right to do what they wanted to do.

In Chapter Nine, Paul told them that the freedom in Christ did not give them the right to do anything they wanted to do. He said that he had the same freedom, but that he made choices based on whether it was allowed by Christ and whether it would offend others. If a choice would offend Christ or others, he did not choose it.

In the verse above, the words “keep under” come from a Greek word that was used to describe getting a black eye in the sport of boxing. Thus, Paul was stating that he was willing to mentally bruise and give a black eye to his body for the cause of Christ. It was better to hurt inside from not doing something one wanted to do than to offend Christ or another person.

Study your Bible. Obey Christ. Keep under your body for the cause of Christ. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Reflections on Faith

Dean Kelly

Dean KellySo many people, even Christians, have a rather confused concept of what faith is. Unlike the existential type of philosophy that is so prevalent today, faith is not just a leap out into the dark. Faith is not in opposition to knowledge. Faith is an avenue to knowledge that carries us through the dark with its light. Consider just a few points on faith.

Faith Is Based on Reliable Evidence

We act by faith because we have evidence that the object of our faith is reliable. That is why the apostle Paul said that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Our Walk Is by Faith Not by Sight

In 2 Corinthians 5:7, the biblical contrast is not between faith and knowledge, but rather between faith and sight. We do believe in what we have not seen. We have never seen God, yet we have deep and abiding faith in Him. We can, indeed, know that God is. We know it by faith, which is based upon reliable evidence that God is. There are things that we will never understand, and we do accept those things on faith, but that faith is in a God that is worthy of our trust. It is still not a leap out into the dark, but rather an acceptance of the God that is revealed to us by abundant evidence, including His revelation of His nature and will through the inspired Scriptures.

Each of Us Must Develop His or Her Own Faith

There is a system of faith, the once-delivered faith of Jude 3, which is unchanging and set by God. I believe that Romans 1:17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith,” teaches that through an understanding of that once-delivered system of faith we come to our individual faith. We can neither inherit nor borrow faith; we must build our own faith so that we can indeed live by faith.

True, Strong Faith Is Life-Sustaining

There are not always answers to specific questions about life, why we go through particular things and why bad things happen to us despite our faith in God. What true faith ultimately does is sustain us and helps us realize that we do not know all the answers, but that God does. It also carries us through the difficulties, trials and unanswerable questions, because of the promise to His people that all things will work together for our good. True, strong faith makes it possible to walk the unknown highways, press on in the dark of the night and ultimately soar on the wings of eagles. Faith is not uncertainty; faith is the certainty that helps us face a life and world full of uncertainty.

Our Faith Must Be Maintained and Grown

We are going to have fluctuations in the strength of our faith. One fact is certain: faith cannot be stagnant and be successful. Not only must faith act to be true faith (James 2), but it is a fact that faith must consistently be buoyed up by continuous study of God’s Word, prayer and Christian fellowship. Peter admonished, more than once in his writings, to grow in faith.

May we have a true understanding of faith, and may it be the power in our lives that not only takes us through the bad times, but motivates us in the good times. Ultimately, may our faith end in sight in a heavenly home with God and the saved of all the ages.

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