Strike the Blow

Not surprisingly, it’s been around since the dawn of time.

The earliest known depiction of boxing comes from Egyptian artwork that shows contests between two gloved fighters facing off with one another before a crowd of spectators.

The ancient Greeks (the Corinthians) loved their Olympic games and boxing was one of the more popular events.

And so, the Apostle Paul uses an awesome analogy right out of the world of Rocky Balboa.

He’s already told these new Believers, who are struggling with immorality, about heavenly reward for a Christian life well lived (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

All genuine Believers will be saved, he says, but not all Believers will be rewarded.

Future reward depends on how faithfully we steward the life God graciously entrusts to our care.

Some Christians will be richly rewarded; others will be like “someone barely escaping through the flames.”

So Paul calls us to “fight the good fight”:

Boxers don’t train aimlessly, he says, and when they fight, they don’t send punches flying off into the air.

No, in a contest of wills, you need focus, aim, determination—and you better land those jabs just right if you want to knock out your opponent.

And who is Paul’s relentless adversary he needs to send reeling?


Yes, one again—we’ve met the enemy, and it’s us.

The sinful nature wants to dominate.

And what the Lord told Killer Cain, He tells every one of us:

“Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (Genesis 4:7).

Envy, pride, coveting, greed and lust—square off with us on a daily basis.

We have a deceitful heart (Jeremiah 17:9) that does not want to love God and put His Kingdom first.

The old nature stares us in the face (every morning) and raises its dukes to the “Let’s go a round or two” position.

Paul says: Strike the blow, my friend, and show that bully within who’s boss.

The Greek word he’s using for fight means to give a black eye.

Show your opponent you’re in charge; you and your Lord are the one’s calling the shots, not the dreadful sinful nature.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)

And check out the motivation for all that hard work:

Make those blows count…

“Disqualified” does not mean you lose salvation.

This word Paul uses is an athletic term that means disqualified from reward.

A disqualified athlete forfeited the prize, not his life.

Yes, you’re in heaven.

You trusted in Jesus, but then you spent a lot of time beating the air instead of bringing your body (your life) into subjection.

It’s like the steroid users.

They are true athletes and good at what they do.

Problem is—they didn’t play by the rules, so, sorry.

You don’t get the medal, and your mug will not grace the box of Cheerios.

Play by the rules, my friends.

Make every blow count.

Bring that life of yours into submission to God by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And be rewarded, not disqualified.

Is He Worthy
Scriptures for further reflection:
Ga. 2:20; Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 4:2
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