1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (NIV) 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Grace, mercy and forgiveness are essential for gaining access to the place of fellowship where identity with wickedness and unrighteousness is left for the undeserved representation of righteousness. To actively remain there, however, and have it as an abode, there must be blows given to the body as it cries out for return to where it rules with no restraint. It is not by grace alone that races and battles are won. Without flesh denying faith there can be no celebrating the prize of the overcomer. A handout is not a prize. It’s when the gift is given personal sacrifice that it becomes an opportunity for triumph and victory. Ask the athlete, the businessman, the mother, the Christian – true life exists where flesh desists.