By Charles H. Welch
How many believers have lived under the dreadful fear of being cast away from salvation and grace, by reason of some lapse, frailty or sin? This misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 9:27 is comparable to the harm done to tender consciences, that has been wrought by misunderstanding ‘the sin unto death’ of 1 John 5 and ‘the impossibility of renewing unto repentance’ of Hebrews 6.
A fuller examination of the Greek word translated ‘castaway’ will be found under the heading RIGHT DIVISION (2 Tim. 2:15) where dokimon is translated ‘approved’. Here in 1 Corinthians 9:27 the Greek word is adokimos. ‘disapproved’. The subject under discussion is that of winning a prize or crown, and the idea implied in the word translated ‘castaway’ is that of being ‘disqualified’ as a contestant in a race. For no man is crowned ‘except he strive lawfully’ (2 Tim. 2:5). This matter will be found more fully handled under the headings HOPE and PRIZE, to which the reader’s attention is directed.