We are saved by God’s amazing grace that brings salvation to our lives. When we believe in Jesus, we get connected to the Life of God. Eternal life is much more than living forever – hey, you could live forever and have a miserable life. Eternal life is all about knowing God in an intimate way, where we are connected to Him or abide in Him. Unfortunately, we have made Christianity about many things instead of knowing God or eternal life.
Jesus uses the analogy of a branch abiding in the vine to explain how the Life of God flows into a believer’s life (John 15). Paul the apostle, uses the example of the people of Israel to warn the Gentiles that they must stay connected to Jesus through faith:
“Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” Yes, but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either. Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.” Romans 11:19-22
This is what makes sin so dangerous, the Bible warns about sin leading to death. Sin can cause us to walk in unbelief and disconnect us from the Life of God.
Paul goes on to explain his approach to matters in his own life:
“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
Paul was probably one of the greatest apostle the world has ever seen. Paul is unique in his ministry because he was personally taught by Jesus Christ and learned many things in Heaven. No one possessed a greater revelation of the ministry of grace than Paul the apostle. Why did Paul keep his body under subjection? Paul explains why – he did not want to become a castaway.
What you do in the flesh matters, it can affect your eternal salvation.
The Pharisees preached God’s word but believed none of it. Jesus warned the people of them:
“So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.” Matthew 23:3
Jesus also warns that just as Satan has angels, he also has ministers. In fact, Jesus calls Satan’s ministers “ministers of righteousness”. However these ministers speak of righteousness but don’t actually do it.
“Therefore it is no great thing if his (Satan’s) ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:15
Finally, Paul follows up 1 Corinthians Chapter 9 with the strongest warning to believers about how they live and believe in 1 Corinthians 10:1-12
“I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
THESE THINGS HAPPENED AS A WARNING TO US, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.
Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.”