Earlier, I began to offer Installments of Reworked Segments of an Essay on 1 Corinthians 9:27. However, now I simply direct you to the full essay titled “'Lest after preaching to others I become disqualified' Grace and Warning in Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 9:23-27)."
Here is my thesis.
We will understand that Paul administers this warning to himself and to us without simultaneously calling upon us to doubt that God will preserve us, his children, safely to the end but might relinquish his grasp upon us with the result that we will perish in the Last Day. Instead of subverting his own and our confident assurance that God, who has begun his work of redeeming grace in us, will preserve us in his grace to the end, Paul’s warning is wholly compatible with his affirmations of confidence in God’s preserving his own people unto final salvation. Precisely because the apostle believes in the power of God’s redeeming grace to secure his children, Paul is also confident that warnings for him and for us are essential to the gospel’s call upon us. As it is indispensable in a foot race not only to leap from the starting blocks but also to run steadfastly to the goal, so God’s saving grace, announced to us in the gospel, beckons us with urgency to run faithfully to the end after we have left the starting blocks of initial belief. If we do not run faithfully, we will fail to attain unto the prize, the eternal wreath of life everlasting. By means of warnings, such as we hear in 1 Corinthians 9:27, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ reiterates the inseparable continuity between the beginning of belief in Christ Jesus and obtaining salvation that awaits us at the finish line. The continuity of belief that lays hold of eternal life in the Last Day runs through the travails, the troubles, the tribulations of this present life, both externally imposed and internally experienced, as the gospel requires faithful endurance from us in order that we might lay hold of salvation in the age to come.