Verse 27. But I keep under my body - By all kinds of self denial. And bring it into subjection - To my spirit and to God. The words are strongly figurative, and signify the mortification of the body of sin, "by an allusion to the natural bodies of those who were bruised or subdued in combat. Lest by any means after having preached - The Greek word means, after having discharged the office of an herald, (still carrying on the allusion,) whose office it was to proclaim the conditions, and to display the prizes. I myself should become a reprobate - Disapproved by the Judge, and so falling short of the prize. This single text may give us a just notion of the scriptural doctrine of election and reprobation; and clearly shows us, that particular persons are not in holy writ represented as elected absolutely and unconditionally to eternal life, or predestinated absolutely and unconditionally to eternal death; but that believers in general are elected to enjoy the Christian privileges on earth; which if they abuse, those very elect persons will become reprobate. St. Paul was certainly an elect person, if ever there was one; and yet he declares it was possible he himself might become a reprobate. Nay, he actually would have become such, if he had not thus kept his body under, even though he had been so long an elect person, a Christian, and an apostle.