And every man that strives for the mastery is TEMPERATE in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an INCORRUPTIBLE. 1 Cor. 9:25
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 Cor. 9:27
When we talk about subjection, we might be quick to look at it from self-discipline point of view where you deny yourself many things and put yourself under strict watch and standards, to the extent that if one is broken, you feel so so condemned. Well, I choose to say it doesn’t work like that all the time. To ‘subject’ also means ‘to put oneself under an higher authority’. I put my body under subjection….talks about putting your body under the leadership of the spirit. The order of hierachy is usually Spirit, Soul and body. But when it is reversed to Body, Soul and Spirit, then there is a problem. Remember Paul saying, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16). The truth is to put your body under subjection is to relegate the body(flesh) to the background. The body is not relevant to making any decision. The body doesn’t dictate to your spirit on what to do. It is dangerous.
Temperance is not the same as self-discipline or self-control. It’s a lot more than that. Temperance is a spirit-controlled subjection and discipline. What determines whether you are temperate is how much have you submitted yourself to the spirit for control. The ‘self’ doesn’t have any good of itself. It is flesh, earthy and carnal. The best it can produce is death. There is no good thing in the flesh.
Therefore, we must learn to yield ourselves servant(subjection) to the spirit so that we will become servants(one who has no authority of his own) to the spirit. As many as are led by the Spirit eventually becomes son. Sonship is not attained by subjecting oneself to some crazy standards or discipline. It is spiritual.
The rich young ruler was a better choice if self-denial was the key to the kingdom. He was perfect in the law since a child. Saul(converted to Paul) would need no coversion if being ‘blameless in the law’ was the requirements. Friends, it is the Spirit that makes one alive, the flesh profits nothing. So subjection is not a carnal act or choice, but a spiritual transaction.