1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV):
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
To me, this athlete analogy by Paul sounds very much like an exhortation to work very hard in order to win the prize and not be disqualified, and I can therefore understand why some might take the interpretive leap to concluding that the passage is teaching works-based salvation.
Did Paul teach works-based salvation in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27?
What about the possibility of being "disqualified" (verse 27)? Does that mean that Paul was worried about the possibility of losing his salvation?
How can we reconcile this passage with the idea of salvation by grace through faith, as taught by Paul in Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)?
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.