Summary: Living a life of victory and success is not by accident. It requires diligence and effort! Paul gives us five ingredients to achieve a successful life and win the gold (crown).
FIVE INGREDIENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN RACE
INTRODUCTION: I’m indebted to my dear friend Bro. Truman Kimbrough for this outline and idea.
Living a life of victory and success is not by accident. It requires diligence and effort! Paul gives us five ingredients to achieve a successful life and win the gold (crown). There is:
I. A Cause to Remember
The cause is the gospel. At times Paul forsook what was rightfully his (9:12). Sometimes, for the gospel’s sake, he became some things. He never compromised principle but willingly gave up things of little importance. Like Paul, we should make whatever sacrifices are necessary for the sake of the gospel. What are you willing to do for the sake of the gospel?
II. A Course to Run
There is a race. Athletic contests were just as prevalent in Paul’s day as they are in our day. Paul likens the Christian life to a race. In an athletic race all runners run but only one receives the prize. In the Christian life we all must run our own race (not against others) individually. How should we run? See Heb. 12:1. In every race there is a prescribed course. God has one for each of us.
III. A Condition to Reach
“Temperance” = abstinence from all that would hinder. It is self-control under the control of the Holy Spirit.
IV. A Crown to Receive
A reward awaits those who run well. This is an eternal reward given by the Lord himself.
V. A Caution on Which to Reflect
“Becoming a castaway”. The word means disapproved or disqualified from the race. It means to lose your present influence or testimony and the loss of future reward – not your salvation! If the Greek athlete was disqualified he didn’t lose his citizenship but the honor and possible crown. Don’t run haphazardly like a shadow boxer but run with a purpose.
CONCLUSION: Running a successful race does not happen by accident. It takes planning, training, endurance and sacrifice. Run well. Go for the goal (gold) – the gospel. It will be well worth it! Happy Trails!
As a side note observe the barriers Paul crossed to reach people with the gospel
1. Racial Boundaries – Jews
2. Religious Boundaries – “under law” – Gentiles
3. Cultural Boundaries – “without the” – Pagans
4. Social Boundaries – “weak” - Nobodies