Series: Action [#44]
FREEDOM LETTER- RUN A GOOD RACE
Many years ago, I coached the High School Swimming team. I had several athletes that went to College on scholarships; but the athlete I was thinking about while I was preparing this sermon, went on to compete in Triathlons. A Triathlon is a 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike ride, and a 6 mile run. (For those listening that know the exact distances, it is a 1.5 kilometer swim, 40 kilometer bike ride, and a 10 kilometer run.) This athlete practiced his running and bicycling around town; but he practiced his swimming in a pool. We did not understand that his training in a pool instead of open water would be an issue until he competed in his 1st Triathlon.
When I saw him after his Triathlon, he said that he almost drowned. He was used to competing in his own lane and in open water swimming, it gets rough. When people would pass him, they would do things like hold his head under the water or punch him in the side. We had to change his entire swimming technique. I taught him how to raise up real high for a breath so he would not take in water and so that he could look around and push people off him. He began to place very high in his next races because he knew how to stay in the lead during the swimming portion of the race.
In our text today, Paul talks to us about how to run the race.
Hold on to…
1. Your freedom.
Your freedom does not come from a place It comes from a person. It is through Christ that you are free. Stand firm. Don’t go back to the things that enslaved you.
Hold on to…
2. Your faith.
It is through faith in Jesus Christ that you are free. You can never be free while living by the Law. The Law shows that you are a slave to sin. Your freedom comes through God’s grace. You have been given freedom although you deserve slavery. Notice that your faith is expressed through love.
Hold on to…
3. A strong finish.
One of my main “pet peeves” as a Swim Coach was being passed and out touched at the end. My swimmers did not always win; but they seldom lost at the end of a race because I taught them to finish strong. That is what Christians need to do is finish strong. Paul points out that they were running a good race; but all of a sudden, these people cut them off. Life is so much like these verses- You are doing great and then all of a sudden everything falls apart.
Paul also teaches that 1 bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. Yeast is small, yet it can work through all of the dough. Paul also gives a strong warning to people who are teaching and preaching a gospel that is not true. Remember, it is Jesus + nothing = Salvation.
The Christian life is not a sprint- It is a marathon. Each day, we should be running our races with the intention of finishing strong. Do not let people cut you off and slow down your race. If you have just given up and taken yourself out of the race; today is a good day to get back in the race.