Summary: The question is not if we will run the race, but how we will run; not if we will enter the race, but how we will run.

1 Cor 9:24-27 Running the Race

When I was a young CPT in the army

- I was sent to Fort Sill, Ok

- For Officers Advanced Course

- I was to be in the school for 6 months

- Now I had come from Fort Ord, CA and the 7th Division

- And we were a very physical division

- Our division commander loved physical training

- So we ran a lot

- I have always loved running and I still do

- And I have always been a fairly good runner-

- Not world-class of course, but decent

- At Ft Sill we were told we would have to run 2 miles in 15 minutes

- That is 7:30 per mile

- And that is a pretty good clip for the average person

- I knew I would not have much trouble meeting that standard

- If I practiced

- I decided, however, to go for 2 miles in 12 minutes

- To run a six minute mile for 2 miles

- Would require me to work hard and frequently

- So I set out to train

- Now it was summer in Ok

- I couldn’t run early in the morning because we had to get to class early

- But I could run after school

- Even though the temperatures were over 90 degrees

- So I ran

- Some days I ran five miles at the same pace

- Some I would run a mile as fast as I could

- Then run 4 miles slowly

- Some I ran medium fast for 4 miles

- Then a fast last mile

- So it went for 5 months, running 4-5 days a week

- Finally fhe day came for the 2 mile test

- I knew if I could set a good pace right out

- And hold it I would be able to meet the 12 minute mark I had set for myself

- The only fear I had was I would start off too fast

- And run out of steam in the 2nd mile

- We got set and the whistle blew

- Off we went

- My excitement, the anticipation was immense

- I ran and found myself running with a few guys up front

- My first mile flew by

- And I began to feel the run

- I pushed to keep the pace

- Pushed hard, pushed past my growing fatigue

- Reaching inside and looking for strength

- I finished the course

- In 11 minutes flat

- Wow! What a surprise

- I had never run that fast before

- I would never run that fast again

All that training paid off

- I was able not only to be able to meet my goal

- But to exceed it

Well, what does that story have to do with anything?

- Let’s look at the first of our texts for today

- The theme of all of them is running the race set before us

- Turn with me to 1 Cor 9:24-27

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;

27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.


Paul starts by saying, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run…”

- Maybe you were not aware

- That you had been entered in a race

- In my story the question was not if I would run the race

- Rather it was how I would run

- I know that I would be in a race

- Whether I prepared for it or not

The same situation exists for every believer and follower of Jesus Christ

- The question is not whether you will enter the race

- You entered it when you accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior

- The writer of Hebrews tells that

Hebrews 12:1

and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,


- You were put on the starting line with that prayer inviting Christ to be your Savior

- The only question left is how will you run?

- That was the only question I had to answer when I was a CPT

- And it remains the question you and I must answer

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