Summary: RUNNING THE RACE OF FAITH II. - 1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27 - 8/4/12
RUNNING THE RACE OF FAITH II. - 1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27 - 8/4/12
"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."
"RUN IN SUCH A WAY AS TO BUFFET YOUR BODY." I was told several weeks ago by Melinda that if I ran from Portland to Tigard that I would get my own church building, so I took it as a challenge and decided one morning (8/11/12) to run or jog to Tigard. It was a 10 mile run and then I took the bus back. I was exhausted, the longest that I have ever ran is 6 miles and that was at a YMCA in Washington state years ago when I was a member. I was glad to have accomplished the task, but now I say where is my building? where is my reward? I kept my part of the bargain no give me what is mine. Anyway, that's not I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about the church running the race of our faith. Below is an outline of what I believe we should discuss in regards to the faith. I've written out ten questions in regards to the Christian faith. If you look to the left those are the shoes that I used to run the ten miles, those shoes carried me through along road, and kept me moving speedily. To run a long course one needs good shoes, and those shoes proved to be the best. Anyway, let's now look at those ten question regarding running the Christian faith.
1. What does it mean to run the race of the Christian faith?
2. Who is calling us to run?
3. What is the prize at the end?
4. What will it take out of us to run this race, or course of our lives which depends on our faith, that is what we believe?
5. When the course is complete to we have to run back to the beginning or do we remain at the finish line to receive our reward?
6. Who is rewarding us our prize?
7. Are we receiving a prize for winning or completing the course?
8. Are we running alone in this course, or do we have others running against us like in a marathon?
9. Are we permitted to stop and rest along the way, perhaps to drink or relieve our bodies?
10. What do we do next when we have finished the course and kept the faith?
1. What does it mean to run the race of the Christian faith? "Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim;" (1 Cor. 9:26)
I believe that it means to carry out our individual given tasks as Christians who are in a relationship with God by faith. Paul ran with the "aim" the focus, the goal of accomplishing one task which was given to him in Acts 9 by Christ and in Acts 13 by the Holy Spirit which was to bear the name of Jesus and his Gospel to the nations of the world so that man could be reconciled to God and suffer while doing it. He did it until he was brought to Rome for judgment before Caesar. He ran the course which Christ outlined for him, which was to be an Apostle, a missionary, an evangelist, a preacher and teacher of the gospel of God, which Christ himself gave to Paul (Gal.1:11-12). So when Paul did the ministry or run his given course it was with the instructions of the Holy Spirit and Christ internally leading him to accomplish his aim, which was to deliver the message to the gentiles and the churches for the salvation of their souls and encouragement in the faith.
2. Who is calling us to run? "after I have preached to others" (1 Cor. 9:27; Acts 9:15-16)
In Acts 9:15-16 After Paul was confronted by Christ on the road to Damascus for persecuting Christians, the Lord communicated to Ananias that "he was a chosen instrument of mine," meaning that Paul had been called into the ministry, he was called by God himself to help him build his church like Peter (Matt. 16:18; John 21:15-18), he was called to run the race of faith not only as a Christian, but also as a teacher of his word (Col.1:28-29). Thus, in the case of others who have been called by God into ministry after Paul it is still Jesus and his Holy Spirit that calls men into service, to help him build his church not for the purpose of obtaining glory, but to correct what Satan did in the garden to steal away the glory of God from him. Thus, the church gives back to God the glory that was removed from him by Satan, Paul explained to the church at Corinth that the church is to do all things to the glory of God not for the purpose of obtaining a prize. The prize is that God is glorified once again by his creation. So men are called to run, to enter into the ministry and call humanity back to being reconciled back to God.