Summary: Are running your race to win?
1 Cor 9:24-27.doc
GOOD ADVICE TO A GROWING CHURCH _____________________________________________
Seven Keys to Running Your Race Well- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith.
The word victory is the Greek word “Nike” – it means victory or success.
Every four years, an event takes place that captures the attention of the whole world - The International Olympics.
People watch their favorite athlete or team compete for the gold medal.
We all look with pride as our team stands up to receive their honors.
I especially am moved as our flag is raised during the playing of the national anthem.
All of us like to see our team win… but few of us understand the price that these athletes pay to get there - the years of rigorous training and discipline.
The same goes for each of us in the Christian Arena. Without the right training and discipline - victory will always be out of reach.
This passage gives us the formula for running our race well.
Remember last week as we studied chapter 9? Paul gave us his dugout speech.
Now he tells them how to be winners.
1 Cor 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
1 Cor 9:25 . Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
1 Cor 9:26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
1 Cor 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
1 Cor 9:24 Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win.
1 Cor 9:25 All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
1 Cor 9:26 So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches.
1 Cor 9:27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
This passage is written with the backdrop of the Isthmian games - the equivalent of our Olympics.
This event was held every two years ten miles outside the city of Corinth.
These games brought people from every part of the Mediterranean to compete or just watch.
It was the sporting event of the year - drawing the empire’s best talent.
Athletes would compete in foot races, broad jumping, discus throwing, wrestling, boxing, gymnastics, and equestrian contests.
They would compete fiercely, each striving for the Isthmian crown - a wreath of wild celery.
Winners received a lifetime exemption from paying taxes and serving in the military.
They would also receive free tuition at one of their universities.
Statutes of themselves would be erected along the road that led to the site of the games.
But the real prize was the celery wreath, awarded to the winner at the end of the games.