Summary: What does it take to be a champion for Christ?
The Qualities of A Champion
January 5, 2003
What an incredible season this has been for the Ohio State Football team! Look at all they have accomplished: remained undefeated during the longest season ever (13 – 0), succeeded in spite of constant criticism by so called “experts”, they were told that they didn’t really deserve to be at the Fiesta Bowl and had no real chance of winning. In fact, Miami was so confident that they would win that there were invitations for their victory celebration printed before the game began. However, the Buckeyes worked as a team and overcome the odds and defeated a strong Miami team in one of the greatest national championship games in college football. I think that when you look at the team; one word comes to mind: champions
All of this leads me to a question: what does it take to be a champion for Christ? What are the qualities of Christian champions?
I. A Passion to Achieve (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
A. The passion to win
1. Passion is shown in determination
a.) There is to be a single minded determination in our Christian life; to live for Christ to the best of our ability
b.) The attitude that an athlete has to win is the same kind of attitude that we need to fully live for Christ. Nothing less than full effort is acceptable. We are called to run, not walk. We are called to run not jog.
2. Passion is shown diligence
a.) We are to have an attitude that will never give in and never give up
b.) Passion is one of the key qualities that is seen in our day to day lives that separates those who are champions for Christ
B. The passion in direction
1. Passion shown in discipline
a.) Every believer is to live a life that is careful
Careful in manner – How we treat others
Careful in motive – Why we do what we do
b.) Every believer is to live a life that is consistent
2. Passion shown in destiny
a.) Our destiny will be rewarded by an incorruptible and eternal crown
b.) Our destiny gives a fresh filling of passion every time that we focus on it because we have an eternal future and we have the opportunity to make an eternal impact on the lives of others
C. The passion in dedication
1. Passion shown in our living
a.) Our passion is revealed in dedicated living the life we have been given in Christ
b.) Our passion helps us to live our lives at a whole new level
2. Passion shown in our commitment
a.) We are called to live out what we believe
If we believe Christ died for our sins we should live in that freedom
If we believe Christ is the only way to salvation; we should live by sharing it
If we believe Christ is coming again we should live expecting to see Him face to face
If you don’t live it; you don’t believe it!
b.) We are in the midst of a constant struggle
1.) We struggle against our sinful nature
2.) We struggle to a salvation mindset
Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God
Christ is going to keep working in us and through us until His work is complete
3.) We struggle to continually walk in the power of the Holy Spirit
4.) We struggle because NONE of us are perfect
A. Purpose offers focus
as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
1. Focus on the word of life
a.) Our focus is to be squarely on holding out the word of life. To hold out means to share the love and life that can only be found in Christ
b.) Our focus is on the fact that we are given life that is abundant and full here on earth; eternal and incorruptible in heaven.