I Cor. 9:24-27 Running Well
Main Text: 1 Cor. 9:24-27
Additional References: II Tim. 2:5; 4:7,8; Phil 2:16; and Heb. 12:1
- Running well requires sustained focus (v. 24)
Who are we competing against? Not other Christians - we are to be unified in heart & purpose - No, rather, we compete against our opponent - Satan & his servants. We are in competition with the Devil for the souls of men. We must have a singular focus on defeating him. In order to win, we must live every moment to the glory of God. Practice - Train - Get Fired Up - and FOCUS.
- Running well requires daily sacrifice (v. 25)
In the Greek, the verb "compete" means to "agonize". The greek word translated "temperate" refers to "excercizing mastery over self." A good way of reading this first sentence, then, would be "And everyone who agonizes for the prize excercises mastery over himself in all things."
Avoid that which hinders/harms you. Pursue *passionately* that which contributes to successful completion, giving up not only evil things, but good things that do not lead to winning.
The serious athlete never asks, "What's the minimum I can do."
We must ask ourselves - What am I working to obtain? Are my efforts to gain something worthless (human praise, personal glory, etc.) or something eternal (a human soul redeemed from eternal condemnation)?
- Running well requires persevering vigilance
- AIM - Keep your eyes on the goal! (v. 24b)
- PURPOSE - (v.26) ask in all things, "What is my spiritual purpose?" If there isn't one, perhaps you should re-think your involvement in that activity. (Ref. v. 23.) My sole purpose for anything I do should be for the sake of the gospel. Let's break that down just a bit. - I eat so that I might have the strength to share the gospel; I sleep so that I might have a clear, rested mind with which to share the gospel; I work so that I might pay my bills and maintain a good testimony so that I might share the gospel . . . and so on.
- DISQUALIFIED (a.k.a. "has not stood the test") - in this verse (v.27), does not refer to a loss of salvation, but to failing to do that which honored God.