“Continuing the Race”: A Message for the Supporters of Dayspring Bible Camp Part 3

23 Jul

Dayspring Bible Camp in Ironton, Mo (here‘s their website), has invited me to do a “Theology Matters” conference with a group of their young people on August 3-5.  We will be studying the topic “Unlike Jesus,” a challenge to be a friend of sinners like the Lord Jesus was.

I also get to address the supporters of the camp and they have chosen the topic “Continue the Race.”  So, in these posts, we are thinking about the passages of Scripture that use the running metaphor.  We have seen from Philippians 3:14 that God calls us into the race.  From I Timothy 4:7-8 we have been challenged to train for the race.

Let’s notice this morning a third aspect of our running the race and it is from I Corinthians 9:25 that says, “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.”  The principle here is simple:

III. Training for This Race Requires Strict Self-Control! (I Cor. 9:25)

Running this race is not a walk in the park!  It demands “strict training.”  The expression “competes in the games” is from the Greek verb ἀγωνιζόμενος which means “to be a combatant in the public games; to contend, fight, strive earnestly.”  We get our word agonize from this Greek verb.  Paul speaks of Ephphras who always labors on your behalf in his prayers (Col. 4:12). He challenges Timothy to “fight the good fight of the faith” in I Timothy 6:12. And Paul testifies that he has fought the good faith, has completed the race, has kept the faith (2 Tim. 4:7).

There is still much work to do, even in our “retirement”!  This person goes into “strict training,” an expression which means to pursue self-control over all things.  That expression “strict training” is used only here and in 1 Cor. 9:25 where we read that a couple which is not practicing self-control should marry, rather than burn with sexual passion!

How would you rate your self-control?  To “continue the race” requires the agonizing labor of controlling ourselves! (to be continued)


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Posted by on July 23, 2018 in self-control


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