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“Continuing the Race”: A Message for the Supporters of Dayspring Bible Camp Part 4

25 Jul

I’m looking forward to having a “Theology Matters” conference at Dayspring Bible Camp in Ironton, Mo (here‘s their website), August 3-5, with a group of young people.  The topic will be “Unlike Jesus,” a challenge to be a friend of sinners like the Lord Jesus was.

I’m also looking forward to speaking to the supporters of the camp.  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’ve seen that God calls us into the race (from Phil. 3:14),that we have been challenged to train for the race (from I Tim. 4:7-8), and that training for this race requires strict self-control (from I Cor. 9:25).

Let’s move to a fourth passage on our “Continuing the Race” and it is found in 2 Timothy 2:5 which says, “5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.”

IV. Running This Race Requires Obeying Certain Rules! 

The “competing as an athlete” is a verb in Greek (ἀθλεω) from which we get our word “athletics”!  It is used only twice in the Scriptures — and both times in our passage, 2 Timothy 2:5 — “5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.”  The meaning of this verb is “to compete in a contest, to strive, contend, be a champion in the public games.”

What “rules” are we to obey to continue our race successfully?  From this text we see that (1) we need to compete!  We need to be “in the game.”  The second rule, it seems to me, is (2) that we are striving to win the victor’s crown!  We are not just in the race to receive a “participation” trophy!  (I did a post on this issue of participation trophies a couple of years ago which may be found here).

Our passage doesn’t list a lot of rules, does it?  But running the Christian race means living a life of integrity, seeking to honor the Lord in all that we do.  And longing day by day to be faithful to His Word in all things.  (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2018 in competition

 

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