Tag Archives: race

“Continuing the Race”: A Message for the Supporters of Dayspring Bible Camp Part 5

On August 3-5 I will be doing a “Theology Matters” retreat with a group of young people at Dayspring Bible Camp in Ironton, Mo (here‘s their website).  The topic, “Unlike Jesus,” will focus on the issue of friendship evangelism and how we are often not friends of sinners like Jesus was.

But I also get to address the supporters of the camp who have chosen the topic “Continue the Race” for their celebration. 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).  We’ve also noticed that running this race requires obeying certain rules (from 2 Tim. 2:5).

Let’s move to our fifth and final passage which is found in I Corinthians 9:24 and in Hebrews 12:1-2 and it is that —

V. There Is a Prize to Be Won for Running This Race! (I Cor. 9:24; Heb. 12:1-2)

We read in I Corinthians 9 “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.”  We then read in Hebrews 12 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Just a few comments about these two passages:

1.  We are running, not just to get a participation trophy, but the prize! (I Cor. 9).

2.   We are often our own worst enemies in the race! (we cling to things that hinder us and stay entangled in sins that slow us down) (Heb. 12).

3.  We don’t determine our race track or course — that has been laid out for us! (Heb. 12).

4.  We don’t look behind us or at the other runners, but at Jesus as our goal (Heb. 12).

5.  We look to Him as our example, our pioneer, our perfecter, our prize! (Heb. 12).  As John Piper puts it, God is the gospel!

6.  We experience a variety of emotions during this race — endurance, scorn, shame, and . . . joy! (Heb. 12).

How’s your race going?  Don’t give up!  Keep your eyes on the prize — Jesus Himself!


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Posted by on July 27, 2018 in race


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

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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Major Themes in the Book of Galatians (Ch. 5 Part 2)

Don’t you love the variety in the Scriptures?  Here in chapter 5 Paul uses several analogies and metaphors to express his deep concern for the Galatian believers.  Let’s continue our study of this great epistle by looking at verses 7-12.  Here, I believe, the theme is misguided persuasion!

Paul commends these Christians for the good race they were running.  But someone “cut in” on them (v. 7).  Someone got in their way, cut them off from “obeying the truth”!  And those who cut in on them used their persuasive powers to take them away from the simple gospel.

And their being persuaded infected others (“a little yeast,” v. 9).  This person who misled them threw them into confusion (v. 10) and will be subject to God’s judgment (“will have to pay the penalty”).

Paul makes it clear that he is not preaching circumcision, for his being persecuted shows this to be true.  He has not given up persecution for perversion.  He has not relinquished “the offense of the cross” (v. 11).

He then, in an Old Testament imprecatory way, wishes that these false teachers would follow their own advice and emasculate themselves!  Wow!

The perversion of the gospel is serious!  And there are hidden and not-so-hidden persuaders out there seeking to confuse God’s people and to do way with the offense of the cross.  Don’t let anyone cut in on you and your race for the Lord!  And don’t just stand on the sidelines.  Get in the race!







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Posted by on June 14, 2018 in Galatians


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