Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. (1 Cor 9:24)
Paul wrote with confidence that his ancient audience knew all about the Olympic and Isthmian games. Throughout his letters, he used those games as a means of drawing the attention of Christians to a far greater opportunity.
Following the same train of thought, what can we learn from the Olympic athlete?
- Bodily training is of some value, but training in godliness is of infinite value (1 Tim 4:1-16; 2 Tim 3:1-17; Titus 2:1-14)
- Self-control is a must (1 Cor 9:25, 27)
- An athlete is not crowned unless he or she competes according to the rules (2 Tim 2:1-7)
- In order to reach the goal, the past must be left behind and focus must be on what lies ahead (Phil 3:1-15)
- Victory is experienced only by those who personally participate (2 Tim 4:1-8)
- Olympic glory fades so very quickly, but the glory we are striving for is eternal (1 Cor 9:25; 2 Cor 4:16-18)
This sermon was delivered on August 7, 2016.