Theme: STRIVE TO BE SAVED
Text: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24.
Comment: In carrying out his God-given mandate as an “apostle of the gentiles” (Acts 9:15; Romans 11:13), St. Paul draws a metaphor from sporting events hosted in Corinth such as boxing, wrestling and racing, to enlighten the Corinthian Church on how to imbibe certain skills that would aid them and indeed all Christians in the quest for Salvation. Unlike literal sporting events, the gains of Salvation are not limited to a winner rather; the glories, blessings and benefits therein are in abundance for all who would be saved by the grace of God.
Paul the apostle was not urging Christians to go into unhealthy competitions or rivalries among themselves but was only drawing a lesson from the discipline, vigorous training, persistence, self control, and other sacrifices athletes undergo, so that we might imbibe such qualities in the race of salvation. The Disciples’ Literal New Testament captures the expression “So run, that ye may obtain” as “Be running in this manner: that you may take-hold-of the prize”
Christians generally are likened to athletes. In contrast however, ours is to obtain an “incorruptible crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25) which is eternal life. We “run” by investing our resources (time, efforts, material acquisitions, etc.) to further the course of theocracy. It should be borne in mind that Salvation is not of merit however, “but of God that showeth mercy”. – Romans 9:16. See also Ephesians 2:8,9