Family Bible Study lesson for July 3: Living Free : Friday, June 17, 2005
June 17 2005 by Chadwick Ivester

Family Bible Study lesson for July 3: Living Free : Friday, June 17, 2005
Friday, June 17, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for July 3: Living Free

By Chadwick Ivester
Focal passages: 1 Corinthians 8:9-13; 9:19-27

Today's scripture passage compares the Christian life to a running event in the Grecian games, or what we now know as the Olympic games. Paul made the comparison because the Greek Olympics were well known to the Corinthians, according to John Gill's commentary on the letter.

The prize

(1 Cor. 9:24)

Athletes from across the world traveled to Greece not to compete but to win the prize. The runner who reached the goal first was given a crown made of pine tree branches or dried parsley.

Paul used the prize metaphorically to describe the reward to be obtained hereafter by the faithful believer. Belief unto death is the mark of every authentic Christian.

A runner does best when keeping his or her eyes on the prize at the finish line. Although only the top runner in the Olympics received a prize, Paul's metaphor is different. He wrote that all who run well in the Christian journey obtain the free gift of eternal life.

The world in which we live is our stadium, and our track has many obstacles. Running heavenward is what a disciple of Christ does best. We run so that we may eagerly take the prize of eternal life given by Christ to all who come to Him.

The mastery

(1 Cor. 9:25)

The equipment needed for running a race is a pair of broken-in running shoes. Yet the key to being a successful Olympic runner is self-discipline - a discipline spawned by the desire to run in order to win the prize.

The key to being a disciple of Christ is self-discipline - a discipline spawned by the quickening power of the Holy Ghost.

Striving for mastery literally means to "agonize." The training of a champion runner is agonizing. Progression must be maintained. The body is a marvelous piece of design and as a runner trains, the body becomes stronger. If you maintain the same training level, your body will only maintain the same level of fitness. The runner must avoid allowing his or her body to become comfortable with the workouts.

The runner must also train consistently. Without consistency, the runner can lose a lot of the previous work. The same is true for the disciple of Christ in prayer and Bible study.

The person who strives for mastery is temperate in all things, Paul wrote. That literally means to exercise self-restraint (in diet and chastity). The term is used figuratively of the rigid self-control practiced by athletes with a view to gain the prize. The disciplined runner while training for the prize prevents himself or herself from the pursuit of or indulgence in sexual pleasures. He or she abstains from any food that hinders the agility or weakens the body.

The disciple of Christ indulges not in sloth and idleness. The disciple exercises in various manners so that he or she may be prepared for being temperate in all things.

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). With that fruit, the disciple is able to control sensual desires. Instead of focusing on sensual desires, the disciple of Christ seeks to be controlled by the Holy Ghost.

Eternal life given by Christ is incorruptible. Salvation is an incorruptible gift that God gives to every believer. That gift was purchased with the blood of Christ.

Every believer's inheritance in heaven is incorruptible (1 Peter 1:4). Every believer is born again by the incorruptible seed - the word of God (1 Peter 1:23).

The believer is given incorruptible apparel that is made beautiful by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, which is also incorruptible (1 Peter 3:4).

6/17/2005 12:00:00 AM by Chadwick Ivester | with 0 comments




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