DEVOTIONAL – JAN 06

RUN THE RACE TO WIN

Leslie M. John

Apostle Paul likens Christian life to a race. It is to wrestle against competitors like principalities, rulers of darkness and against spiritual wickedness in high places and score victory over them. Paul suffered for Christ’s sake and established many Churches. There are 13 epistles and the book of Hebrews to his credit in the New Testament. The following references are from Paul’s writings where he said that he finished his course with joy and testified the Gospel of Grace of God.

“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)

When Paul was in Corinth he alluded to the games that are hosted in the neighborhood Olympic stadium at Athens where running was one of the major events and where many run but only one receives the first prize in each race. By this statement Paul was not saying that in Christian life many run but only one or few receive salvation, but his point was that every Christian should run race with such vigor and in such a manner that he/she receives his/her incorruptible crown of righteousness from the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ. Salvation of a Christian is never lost. It is the rewards that are given at the judgment seat of Christ for the good works done by the believers that he was talking about in 1 Corinthians 9:24

“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain”. (Philippians 2:16) Every Christian is obligated to bring fruit unto the Lord. The Lord said he that does not remain in Him and does not bring fruit unto him will be cut off. This again does not mean that a person loses his/her salvation but it means that he will be cut off from bringing fruits in case he/she does not remain in Him. Jesus also said that without remaining in Him a man can do nothing.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing”. (John 15:5)

Neither there was any god before Jesus Christ nor there any god after Him. He is Alpha and Omega.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last”. (Revelation 22:13)

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me”. (Isaiah 43:10) The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to lay aside every sin which does easily beset us. He instructs us to run the race with patience that is set before us.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1)