Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step . . .1 Corinthians 9:24–26
The feature event of any Greek games was the running race. I have told you already that all games featured the same events. The only difference was the length of the race. The Ithmian Games were noted for the sprint. (see Bible Gems 389) Paul is using the race as a means of comparison to the Christian life. However the race of life is no sprint, it is rather a marathon event. The running race lends itself well as an analogy of running the race of life.
Run the Christian race in such a way that you obtain the prize of glory, the crown incorruptible. Live in such a way that enables all of your abilities to be focus on the one goal. Deny yourself. Strain with all your energy so that you will not fall short of the prize that awaits the righteous in heaven.
- Give themselves wholly to God
- Lay aside every weight, every hinderance
- Don’t be “diverted” from the goal; keep your eyes on the goal
- Don’t allow yourself to flag or grow weary
- Deny yourself, commit yourself fully to the training required
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly (without defined aim) (1 Cor 9:26) AMP
The word αδηλως, “uncertainly” has other meanings:
- It signifies ignorantly; I do not run like one ignorant of what he is about, or of the laws of the course; I know that there is an eternal life and I know the requirements that lead to it.
- It signifies without observation; the eyes of all the spectators were fixed on those who ran in these races; and to gain the applause of the multitude, they stretched every nerve; Paul knew that the eyes of all were fixed upon him.
- The false believers waiting for his faltering.
- The persecuters longed for his downfall.
- The Church of Christ looked on him as their example.
- The Lord Himself and the great cloud of witnesses looked on, cheering him from heaven.
Run your race to the finish line; he who eases off before the finish line loses.Anon
Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.Martin L. King