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August 29, 2021 Sermon Notes

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Going for the Gold

Sunday, August 29, 2021

“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. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. So, I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24–27).

Main Point: You can be a winner when Christ is your top priority.

I. Get serious: run this race to win. “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).

II. Set priorities: practice self-discipline. “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things (1 Cor. 9:25).

III. Set goals: keep your eyes on the prize. “They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one” (1 Cor. 9:25).

Scripture mentions many heavenly treasures but only four crowns (Gr. stephanoi).

· Crown of Self-Control (Obedience) – “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one” (1 Corinthians 9:25).

· Crown of Righteousness“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

· Crown of Glory (Shepherd’s Crown) – “And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).

· Crown of Life (Martyr’s Crown) – “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

“Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life (Re 2:10).

· Crown of Joy (People) – “Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved” (Philippians 4:1).

“For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

According to Paul, what is the goal? “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14).

IV. Plan your work; work the plan. “I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air” (1 Cor. 9:26).

Warning: You can lose your crown! “I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown” (Revelation 3:11).

How can you be disqualified? “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:5).

V. Be consistent: Walk the talk. “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Conclusion: Evaluate your life and ask yourself the questions, “Am I living my life for Christ?” and “Am I running this life to win?”

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