Boxing or Running?
Paul makes reference to both as parallels to the Christian’s experiences and challenges in following Jesus.
“I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” (1 Cor. 9:26).
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” (2 Tim. 4:7).
The runner analogy speaks primarily to the believers need for endurance.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9).
“You need to persevere,” writes the author od Hebrews, “so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Heb. 10:36).
“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Heb. 12:1).
The boxer analogy reminds us that in this world we need to fight.
“…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12-13).
“…the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want” (Gal. 5:17).
“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16).
This world wants us to quit the race, take off the gloves, throw in the towel. “See all the people out there who are not running… not boxing,” It shouts. “Why don’t you just go join them?”
But the Christian is one on the racetrack… one in the ring. The Christian is not among the spectators!
“Fight the good fight of the faith,” urges Paul. (1 Tim. 6:12).
“…press on toward the goal to win the prize…” (Phil. 3:14).
The struggle is worth it! It is more than worth it. We run and fight to reach the goal: the hope of the Christian. What is that hope. It is “a living hope… an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade…. kept in heaven… the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (see 1 Pet. 1:3-9).
To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Mar. 9 message.