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Archive for October 23rd, 2022

The imperishable Crown!

Posted by appolus on October 23, 2022

1Co 9:25  And every one who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown; but we an imperishable. 

We have to run this race in such a way that we are trying to win. An athlete is totally committed to his or her sport. They will not do anything that would undermine their ability to be in the best shape that they could be. This is a fairly simple truth which has been preached on a lot and few would disagree with the truth of it. Yet, the context of chapter nine is money. It seems like Paul is complaining about not being supported financially. He then lays out the reasoned argument as to why he should be just like some of the the other Apostles. He says things like “who plants a vineyard and does not eat of the fruit?” And again “you shall not muzzle the ox while it treads out the grain.” And then he uses the always interesting word “nevertheless.” This adverb is used in a sentence after a concession. He concedes that the rule is that he should be supported “but.” And it is the but that is interesting.

“We have not used this but endure all things lest we hinder the Gospel.” “That when I preach the Gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.” It follows that just because you can do a thing, does not mean you should. An athlete does not have to train every day. He or she does not have to rigidly watch their diets. They have the freedom to do such things, but would it be wise? Would it hinder their ability to run the race properly? And of course, it would. This is what Paul is saying in chapter nine, which is so often used in defense of countless ministries being supported. Paul disciplines himself and refrains from what could be lawfully his “lest when I have preached to others I myself should not be disqualified.” The gospel is central to everything that Paul does. He lives and breathes the Gospel. He even goes as far as to say that “it would be better for me to die than anyone should make his boasting void.” Death would be more appealing to Paul than anyone accuse him of preaching the Gospel for money’s sake.

This passion that causes us to run the race is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! The genuine saint is horrified if he or she would do anything that would bring their Lord and His gospel into disrepute. They would rather suffer the loss. Saints, how then do we run this race? In some kind of half heart-ed measure? Shall we not run this race of life like the top athletes who disciplines their body in order to win the price? And that price is but for a perishable crown, something that can never last. Yet we for an imperishable crown! For holiness sake! For glories sake! For righteousness sake? For Christ’s sake! These are all eternal. With our eyes firmly set upon the Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel, we run, not like those of the world who run for money and for fame and for fortune. Our treasure lies in heaven above. We store up our treasure by running the race with everything that we have, holding nothing back. Laying down every single thing that would hinder us and the Gospel of Jesus and the Kingdom. This is our calling brothers and sisters, to lay it all down, starting with our rights. Paul was laying down his right.The only right we really have is the right to suffer and die for the cause of Christ! And we know that those who suffer with Christ shall reign with Him. That is our reward, that is our “imperishable crown.”

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