I Corinthians 9:24-27
I want to tell you a story about the strength of the first marathon runners, which is where the NIKE company gets is name.
The battle of Marathon was fought around 490 B.C. when king Darius launched an attack on Athens. Since the surrounding city-states would offer little support to the Athenians, the Athenians were outnumbered by the Persians.
Although the Athenians were outnumbered, they caught the Persians by surprise by running the full length of the plain and catching the Persians unorganized.
The Athenians were able to defeat the Persians by not only striking from the front, but they also flanked the Persian army from the sides.
Because of this sudden attack the Persian troops broke ranks and fled back to their ships.
Since the Athenians won they wanted to send word back to Athens to tell of victory so the city could prepare for the Persian fleet attack from the sea.
So Miltiades sent his best runner Pheidippides to take word to Athens. He ran the whole distance, about 26 miles, and when he arrived he was able to say one word . . . and then he died.
What was the one word that Pheidippides was able to say before he died? It was "Nike!" He cried "victory!"
The Athenians ran the whole distance of the plain of Marathon, which is some 26 miles. This could not have been accomplished without hard training and discipline.
The Christian life I set forth by the Apostle Paul as a race in I Corinthians 9:24-27. In the previous verses, he discussed his apostolic prerogatives, and willingness to lay them aside in love lest he should hinder the gospel of Christ.
This decision demanded discipline on his part, and thus he speaks on this subject in these verses applying it to all Christians. We should not lose sight of the contest which actually takes in chapters 8-10.
I. THE RACE
More than once Paul alludes to this figure in his writings. But it is particularly appropriated to the Chr ...
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