by Jerry Vines

Philippians 3:12-16
Dr. Jerry Vines
Philippians is the joy book of the Bible. This is the book that
tells us how to have a happy, joyful, productive Christian life. The
third chapter is really one of the most fascinating and interesting
chapters in all of the Bible to me. You have three pictures of the
Christian life given here. Last week it's as if the Christian were a
banker weighing things and looking at the assets and the liabilities of
life. Today we are going to take a look at the Christian as a athlete.
Next week we will take a look at a Christian as a stranger passing
through this world whose citizenship is in another world. It's a
beautiful chapter and it has a great deal of application for the
Christian life today.
When you read the letters of the Apostle Paul you find a great
deal of evidence that Paul enjoyed athletic events. I have the feeling
that as Paul was making his way on these journeys for Jesus He would
stop along the way at the stadiums and view the athletic events. When
Paul went to athletic events and saw the competition and skill of the
athletes and all of these things it filled his mind with many images and
figures of speech which apply to the Christian life. Some times he used
boxing and he would talk about boxing as an illustration of the
Christian life. Other times he would talk about wrestling and he would
use that as an illustration of the Christian life. Most of the time
when Paul uses athletic imagery and metaphors he reaches into the world
of track and field and uses those kinds of pictures to illustrate the
Christian life. The high school where I went as a young person was
outstanding in track and field. They won the state tract meet for about
seven consecutive years and won the Georgia/Alabama meet for a few years
so I was brought up in an atmosphere where track and field events were
very, very prominent. There are many, many applications from that world
to the world of the Chris ...

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