Laurelton Park Baptist Church Pastor Alex Perednia ~ Sunday February 5, 2012 AN ATHLETIC FAITH (2 Timothy 4:7-8

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On the day of the Super Bowl, we can learn from the athletic imagery in the writings of the Apostle Paul about what it takes to grow as a Christian:

Growing as a Christian requires thinking like an athlete!
 THE ANALOGY… A The Apostle Paul used the occasion of the greatest sporting venue of his day – the Isthmian games– to describe the Christian life. (1 Cor 9:25) B The Christian life is compared to an athletic competition in these ways:  LikeTRAINING for the competition (1 Timothy 4:7b-8)  Like running the RACE (2 Tim 4:7; 1 Cor 9:24a, 26a; Phil 3:13-14)  Like fighting in a BOXING match (2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Corinthians 9:26b-27a)  Like working together as a TEAM (Philippians 1:27, 4:3)  Like competing for a PRIZE (2 Timothy 2:5, 4:8; 1 Corinthians 9:24b, 25b, 27b;
2 Corinthians 5:10)

 THE APPLICATION… A Growing as a Christian requires thinking like an athlete… It requires our INVOLVEMENT.... Are you striving as an active competitor for Christ?  Are you personally involved? (1 Tim 4:7b-8)  Are you corporately involved? (Phil 1:27, 4:3) B Growing as a Christian requires thinking like an athlete… It requires our DISCIPLINE______.... Are you striving as a fit competitor for Christ?  Are you training hard? (1 Tim 4:7b-8; 2 Tim 2:5; 1 Cor 9:24-27)  Are you playing by the rules? (2 Timothy 2:5; 2 Cor 9:24-27)  Are you determined to finish? (2 Tim 4:7; Phil 3:13-14; 1 Cor 9:28)) C Growing as a Christian requires thinking like an athlete… It requires our FOCUS__________.... Are you striving as a winning competitor?  What are you trying to attain? (2 Tim 2:5, 4:8; 1 Cor 9:24-27; 2 Cor 5:10)  Are you preparing to stand before the Judge? (2 Tim 4:8; 2 Cor 5:10) 1. Have you entered the competition? 2. What can you do to increase your competitive edge?

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