1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:1, 2.
In the epistle to the Hebrews is pointed out the singlehearted purpose that should characterize the Christian’s race for eternal life…. Envy, malice, evil thinking, evilspeaking, covetousness—these are weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully the race for immortality. Every habit or practice that leads into sin and brings dishonor upon Christ must be put away, whatever the sacrifice…. “Know ye not,” Paul asked, “that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?” However eagerly and earnestly the runners might strive, the prize could be awarded to but one….
Such is not the case in the Christian warfare. Not one who complies with the conditions will be disappointed at the end of the race…. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. The weakest saint, as well as the strongest, may wear the crown of immortal glory….
That he might not run uncertainly or at random in the Christian race, Paul subjected himself to severe training. The words, “I keep under my body,” literally mean to beat back by severe discipline the desires, impulses, and passions….
It was this singlehearted purpose to win the race for eternal life that Paul longed to see revealed in the lives of the Corinthian believers. He knew that in order to reach Christ’s ideal for them, they had before them a life struggle from which there would be no release. He entreated them to strive lawfully, day by day seeking for piety and moral excellence. He pleaded with them to lay aside every weight and to press forward to the goal of perfection in Christ.
In view of the issue at stake, nothing is small that will help or hinder. Every act casts its weight into the scale that determines life’s victory or defeat. And the reward given to those who win will be in proportion to the energy and earnestness with which they have striven.