Believers are all in a marathon race, much like a real race but with different goals and objectives.
1. Our prize - Eternal rewards for Christlikeness.
1 Cor. 9:24-27 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”
2. Our sacrifices - Things of the world and flesh.
”And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”
3. Our discipline - Remaining faithful to the end.
“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
LESSON - Paul is not describing someone who could possibly lose their salvation, for he realizes that he did nothing to earn it (Eph. 2:8-9). He is talking about someone becoming disqualified for not finishing the race and loosing their rewards. Our ultimate goal is to hear the Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Hearing that will be worth ANY sacrifices made for the cause of Christ.