THE RACE TO SALVATION
The Olympic fever is still in the air as we celebrate Jamaica ’s success with eleven medals in the recently concluded Beijing Olympics. This one will go down in the annals of history as we now hold a couple of the world records. We congratulate our athletes and bid them God’s speed.
What is fascinating is the fact that Jamaica excelled in the area of Track and Field; running and sprinting. Some of our athletes, even now, continue to excel. The scriptures encourage us to run the race in 1Co 9:24 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”
What wonderful words of counsel and instructions. Many people today believe they are running the race of salvation. Some believe they can be saved by doing good works. But we are reminded in Tit 3:5 , “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
We are here reminded that salvation is not attained by our own good works. Our own good deeds will be counted as nothing. It does not matter how good we are. Have you ever known people who are so kind and compassionate, but do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world? They seem to be more gracious than some people who profess to follow Christ. We sometimes wonder if they are going to make it into the kingdom of God. But there is no need to wonder. We are reminded in Eph 2:4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
This race to salvation must be run fair and square. We have to observe the rules of the race. We cannot run the race how we want to run it, when we want to run it. It is an endurance race. The rules of the race have already been laid out by the Master. Just like the athletes, we cannot drop the baton, we must not cross over into another man’s path, we must finish the race. You must make it to the finish line in order to be rewarded. As we observed in the Olympics, we have to be one of the first three in order to get a gold, silver or bronze medal. In the qualifying races, after they have selected the first, second and third qualifiers, then they take the next two who came fourth or fifth in some of the races.
There are qualifications necessary for the race to salvation. Mat 19:17, “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Mat 22:37 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
Mat 22:38 “This is the first and great commandment. “
Mat 22:39 “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Are you running the race to salvation? So run, that ye may obtain the prize.