1 Cor. 9:24-27 – The Way of the Cross (Part 2)

Translation and Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church, Manhattan, KS, 12 Apr 2009


24. Don’t you know that all those running in a race run, but one receives the prize?

            So run in order that you might receive [it hands] down!

25. Now every contender exercises strong control over all things.

            They do so in order  that they might receive a perishable laurel, but we an imperishable!

26. As for me, therefore,

            this is how I’m running: as not uncertainly.

            This is how I’m boxing: as not beating air;

                        27. rather, I’m giving my body a black eye and am enslaving it

                                    lest I myself might be disapproved after having preached to others.


Introduction: Bernard Lagat and the 5,000 meter Olympic race

Just over 3 miles - Twelve and ½ laps around the track - is what it takes to run the 5,000 meter race in the Olympics. America’s hope for a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics lay on Bernard Lagat, who was born in Kenya but recently changed citizenship. Lagat now lives in Tucson, AZ, with his wife and three-year-old son. Lagat, 33, won a bronze medal for Kenya in the 1,500 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and a silver in the 1,500 meter race at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Competing in his inaugural competition for the United States, he won the 1,500 and 5,000 meters at the 2007 world track and field championships in Osaka, Japan.


Hopes were high for Lagat to win two gold medals in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but he failed to qualify in the 1,500 meter race. He then delivered a solid performance at the Olympic trials for the 5,000 meter race placing first in 13 minutes 27.47 seconds. Lagat looked poised for a splendid showing in Beijing. That is, until he started getting pain in his Achilles tendon just before the races in Beijing. His training runs decreased from 65 miles a week to barely 20. He would run one day and have to skip the next two. “Missing training for three weeks really hampered my preparation," said Lagat. "What I did for over seven months was destroyed in three weeks." Lagat placed ninth in his Olympic race in Beijing. (Sources: npr.org , nytimes.com , sports.washingtontimes.com .)

Introduction to I Cor 9:24ff

In First Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul compares the Christian life to several Olympic events, including a race like the 5,000 meter. Training and self-discipline are just as essential to finish well in the faith as they are in a foot race.


In order to interpret what Paul is saying correctly, we need to remember the context of this passage. In chapter 8, Paul indicates that he is answering a question from some of the people in the church in the city of Corinth, Greece. Apparently the people asking the question had been Christians for a while and were asking Paul to tell the newer Christians who had recently converted from paganism that it is o.k. to eat meat even if it had been used in a idol-worship ceremony. Paul answers them by saying that the more mature Christians need to be more considerate of their brothers and sisters in the faith who have weaker consciences, then Paul shares a personal example in chapter 9 of when he, Paul, had lived in Corinth and started the church there, but had shown consideration to the believers there by inconveniencing himself and supporting himself by manual labor instead of using his apostolic authority to demand that the new believers in Corinth pay for all his needs.


Last week, we studied the second half of chapter 9, where Paul focused in on why he made life harder on himself in order to help the Corinthians like this:

  1. Spreading the Good news that all that is wrong in this world can be solved by believing in Jesus and following Him is an urgent obligation for Paul (vs. 16-17)
  2. Gospel ministry has inherent rewards (vs. 17-18) - the satisfaction of doing what you believe in and seeing something good develop.
  3. Paul is willing to adapt culturally to Jews, Proselytes, Greeks, and even weak Christians and be “All things to all men” because the goal of life is to win more souls (vs. 19-22).
  4. It is important not to be left out of God’s blessings yourself (vs. 20, 21, 23 & 27), which is why Paul did not trust in his own ability to do good and lawful works to save himself, but rather placed his trust in Jesus Christ to save him and lead him into God’s blessings. Paul did not want to take his eyes off of Jesus for fear of becoming “disqualified.”
  5. Paul teaches us in vs. 24-27 that self-discipline is a NORMAL part of a life focused on Christ.

I’d like to bring out 5 aspects of Christian self-discipline illustrated by Paul in this passage:


I)        It is a normal part of a focused life to forego rights (v.18)

A)    Going back to v. 18, Paul wrote that his reward was to “preach the gospel without charge so as not to make full use of/abuse” his authority as an apostle.

B)    We’ve already studied the only other place where this word “abuse/make full use of” occurs, and that is 1 Cor 7:29. “Brothers, the appointed time has been shortened… I’m bringing this up in order that: even those having wives might be like those not having [wives], 30. and those who weep like those who are not weeping, and those who rejoice like those who are not rejoicing, and those who shop like those who do not own [anything], 31. and those who use this world like those who are not making absolute use, for the order of this world is passing away.”

C)    If you have bought something, do you have the right to use it? Of course!
If you have married someone, don’t you have the right to treat them as your spouse? Of course! But this is not an absolute right. The Christian life makes the demand that we hold these and other rights loosely because our focus is not on ourselves or this world, but on Christ and His will for us.

D)    It is appropriate to give from your possessions to the Lord.
There are times when we must leave our spouse for a limited time to work or to pray.
It is a normal part of a focused life to forego rights.


II)      It is a normal part of a focused life to be wholeheartedly involved (v.24)

A)    Self-denial includes giving up laziness and getting involved in the action.

B)    There was a lot of action in the Greek athletic contests of Paul’s day, so He uses them for an example [pass around pictures of stadium excavated at Corinth]:

C)    V.24 mentions a race. The Greek word here is “stadium” – “used of a measure of length…, representing 606.75 English feet. From the fact that the race-courses were usually of exactly this length, the word was applied to the race-course itself. The position chosen for the stadium was usually on the side of a hill, which would furnish a natural slope for seats... The stadium was oblong in shape, and semicircular at one end... A straight wall shut in the area at one end, and here were the entrances and the starting-place for the runners. At the other end was the goal, which, like the starting-point, was marked by a square pillar. Half-way between these was a third pillar. On the first pillar was inscribed excel; on the second, hasten; on the third, turn, since the racers turned round the column to go back to the starting-point. The isthmus of Corinth was the scene of the Isthmian games, one of the four great national festivals of the Greeks... At the period of Paul's epistles the games were still celebrated, and the apostle himself may very probably have been present… Metaphors and allusions founded upon such spectacles abound in Paul's writings…” (here and 15:32; 2 Tim. 2:5 & 4:8; Phil. 3:14) ~Marvin Vincent’s Commentary

D)    Foot races were prominent in the Isthimian games and a subject of patriotic pride to Corinthians (JFB)

E)     God is telling us here to get in the race. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Don’t wait to see if Christianity becomes popular again and figure you can join in later. There will come a day when it is too late. Get in the race.

F)     “Only one receives the prize”

1.      In Christianity, unlike a footrace, all who finish their life trusting in Jesus to save them from all that is wrong in this world and who follow Him, all will receive the prize of glory in heaven, not just one. Christianity is not a competition against other Christians but against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

2.      Phil. 3:14 “I pursue the goal to the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

G)    Purpose to win the race “hands-down”

1.      “run in such a way that you may obtain/win/get the prize”

2.      This was a slogan commonly used by trainers in the Roman gymnasia. (JFB)

3.      The end of v. 24 reads literally from Greek, “thus y’all must run in order to down-get.” Greek scholar A.T. Robertson commended that the “kata/down” part of the verb is “perfective” – to perfectly or fully grasp and hold onto that prize.

4.      What will it take for you to win hands-down, to be sure of the prize of heaven?

(a)    Not extra-good works – Paul affirmed this to his successor, Titus in his letter to him, “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life…” (Titus 3:3ff)

(b)   Wholehearted involvement in the contest of trusting Jesus and following Him against all the tugs of the world, the flesh, and the devil is what we are called to do.

(c)    “Every time the marsh gas of sloth rises from the swamps of modern life and threatens to overcome us, the call of God jerks us wide awake,” wrote Os Guiness in the book we’re studying on Monday nights entitled The Call. “Against the most sluggish temptation to feel ‘Who cares?’ calling is the supreme motivation, the ultimate ‘why.’ God has called us, and we are never more ourselves than when we are fully stretched in answering… his call”


III)    It is a normal part of a focused life to exercise disciplines (v.25)

A)     V. 25 speaks of “athletes” in a “contest/competition/wrestling match”

1.      This is describing an energetic wrestling match between faith and faithlessness, trusting God or trusting Man, Praying or losing hope. Paul often wrote of this struggle:

(a)    1 Tim. 4:10 “…to this end we labor and strive/wrestle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all… who believe.”

(b)   1 Tim. 6:12 “Strive/wrestle in the good contest/wrestling match of the faith, lay hold on eternal life …” (see also 2 Tim. 4:7)

(c)    Col. 4:12 “Epaphras… is always striving/wrestling for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.”

(d)   In every case, this wrestling match is about faith: keeping our hope in God, believing in Jesus, being sure of the will of God.

2.      This wrestling match, this keeping of the faith, is not something we do in our own strength, but rather by trusting in God’s strength and depending on Him, Col. 1:29 “…I am also wrestling according to His [God’s] working, which works in me powerfully.”

B)      Everyone in this wrestling match is “temperate/exercises self-control/goes into strict training”

1.      What kind of training did Bernard Lagat have to undergo to qualify for the 5000 meter race in the Olympics? He trained for seven months. His wife, Gladys, a registered dietician, kept tabs on what he ate — plenty of vegetables and carbs and meat – he barbeques about 4x a week! And he ran six days a week, alternating short workouts with long, and easy with hard. What's hard for Lagat? "Running at an average of 4:58, a little under 5 minutes per mile for 4 miles straight," he said. Followed by an easy five-mile run in the afternoon. What's easy? 6-minute miles. On Saturdays he ran a half-marathon on roads in the foothills above Tucson.

2.      Vincent described the training process for the ancient Greek Olympics, quoting from ancient Greek writers: “The candidate for the races was required to be ten months in training, and to practice in the gymnasium immediately before the games, under the direction of judges who had themselves been instructed for ten months in the details of the games. The training was largely dietary [including eating large amounts of high-carbohydrate bread called coliphium, which, by all accounts, tasted nasty.] Epictetus wrote: ‘You must be orderly, living on spare food; abstain from confections; make a point of exercising at the appointed time, in heat and in cold; nor drink cold water nor wine at hazard.’”

3.      In his pastoral letter to Titus, Paul said that the disciplines of a Christian minister require the same kind of self-control as those athletes in training (Titus 1:8). This need not apply only to pastors, but to all Christians. What kind of spiritual disciplines do you pursue in your life?

(a)    Prayer (Daily, as well as special times of spiritual retreat for more extended time.)

(b)   Bible study (Reading through the Bible in a year – or two)

(c)    Worship through the arts of song, dance, and graphic arts

(d)   Corporate worship (w. whole family @ home; w. other believers in town at church)

(e)    Fasting (Could be from food or anything that is important to you, temporarily.)

(f)    Giving of your wealth, time, and energy to works of ministry.

C)    Why exercise this self control?

1.      Athletes do it for a “perishable crown that will not last.” The Greek language has a different word for a king’s crown; this winner’s crown, however, is more like our English word for “trophy” although it was worn on the head.

(a)    In the Isthimian games it was made of pine branches, although some say it was made of celery leaves. They’re perishable. Have you ever found a bag of celery that you put in the bottom drawer of your fridge and found a few weeks later all wilted?

(b)   If Michael Phelps were to melt down eight gold medals that he won at the Beijing Olympics Games and sell the gold, he could probably only make about $1,225. The famed gold medals are mostly made of silver, not gold. (marketwatch.com)

2.      What is an imperishable crown worth? It is more valuable than any amount of money:

(a)    2 Tim. 4:8 “henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved His appearing.”

(b)   James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who endures temptation; for when he has passed the test, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him.”

(c)    1 Pet. 5:4 “And when the chief Shepherd shall be manifested, you shall receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

3.      Seneca, a contemporary of Paul who was the emperor Nero’s tutor, wrote a series of epistles on Stoic philosophy, and although writing from a non-Christian worldview, Seneca had some interesting parallels in one of his epistles to our passage here in 1 Corinthians: “What blows do athletes receive on their faces and all over their bodies! Nevertheless, through their desire for fame they endure every torture, and they undergo these things not only because they are fighting but in order to be able to fight. Their very training means torture. So let us also win the way to victory in all our struggles,-for the reward is not a garland or a palm or a trumpeter who calls for silence at the proclamation of our names, but rather virtue, steadfastness of soul, and a peace that is won for all time…” (Moral Epistles 78:16, translated by Richard Gummere)

4.      So often we are willing to exercise disciplines for fading glories – we will go on diets or exercise programs in order to look better or to put a difficult accomplishment under our belt, like climbing a high mountain, but are we willing to exercise the disciplines of prayer, Bible reading, worship, and giving for the inestimable worth of an imperishable crown in heaven?


Summary: The self-discipline of a Christian life involves forgoing rights, getting wholeheartedly involved in the faith, and exercising spiritual disciplines. There are 2 more aspects of self-discipline in the next 2 verses, the first being:

IV)  It is a normal part of a focused life to keep the goal in mind (v.26)

A)     “I run as not uncertainly/aimless/ambiguous/not obvious”

1.      Have you ever been driving a car and looking at something off to the side, then suddenly realized that your car has drifted across the road in the direction of what you were looking at? Whatever you are looking at is what you will automatically move toward. A runner must keep his eye on the finish line or else he will drift off course.

(a)    The shortest distance between two points is a straight line; if you follow a wandering path, you will take longer to get there and you will get beat.

(b)   As Christians, we must keep the goal in mind. Our goal is perfect fellowship with God in heaven. If we fill our thoughts with anything else, it will move us off course.

(c)    Heb. 12:1ff “…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Here, God’s word exhorts us to keep our eye on Jesus who is sitting at God’s right hand in heaven.

2.      The word used in v.26 to describe how Paul runs means that not only does Paul have his goal clearly in mind, but that his goal is also obvious to everyone around him – it shows outwardly.

(a)    Is it clear to everyone around you what your goal in life is?

(b)   How would they know?
They will judge from what they hear you talking about and what they see you doing.

(c)    I have a friend named Mitch who moved to the Philippines and began training street preachers. He is my example of a man who makes it clear to everyone around him what his aim is. The last picture I saw of him, he was wearing a T-shirt proclaiming “Turn to Jesus or Burn in hell.” No question where he stood!

B)     “I fight/box as not beating the air”

1.      In the second half of v. 26, Paul changes his analogy from running to boxing now.

2.      Why would a “boxer beat the air?” Perhaps he’s practicing rather than beating up a real opponent, but I think more likely Paul is talking about being in a real fight and just plain missing because your opponent outmaneuvered you.

3.      A generation before Paul, Virgil described a missed blow in a boxing match in his epic poem, the Aeneid (v., 443. Morris' Translation.)
     “Entellus, rising to the work, his right hand now doth show
     Upreared, but he, the nimble one, foresaw the falling blow
     Above him, and his body swift writhed skew-wise from the fall.
     Entellus spends his stroke on air.”

4.      Don’t “spend your strokes on air.” “Strike straight and do not spare.” (Vincent)
Don’t spend your time and money on things that have no eternal value.
Like the merchant that found the pearl of great price and spent all he had to buy it, put everything in your life behind the goal of perfect fellowship with God in heaven.


V)    It is a normal part of a focused life to avoid hypocrisy by maintaining integrity (v.27)

A)     “I keep under/discipline/beat my body and bring into subjection/keep under control/make it my slave”

1.      The verb translated “keep under/discipline/beat” is a compound word containing the Greek word for “under” and the Greek word for “eye.”

2.      Arndt & Gingrich, in their Greek Lexicon explain that this is a term borrowed from boxing matches where one contestant punches the other just under the eye, thus they suggest translating this verse: “I give a black eye to my body!”

3.      The only other place in the Bible where this word occurs is Luke 18:5, where Jesus tells the story of the unjust judge who says, “because this widow keeps coming back to [ask] me [for justice], I will bring justice for her, lest she under-eye me/wear me out/beat me/give me a black eye by her continual coming.” In Luke, the use is figurative to describe how the judge’s selfish resolve (and perhaps public reputation too) is being beaten down by a widow’s request for justice.

4.      This is not speaking of asceticism or self-mutilation, but rather of keeping our natural self-ishness at bay “so as to lay ourselves out entirely for the great work of God… The body may be a good servant, but it is a bad master.” (JFB) Therefore it must be treated like a servant of God rather than given its way like a spoiled child.

5.      Paul doesn’t see the body as evil, but rather considered it to be a tool for God’s purposes “like the horses in a chariot race which must be kept well in hand by whip and rein if the prize is to be secured” (ATR quoting Robertson & Plummer). The body should be “tamed, held back from its inclinations, habituated to subjection like...” those horses. (Calvin)

6.      1 Peter 2:11 “I beseech you… to abstain from fleshly lust, which war against the soul” What should you do when your body craves something? Indulge it? Peter says, “Abstain from it, because it has become an idol that threatens the supremacy of God in your life!”

7.      Rom. 8:13 “if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if [you live] by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, and you will live.”

8.      Let us choose the way of the cross, the way of giving up personal pleasures so as not to give ourselves any room to indulge in sin that could lead us into hypocrisy, destroy our integrity, and disqualify us!

B)     “lest I myself might be disapproved/disqualified/cast away after having preached to others”

1.      ILLUSTRATION: Ben Johnson captured the imagination of Canadians on Sept. 27, 1988, when he won the 100-metre sprint title in a world-record time of 9.79 seconds at the Seoul Olympics. To make the victory even sweeter, Johnson captured the gold medal by handily defeating American rival Carl Lewis.
     The euphoria of Johnson's win didn't last, however, when it was found the Canadian tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol… (not that his positive test was any surprise, considering his inflated deltoid muscles and jaundiced eyes, but how many Canadians wanted to believe that?).
     Johnson was subsequently stripped of his gold medal and world record and banned from competition for two years. The disgrace of the event was a black eye on Canadian amateur sport... Nearly 15 years later, it was discovered that several American track athletes tested positive for drugs before those same Seoul Games… [A]mong them was American Carl Lewis” [who had spoken out against drug use among athletes]. (cbc.ca)
Hypocrisy disqualifies.

2.      The word for “preach” in this verse 27 is the same title used of an announcer at the Greek games.

(a)    This announcer would read off the rules, call out the names of the competitors, and call for the start of the contest. Afterwards the announcer would crown the winner (JFB, cf. Plato’s Laws 8.833)

(b)   Similarly, Paul had entered Corinth and read off God’s rules from the Bible and called the Corinthians into the struggle of faith in Jesus Christ. Paul, of all people had better not fail to walk with integrity in the same faith that he had announced to the Corinthians and called them to exercise! You had better not either.

3.      Last week I ended the sermon with a survey of what can cause us to be disqualified/rejected by God: it included:

(a)    Forgetting God (Romans 1:28)

(b)   Saying one thing but doing another (Titus 1:16)

(c)    Denying the truth (2 Tim. 3:8), and

(d)   Bearing bad fruit (Hebrews 6:7-12)

(e)    Every one of these things boils down to a failure to trust in Jesus and follow Him.

4.      2 Cor. 13:5 “Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or don’t you know your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless you are actually reprobate/dis­qualified/rejected.” To put it another way, if you are in the faith, Jesus is in you and you will not be disqualified. If you are not in the faith, Jesus is not in you, and you are disqualified.

5.      If we are trusting Jesus to make us right with God by dying on the cross in our place thus paying for all the ways we have failed to perfectly do everything the Bible says to do, if we are following Jesus, we do not need to worry whether or not we will win; we will win the prize of heaven, but we will also just as surely live a life that is consistent with what we believe, because hypocrisy exposes those who never were qualified in the first place.

6.      Philippians 3:12 “I have not already obtained [the prize], and I have not yet been made perfect, so I press on, so that I might grab that for which I was also grabbed by Christ Jesus.”


I started last week’s sermon with the title “The Way of the Cross” and the mental picture of Jesus heading into Jerusalem, purposefully choosing to give up His rights and die a criminal’s death for our spiritual wellbeing. I have kept the same sermon title, “The Way of the Cross” for this week as well, because Jesus provided the model of Christian self-discipline with His life which climaxed at the cross. The self-discipline of a Christian life involves:

  1. Forgoing rights,
  2. Getting wholeheartedly involved in the faith,
  3. Exercising spiritual disciplines
  4. Keeping the goal in mind, and
  5. Fleeing hypocrisy by maintaining integrity in the faith.


Come, take up your cross; embrace the self-disciplines of faith. A crown that does not perish awaits!


Order of Worship


12-Apr-09 - Easter


1 Tim 6:12

Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.


Psalter 132B (string ensemble)






Acts 8:18-22

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.”




Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder (RUF version – w. guitar)


Psalm 18:25-36

NT Text

John 20:1-29




Mike Hernandez

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes. But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her. So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing." Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."


Awake My Soul, Stretch Every Nerve (with keyboard)


1 Cor. 9:24-27 "The Way of the Cross" Part 2




Christ the Lord is Risen Today (keyboard)


Luke 22:15-20

And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes." And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”


Low in the Grave He Lay (a cappella)


Heb 13:20-21

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.


Psalm 72d (keyboard)


What will it take for you to run so that you receive God's prize hands-down? (v.25)


Why would God's imperishable crown be more desirable to you than any perishable one? (v.26)


How do you miss the mark and leave uncertainty as to where you are headed? (v.26)


In what ways can you further bring your body under control for God's glory? (v.27)