1. This morning we studied "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23). 2. In 2 Peter 1:5-7, seven characteristics are listed that are known as "the Christian graces." 3. Peter continued in vs.8-11 by showing why we must develop and grow in these graces [they will help us to complete our journey to heaven]. 4. In our lesson we are especially concerned with two of the graces: "temperance" and "patience." 5. We are examining two passages of Scripture that show how temperance and patience will enable us to successfully run the Christian race. 6. Before we examine these passages, let us consider . . .
I. AN OBSERVATION MADE BY SOLOMON (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
A. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon recorded a number of observations he made. B. Although Solomon mentioned several things in this verse that he had observed, we are especially interested in his statement that "the race is not to the swift." 1. As a general rule, speed will help competitors win races. 2. However, races are not always won by the fastest competitors. 3. Qualities other than speed may enable someone to win a race. C. With Solomon's statement in our minds, let us turn our attention to temperance and patience.
II. THE ROLE OF TEMPERANCE (1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27)
A. A contrast is made between an Olympic runner and a child of God running the Christian race. B. An Olympic runner: 1. competes to win a corruptible crown 2. understands the role of temperance as he trains. C. A child of God: 1. looks forward to receiving an incorruptible crown 2. understands the role of temperance in his service to the Lord 3. wants to set the proper example before others.
III. THE ROLE OF PATIENCE (Hebrews 12:1-3)
A. Vs. 1 says, "and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." B. To run the Christian race with patience, we must: 1. remember that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses a. This includes the men and women listed in ch.11. b. They ran their races with patience, and they encourage us to do the same. 2. lay aside every weight and the sin that entangles us 3. keep our eyes focused on Jesus. a. Jesus finished His race, even though He had to endure the cross. b. Keeping our eyes focused on Him will prevent us from giving up.
1. To borrow Solomon's words, the Christian race "is not to the swift." 2. Speed is not important in running the Christian race -- finishing it is important. 3. We have seen that temperance and patience will help us finish. 4. Temperance and patience will enable us to make the same statement made by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8.