Winning the Greatest Race – Part Thirteen

“Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats 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.”  (I Corinthians 9: 24 – 27)

Carl Lewis’ name is etched into Olympic history. In the toughest of Olympic sports, track and field, few have dominated for so long. The record speaks for itself: Lewis’ first Olympic Games was Los Angeles 1984. His career lasted until the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. During this time, he won 10 Olympic medals, including 9 gold. Outside the Olympics, he won 10 World Championship medals, including eight gold. He set world records in the 100m, 4 x 100 m and 4 x 200 m relays.

The result of these performances was a host of awards and recognition. In 1999, Lewis was voted “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee, elected “World Athlete of the Century” by the International Association of Athletics Federations and named “Olympian of the Century” by Sports Illustrated.

Lewis spoke of the importance of his faith. “Knowing I have the Lord with me, I feel that there is no greater strength that I could have going into a competition. To inherit the kingdom of God, it didn’t matter that I had accomplished a feat that day only accomplished once before, and that by the legendary Jesse Owens. I had to do what everyone must do: avail myself of what Jesus Christ’s death on the cross made possible; salvation for anyone who calls on the name of Jesus Christ.”

Carl postures himself as having done what he said everyone needs to do, avail Himself of what Jesus Christ’s death on the cross made possible.

Faith in Jesus is essential resulting from Jesus’ death on the cross. Salvation has been defined as follows. “You walk up to a bridge in the woods and you consider whether or not it will hold you up.  You investigate the piers anchored to the ground. You look underneath it to see if you notice any damage. Finally, you are convinced the bridge will hold you up.

But saving faith isn’t just looking at the bridge and believing it will hold you up. Saving faith is crossing the bridge. The bridge is Christ. He alone is the object of saving faith. You must not merely study Christ and have a sound understanding of who He is and what He has done.”

It entails a faith commitment resulting from believing in Jesus’ substitution death on the cross with the result being the removal of the sins of the one who trusts Him. It furthermore involves Jesus’ righteousness being credited to your spiritual account.

Carl said, “I had to do what everyone must do….” If you have never done it, now is a good time to do so.