bible study | 03.04.19
We are often caught between Sunday services and sporting events as, more and more, sport in our culture clashes with timings of church. How do we get the balance right? It is important to note from the start that this is a conscience issue and that people will have different views on it. One of the most important things is that each individual should think it through for themselves and come to a position they are happy with. Romans 14:5: ‘One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.’
There are three Biblical principles to help you think about your decision, unpacked in the study below.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
In Genesis 2, God’s blessing of the 7th day is linked to the fact that He, the God of the universe, rests on it. He is establishing this day as a day of rest which becomes the day of rest for all humanity.
Whatever level of sport we compete at, we all need a day of rest - but this is not prescribed to be on a Sunday. It is important to see that rest is not just stopping from work but reorienting yourself back to God. We are created to rest.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Because of God’s mercy given to us through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, our response is one of worship with all that we are, all of the time. Whilst there are other reasons to meet together in church, worship cannot be confined to church meetings alone.
It is important to grasp that as you use your gifts for sport, in relationship with others, for the glory of God, it is an act of worship in and of itself. We are born to worship.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
At the time the writer of Hebrews is writing, the Romans have declared Christianity illegal – and thus the temptation is to give up meeting together in the face of persecution. Yet, even as the Hebrew Christians might risk their lives doing so, the message is ‘Don’t give up!’ That’s how key it is to meet together – without it, you will not last as a Christian.
Hebrews affirms the need to meet together. It describes why this is important for ‘spurring one another on’, ‘encouraging one another’ and helping each other keep going until the ‘Day approaches’. We are made to meet.
3 Biblical principles:
How will they help inform your future decisions about sport and church? What practical tips would you give to those who are asked to compete at a time that clashes with church?
All Bible quotations are taken with permission from the NIV:
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Christians in Sport is a UK based charity that aims to reach the world of sport for Jesus. We mainly work with sportspeople in competitive and elite sport.
Registered Charity England and Wales 1086570.
Registered Charity Scotland SCO45299.
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