Marks of a Runner


A few years ago, my brother and I decided to run a 10-mile race. There were some people who took running a little more seriously than I did. They looked, talked, stretched, ate protein bars, and wore fancy watches like runners. When the race started, everyone took off at full speed. But it was only a matter of time before I saw many people walking and some even dropping out of the race. Looking back, I realize that looking the part isn’t what makes a person a long-distance runner; it is enduring until the finish line. Those who are dedicated to long-distance running understand the sacrifice it takes to finish well.

  • Think back to a moment in your life when you made a huge sacrifice. Why was it so hard?


20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

6:1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,

and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. 13 In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.


(Today’s questions focus on verses 6:1-13.)

  1. According to verse 1, what was Paul’s appeal to the Corinthians? Why did he make this appeal (vs. 2)?
  2. How did Paul view himself (vss. 3-4)? How did that impact the way he lived?
  3. What were some of the marks of Paul’s ministry?
  4. How did Paul’s endurance testify to God’s grace?
  5. What hinders you from enduring in your walk with Christ?


The church in Corinth had become greatly influenced by false teachers who were opposed to Paul’s teaching. Their message neglected God’s grace and was extremely legalistic, causing divisions within the church. The false teachers were more concerned with self-promotion than living a life of self-denial. Paul encouraged the Corinthians to consider the marks of his ministry and the message of grace instead. He didn’t just talk the talk; he ran the race that was set before him with endurance and faithfulness.

  • Confess to God any areas of your life where you tend to promote rather than deny yourself.
  • Ask for God to help you endure in faith so that your life testifies to God’s grace.