Ingleside Notes

The Bible and the Super Bowl: Lessons from Athletics in the New Testament

February 11, 2024 / Tim McCoy, Lead Pastor

A Chapter a Day

  • Sunday, February 11, Psalm 109
  • Monday, February 12, Psalm 110
  • Tuesday, February 13, Psalm 111
  • Wednesday, February 14, Psalm 112
  • Thursday, February 15,Psalm 113
  • Friday, February 16, Psalm 114
  • Saturday, February 17, Psalm 115

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1. This year’s Super Bowl is being played in:
A. San Francisco B. Kansas City C. Las Vegas

2. How many Americans are expected to watch?
A. 150 million B. 200 million C. 250 million

3. True or False: The two most popular Super Bowl snacks are pizza and chicken wings.

4. True or False: The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad this year is $3.5 million.

5. Which singer’s rendition of the national anthem is the longest in Super Bowl history at 156.4 seconds?
A. Alicia Keys B. Whitney Houston C. Lady Gaga

Bonus: Which city hosted the coldest outdoor Super Bowl on record?
A. Green Bay, WI B. New Orleans, LA C. Indianapolis, IN

“Sports is a language that is spoken by people around the world. It was certainly a familiar subject to Roman citizens in the first century. Athletes were the iconic figures of the ancient world, the heroes of young boys, and the craze of the culture. Drawing on this popularity, the New Testament writers chose to convey many important aspects of the Christian life through athletic metaphors. They used sporting events to depict important truths related to our sanctification.”
(Dr. Steven J. Lawson, Athletic Metaphors of the Christian Life,, June 2019)

Using athletic vocabulary and imagery, the Bible teaches us that as we follow Jesus:

1. We need in godliness.
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train [gymnazo] yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training [gymnasia] is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8, ESV)

2. We need to God’s .
5 An athlete [athleo] is not crowned unless he competes [athleo] according to the rules. (2 Timothy 2:5, ESV)

3. We need .
25 Every athlete [agonizomai] exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. (1 Corinthians 9:25, ESV)

4. We need a clear and well-defined .
26 So I do not run [trecho] aimlessly; I do not box [pukteuo] as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27, ESV)

5. We need .
let us run [trecho] with endurance the race [agon] that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1b, ESV)

6. We need to .
7 I have fought [agonizomai] the good fight [agon], I have finished the race [dromos], I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown [stephanos] of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8, ESV)

7. We need to remember . . .

  • While every individual performance is important, it takes a to win. (1 Corinthians 12)
  • The game is not over until the final sounds. (Matthew 24:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
  • It’s not how you , but how you . (E.g. Moses, David, Paul)
  • We should prepare , so that we will be when our opportunity comes. (Matthew 25; Ephesians 5:15-16)
  • Win or lose, our ultimate aim is to God.

Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 10:31b, ESV)


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