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The Contender

May 1st, 2005

“…I do not box as one beating the air”

(1 Corinthians 9:26)


In the new television series, The Contender, Sugar Ray Leonard and Sylvester “Rocky” Stallone bring their expertise to a group of common, everyday men and their families. These men are battling as underdogs for a better life. The apostle Paul, himself, uses a boxing illustration in 1 Corinthians 9:26. He is expressing how serious and committed he is to the cause of Christ in his own life. He is not “shadow-boxing,” as it were, he is a Christian, contending in the very arena of reality itself.
In the story of the Jews, Jacob plays a major role. Jacob was the son of Isaac and Rebekah. The Bible tells the story of how Jacob was born, struggling in the womb (Gen. 25:22) and holding on to his twin brother’s heel (Gen. 25:26). Genesis 25:23 plainly expresses that these two brothers would be two nations (Gen. 25:23). Later, in the life of Jacob, he is found wrestling with an angel in a symbolic action that would change his name from “Jacob” to “Israel” (Gen. 32:28): “What is your name? And he said, Jacob. Then he said, Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed…And there he blessed him” (32:29).

The biblical basis for contending is relevant (Eph. 6:12; 2 Cor. 10:3-6; 2 Tim. 4:7):

1. May our prayer be the prayer of Psalm 35 – “Contend, O LORD…” on our behalf and for our welfare (Ps. 35:1,23,27).
2. May we contend for the gospel (Philippians 1:27).
3. May we contend for Christ and His church (Eph. 3:21).
4. May we contend for our families (Eph. 5:33-6:4).

The Contender is more than a made-for-television series. The Contender is in you.

-Robert M. Housby

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