Summary: By using the analogy of football during the super bowl season this sermon seeks to challenge Christians to a higher level of discipleship through desire, discipline, commitment, sacrifice, and character.
FIVE TRAITS OF A SUPER BOWL CHRISTIAN
In a few minutes a game of great importance will be played. Large men will face off across a line of scrimmage. A call will be made, leather will slap, and bodies will collide and crash. A battle has begun. For four 15 minute quarters men will expend enormous energy and Herculean efforts to move a piece of pig skin up and down a field of grass. In the end one team will emerge victorious.
Much is riding on this game. Around the world tens of millions will be watching. Today fortunes will be made and lost. Unofficial estimates of sports betting topped over 4.5 billion dollars as of yesterday afternoon. Tonight Americans will be glued to their television sets, all wanting the answer to one question: "Who will win?"
One way to answer such a question is to ask, what does it take to become a Super Bowl champion?
Can you tell me? __________
Let me tell you who will win. The winner of tonight’s game will be the team that exhibits 5 specific traits.
The team that has the greatest desire,
The team that is the most disciplined,
The team that has the most commitment and focus,
The team that is willing to sacrifice all,
The team that possess the greatest character.
That team, whoever it may be, will win the Super Bowl!
In football, many people play the game. But there are only a few that rise to the status of a Super Bowl Champion. Do you know where the rest of the NFL is tonight? At home watching the game. What separates a Super Bowl Championship team from the team with the worst record? It is desire, discipline, commitment and focus, sacrifice, and character, applied day in and day out.
Vince Lombardi, former coach of the Green Bay Packers, and the winning coach of Super Bowl I stated in a speech called "What it takes to be number 1":
"Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
Every time a football player goes to play his trade he’s got to play from the ground up-from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play."
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I want you to know that another game is being played tonight, and you are a part of that game. But, unlike the super bowl, your game is continuous and it has eternal consequences.
Yet, like the NFL, only a few Christians will rise to the level of play exhibited by a Super Bowl Champion. So my question for you this evening, is what does it take to be a Super Bowl Christian? What separates a champion from a bush leaguer.
The five traits that define a Super Bowl Team are the same traits that define a Super Bowl Christian: desire, discipline, commitment, sacrifice, and character.
We find these traits in two passages of scripture. Please take your Bibles and turn to
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
In the Corinthian passage Paul is speaking of the Isthmian games which were held every two years in Corinth. There athletes would compete for crowns made of leaves. However, Paul was encouraging Christians to compete for a prize with more lasting significance.
1. THE FIRST TRAIT OF A SUPER BOWL CHRISTIAN IS DESIRE.
Paul says "Run to win!"
Desire is to want something. Great desire is to want something so bad that you can taste it.