Paul said in 2 Tim.2:5, “And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules.” NRSV. The NIV translate the text as “Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.” Paul makes a very important point for us to consider, that he draws a parallel with a sporting event. If you compete in a sporting event, you have to follow the rules of that particular competition. If you violate the rules, you will disqualify yourself from winning the victor’s crown, or if we think of the modern Olympics, a gold medal. Many people think that the gospel of Christ is not a law. But such is not so, consider these texts: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Gal.6:2. Also, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:25. And finally, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Rom.8:2. So to win in the race, we must run according to the rules and laws of Jesus Christ. How many in denominational folks are running, but not according to the rules. Notice what Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt.7:22-23. Iniquity is lawlessness, i.e. the state of being lawless, acting without law. Here are people that are disqualified and receive no crown, Why? They did not follow the rules, the laws of Jesus. How sad to have worked and done many “wonderful” things, but it was not what God asked for. Let us run by the rules & laws of Jesus.