I am going to restate the obvious; the game of Golf is a good metaphor for the process of salvation. I know that this may be a stretch for those of you that have never played golf, but to those of us that have played, and actually been involved in competition 'on course' it is a precise reminder that in order to win at anything you must know and play by the rules, and have enough desire, skill and practice to complete the match.
As an example, Phil Mickelson just teed off on hole #1 in the U.S. Open at Shinecock Hill in New York. So the first important thing in this example is that he did not tee off on hole number 7. In salvation we ALL start at the same place.
We must (as with Phil) understand what we can and cannot do 'on course', by understanding the rules (Commandments) completely, such that there is not penalty assessed for disobedience to them.
Now Phil is 10 shots behind the leader, but by his own words he is not discouraged, because with every shot he makes he has the opportunity to get closer to the top, and to finish well. In salvation we must deal with each challenge in the order in which they appear, and not anticipate failure simply because that is what we have been taught.
In golf you must play every shot 'in the moment' when you are standing over the ball ready to make a swing. And this is exactly the same with the process of salvation. Each time there is a temptation to disobey God we must 'play that ball' where and how it lays, and CHOOSE to not disobey.
Salvation is not a game, and the penalty for not playing by the rules is not the loss of a stroke or two due to a penalty, it is the ultimate penalty, which is eternal death. But Jesus said that playing by the rules of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments, are not difficult; and with practice we can all accomplish righteousness.
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