A good friend on mine that does high school ministry recently challenged a student to find a sports metaphor for the gospel (after having heard him use a bunch of sports analogies for trying harder and doing better.) This is what he came up with, and it is spot on.
“I would say it would be a kids soccer or baseball game. Where no matter how they played, who they played, win or lose they had hope to look forward to the post game snack. A snack that was predestined for them by their coach and was independent of their performance.”
“So they didn’t and couldn’t play for the snack (they are getting it anyway) but they play for the joy of the Coach and play it the right way because it’s how the game is intended to be played, the game turns out best for those around you and yourself when u play the way it should be. That is the same with good works, it’s a reflection of our Coach’s work in us, also a testament of our zeal to honor our Coach by playing the way we are taught. But regardless of how many times we mess up, we have our errors, we still receive our snack which is Jesus.”