Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faithHeb. 12:1-2.
There is throughout the book of Hebrews a twofold theme that is recorded for our learning. First and foremost the superiority and excellency of the Lord Jesus Christ above all things, the repeated phrase is, “Christ is better” He must have all the preeminence (Col. 1:18). The second theme is the warning of perseverance in the faith (Heb. 3:12-14; 10:35-39). There is no reason for a believer not to continue in the faith of God’s elect. We must not quit, we must not give up, and we must not let go. Our Lord put it this way, “No man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). This is what is illustrated for us in the preceding chapter, “these all died in faith” (Heb. 11:13). In the face of death, danger, hardship, temptations, and heresies they persevered in the faith, they ran the race set before them by the sovereign grace of God. In like manner, the exhortation is given unto us, “let us run the race set before us.” Now the Lord gives unto us the most excellent instruction how believers are to do this!
1). Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that does so easily beset us. This could include many things, but the main thought is that of unbelief. What could be more of a hindrance to our race than not trusting, resting in Christ, as we should? “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23).
2). Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
The way we are to run is with endurance. This race is not a sprint it is a marathon. Yet, we do not run to be justified, we run because we have been justified in Christ (Rom. 3:24). Those who seem to be in the race for a while and drop out were never given grace to begin the race (Gal. 5:1-7).
3). Let us run looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
This is the life and strength of faith, always looking to our Saviour to provide all things for us as we run (Isa. 45:22; Phil. 4:19). Christ Jesus Himself is the Alpha and the Omega of all our salvation (John 19:30). All of salvation starts in Him in eternity (Rev. 13:8) and ends in Christ in final glory (Rom. 8:29-30). He is our victorious Lord (1Cor. 15:57).
4). Let us consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself (Heb. 12:3). Let us consider and weigh carefully how our Lord Himself endured as the Godman-Mediator. How He ran the race of faith against all opposition of sinners. Any trouble we would face is nothing compared to how He suffered for our sins (1Peter 2:24; 2Cor. 4:15-18).
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