Summary: Sermon 13 in Hebrews Series
Running the Race of Your Life
How to Persevere? (Hebrews 12:1)
Remove Sin (Hebrews 12:1, 14-17, 25-27) (Apostasy)
Receive God’s Encouragement (12:1, 5, 12)
From the People of Faith (12:1)
From the Perfecter of Faith (12:3-4)
Receive God’s Discipline (12:5-11)
Give God Thanks (12:28a)
Give God Worship (12:28b)
Some of you may not have known this, but you have all been entered into a race.
Your parents signed you up back before you were even born.
Now you are in the midst of it.
If you haven’t figured it out, I am talking about the race of Life and
how you run the race of your life is important.
This isn’t your typical race though.
It is not to see who finishes first.
It is a race to see who finishes well.
The choices we make now effect how well we finish.
We can make choices that cause us to finish poorly or we can make choices to cause us to finish well.
But in the midst of the race we are going to face obstacles. In fact the race of life is more like a high hurdles marathon, if there were such a thing, than just your typical marathon.
But it is our choices in how we overcome these obstacles that make all the difference in how you finish the race.
Today, we will look at what the author of Hebrews has to say about the race of life and how we finish in Chapter 12. (turn there)
The author of Hebrews has been preparing to talk to the Hebrews about how they can face the obstacles of life so they can run and finish the race of life well. He started out by talking about people who have already finished the race of life well. We talked about that 2 weeks ago.
Now he is going to talk about how those, in the midst of the race, can keep going so they too can finish well.
12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
"My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.
18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."