Summary: The author has just finished leading us through God’s Hall of Fame (From Able to “the others”), he gives us the greatest example/champion of faith. When our Lord was here on earth, He lived by faith.
Hebrews 12.1-17 Don’t Lose Heart #22
September 14, 2014
A The author has just finished leading us through God’s Hall of Fame (From Able to “the others”), he gives us the greatest example/champion of faith.
1 When our Lord was here on earth, He lived by faith.
a Heb. 2.13, the author tells us that Jesus prayed, “I will put My trust in Him.”
Hebrews 2:13 (NASB) 13 And again, "I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM." And again, "BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME."
aa The whole idea that Jesus prayed to the Father is evidence that He lived by faith.
bb He put His absolute trust in the first person of the Godhead.
b Our Lord endured far worse than Abel, Abraham, Moses, or any of “the others”. (He endured the passion of the cross)
aa It wasn’t just nails, thorns . . . shame, suffering, rejection by the Father for a moment.
bb AND on the cross He suffered for all the sins of all the world!
cc He finished the job, saw the work completed, didn’t come down off the cross until redemption was made.
c What was it that enabled our Lord to endure the cross? To not give up?
aa He kept His eye of faith on “the joy set before Him.”
bb We know He knew that the grave would not keep Him;
Psalm 16:8-10 (NASB) 8 I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. 10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
Enjoy the fullness of the Father;
Psalm 16:11 (NASB) 11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Jesus knew that He would be exalted to heaven in glory.
Psalm 110:1,4 (NASB) 1 The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."
2 The audience the writer is addressing had not suffered to the point of death, shed blood, been martyred (by the way, our word for ‘martyr’ comes from the Greek work ‘witness’ in v. 1).
Hebrews 12:1 (NASB) 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
a His audience were prone to “look back” and want to “go back.”
b Here, he’s encouraging them to follow Christ’s example and look ahead in faith.
aa The heros in Chapter 11 lived their life looking ahead to the future . . . and this enabled them to endure the tough times.
bb Church, there is no grave going to hold your body ground/the veil has been torn/adopted child of God . . . no weapon formed against you can prosper.
cc Psalm 30:5 (NASB) 5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
c We are aliens, not of this world . . . heaven is ours! Victory is ours! Healing is ours!
B We are not the first who have struggled to keep our faith through difficult times.
1 Paul’s attesting of the “great cloud of witnesses” doesn’t necessarily mean that the saints of old are “watching” us.
a The word “witness” is not used to describe a person looking at something.
aa Its use is more like someone who has a testimony of a product (Laundry detergent, Weight-loss program/product, Cleaning product, etc.)
bb The “witnesses” testimony is being summoned by the writer to speak about what they had seen, heard, felt as to what their faith did for them.
cc They operated/endured through tough times without ever seeing Messiah, but by looking ahead by faith.
b There is a reason why we give testimonies. (A witness to others who are running a hard race.)
2 Notice, the Scripture tells us to “run” (v.1), which is one of four postures for the believer in the New Testament.
a First, the believer sits in the heavenly places (Eph. 2.4-6).
Ephesians 2:4-6 (NASB) 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,