Summary: A second sermon on running the race of faith.
How to Run the Race of Faith- Part II
• Last week, we looked at the first verse of the 12th chapter of Hebrews. We found that there are some very specific commands that are given for running the race of faith.
• We come to this practical chapter in the book of Hebrews, and we are told that because of the blessed covenant under which we live, the New Covenant, we ought to be living our lives for Kingdom of God.
• A new covenant brings about new requirements. We are longer asked to bring burnt offerings or sin offerings. Now we are asked to give ourselves in service to the Lord.
• Last week, we looked at two commands. The first one was to remove the weight and the sin that drags us down. God has called us to empty ourselves of all that is ungodly and unprofitable to our spiritual health.
EXAMPLE: IF YOU DON’T WANT TO WIN
• Secondly, we are called to run the race that has been marked out before us. We are to run this race with patience, endurance, and steadfastness.
• There is a great call and a great warning in this book against cumbersome and loathsome Christianity which leads to a drifting away.
• The commands we find today in verse two are more about where we set our mind and our attention than what we physical do in running.
I. Regard (v. 2a)
• The first thing that the writer tells us to do in verse two is to look. That word is defined this way “to determine; to fix one’s eyes.”
• It’s in the present tense which means we are to always be looking towards Him. What about this person we are looking to? There are two (2) things:
A. The Pioneer
The first description of Jesus we see is that He is the author, or the pioneer. He got this whole thing started.
The word author is defined as “originator or the instigator.” When we talk about being brought into the New Covenant, Jesus is the Mediator of that Covenant.
1 Timothy 2:5 tells us, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
When we talk about running the race of faith, not a race of the law but of faith, it all begins with the Mediator, Jesus Christ.
He is the mediator of this covenant, and He is the author. However, the writer is telling us something more with his word choice.
Hebrews 2:10 tells us “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
This suggests to us that Jesus has pioneered the path of faith. He was the first to ever truly walk it and He showed us how to do it right.
We look to Him for guidance, and we look to Him for salvation. Why? Because looking is trusting.
When the Children of Israel looked at the serpent on the stick, they were healed. When we look to the Savior on a tree, we are healed.
Looking unto Jesus is not just an action, but it’s an attitude of living. It’s not something you do, it’s something you are. We are to be focused on Jesus. Why? He is the author and the pioneer.
He is the inspiration and initiator of our faith.
B. The Perfecter
Not only is He the author and the pioneer of our faith, but He is also the finisher and the perfecter of our faith.
What does this mean? Not only did He initiate the faith and author, but He also perfected it because He finished it well. In fact, He finished it perfectly.
Therefore, because He began it and finished it well, He can enable you to also do the same.
One translator renders the phrase this way “looking unto Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.”
From the very start to the final breath and your crossing over, Jesus is the perfecter and the finisher of your faith.
How do you start out in this race? Jesus takes hold of you. How do you run well and finish well? You look toward and take hold of Jesus!
He has the ability to make us perfect. He has the ability to bring us to our desired end. It reminds me of Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
He has the ability to take us in to our rest. Hebrews 4 reminds us that the rest that the Children of Israel received is not the final rest. “There remaineth therefore a rest.”