Summary: Are you able to say that your walk is truly such where Jesus is your EVERYTHING? If so, this life becomes truly a suffering pilgrimage where our pattern of living truly despises this world while awaiting for the heavenly country.
Jesus – The Beginning and Ending of Our Faith
Theme: Jesus Christ is our perfect pattern for us to set our eyes on as we endure in our walk. Heb. 12:1-2
A. Man has an insatiable desire to be his own lord.
1. Our experience – and more importantly, the scriptures – reveal this fact.
2. Our philosophy is: I choose my own destiny. Such a philosophy puts us in the driver’s seat.
3. Thus, we plan to direct our lives in the pursuit of what we want, when and how we achieve to get what we want.
B. The problem – or unseen blessing – is that reality (or God Himself) thwarts our plans. Prov. 16:9
1. He wants so much more and greater a life than we can ever imagine.
2. So, He intercedes on our behalf from the point of salvation to our dying day. Rom. 8:28
3. Our jealous God wants us, however, to fix our eyes on His Son and give up our plans for His.
4. Such necessitates ridding ourselves of the sin that weighs us down and keeps us from finishing our walk of faith that began in Jesus.
I. THE CLOUD OF WITNESSES
A. They are human examples that testify of their faith in God.
1. Even though some (the Patriarchs) did not receive the promise, were assured of them. Heb. 11:13
2. Even though some were tortured and died for their trust in God. Heb. 11:35-38; Matt. 5:10; Jas. 1:12
3. To live as they did could only mean they were convinced and convicted of God’s heavenly promise.
B. Thus, with their faith they looked forward to their heavenly country. Heb. 11:13, 39-40
1. Their faith was in the ultimate promise of eternal salvation.
2. With their faith they were able to lay aside the weights of sin and walk in this world as pilgrims.
3. Their faith ended as it started: looking to their coming Savior: they walked not with the world, but with God.
II. JESUS – THE SOURCE AND PERFECTER OF OUR FAITH
A. Therefore, we likewise need to “run the race with endurance.”
1. We want to lay aside every weight; yet we often weigh ourselves down with all that the world allures…only to feel the weight of sin when we notice how we are running.
2. The love of this world is what weighs us down (how many took heed to the message of our elders regarding the raising of our children).
3. We must also run with endurance: we live in the flesh and it is easy to get caught up in the temporary pleasures of sin. Cp. Gal. 6:1-5
B. To find success, we need to set our sight on the Savior.
1. He is the author and finisher of our faith; with joy He endured the cross; He despised shame.
2. With His pre-eminent example we place our confidence in Him to lead and guide us through this life.
3. We are able to endure the sufferings necessary for walking with Him.
4. We count it all joy when we endure afflictions for His namesake.
5. In the end we know we have the crown of life.
A. Look at all that others have done in the name of a promise they did not see.
B. How much more for us today, having not only the great men of faith, but Jesus Himself, as the perfecter of our faith… that we can set our eyes on Him to walk through this life?