Summary: we will look at how the faith of others can encourage us to run this race of our faith with the endurance of Jesus!
II. “Run at all cost” Hebrews 11:32-12:3 we will look at how the faith of others can encourage us to run this race of our faith with the endurance of Jesus!
III. First let’s look at verses 32-35 from Hebrews 11. It mentions people by name who had faith to be victorious in there diverse situation, such as:
a. Conquered kingdom
b. Administered Justice
c. Gained what was promised
d. Shut the mouths of loins
e. Quenched the fury of the flames
f. Escape the sword
g. Weakness turn into strength
h. Became powerful in battle
i. Routed foreign armies
j. Women received back their dead
IV. In verses 36-38 others situations were not that victorious but are just as important to be mentioned, such as:
a. Flogging and tortured
b. In chains and imprisonment
c. Put to death by stoning
d. Sawed in two
e. Killed by the sword
f. Hiding in sheepskin and goat skin destitute persecuted and mistreated
g. Wondered in desert and mountains
h. Lived in caves and holes in the ground
V. In verses 39-40 we see the concluding remarks of the entire chapter.
a. All were commended for their faith but did not receive what had been promised.
1. That promise is the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Though the heard about Him, they did not see him.
b. The reason for this is found in verse 40 “God had planned something better for us” such as:
1. Better hope
2. Better covenant
3. Better promises
4. Better high priest, Jesus Christ
5. Better access to God
6. Better sacrifice
7. Better possession
8. Better resurrection
c. “Would they be made perfect” means that the fulfillment of God’s promises to them has come in Jesus Christ and their redemption too is now complete in Him.
VI. Next we go into chapter 12 of Hebrews where we are encouraged to continue in our faith in Christ.
a. Verse 1 “surrounded by such a great cloud of witness” these witnesses are the heroes of the past mentioned in chapter 11. They are not spectators but inspiring examples.
1. The word “witness” in the Greek = testifies or martyr
2. The cloud suggests a massive host of people. We receive much encouragement from knowing that others have faced obstacles in the Christian life.
3. They bear testimony to the power of faith and to God’s faithfulness.
b. “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” It says “hinders” = to delay, impede to prevent actions, to make slow in progress.
1. Hinders doesn’t necessary means that it is something bad. There can be many good things that can hinder your relationship with Christ. I.e. jobs, family, a friendship relationship, etc…
2. Next “sin that so easily entangles” we are told to “throw” it away, get rid of it. How do you get rid of sin? By Jesus Christ. Jesus is the answer to get rid of sin. The transforming power of Christ is the way we get rid of sin.
c. This verse goes further to do a comparison of the Christian life to a race, “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”
1. The Christian life is not a short sprint; it is a long distance race! With long distance you have to train your body, you have to also pace yourself, and you have to make sure you are ready.
2. A short sprint is a short distance to get to their fast. In this race we are called to run it and to do it with perseverance. In other words run this race with difficulties and hardship without giving up.
d. Next in verse 2 we see that we have a goal when running this race.
1. “Fix our eyes on Jesus” as believers we must keep our eyes fixed on the goal, Jesus Christ. We need to focus on Him without being distracted or diverted.
2. Jesus is “the author and perfecter of our faith” as the author, Jesus inspires us to action. Also He is the beginner or the first example of faith.
3. As the perfecter Jesus develops our faith, he deepens it and brings it to maturity. Philippians 1:6 “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion” He brings us to heaven the Promised Land.
4. Also in this verse there are three features about Jesus that demands our attention
ii. First “He endured the cross” he carried out God’s redemptive plan for us and led a path to victorious joy through the cross.
iii. Second “He scorning its shame” Jesus recognized the humiliation and the shame of the cross, but that did not stop Him because He know that God had everything under control. This should remind us that our present suffering for the gospel is far outweighed by the cross.