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Summary: exposition of Hebrews 12:1-3

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Run with the Winners

Hebrews 12:1-3

Outline

I. The witnesses that comfort us - "cloud of witnesses"

II. The weights that confine us - "let us lay aside every weight"

A. Call to discern what handicaps us - "weight"

B. Courage to discard what handicaps us - "lay aside"

III. The wickedness that checks us - "the sin that doth so easily beset us"

IV. The weariness that may confront us - "ye be wearied and faint in your minds"

V. The winner to challenge us - "looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith"

A. Direction of our gaze

B. Dependence on His grace

Our generation is generation that loves sports. Many of you ladies can identify with the wife who was told by her husband, "Honey, now before football season starts, is there anything you would like to say to me?"

If the Apostle Paul were alive today, he would no doubt read the sports pages of the newspaper and follow the progress of various teams and athletes. Those who are familiar with the epistles of the Apostle Paul are fully aware of his frequent use of athletic references in his writings He referred to boxing, wrestling, and in our text to running.

Paul writes in Hebrews to a group of persecuted, beaten down, discouraged Hebrew believers and encourages them to keep moving forward in the Christian lives.

In considering the Christian life as a race I want us to note several things......

I. The witnesses that comfort us - "cloud of witnesses"

We are all creatures of inspiration. We need a reason for doing things and we need encouragement while we are doing them. One of the greatest inspirations and comforts should be all the believers from the past who have gone before us.

They are "witnesses." Not watching us as we perform. The idea is not that we should faithful lest they are disappointed. They are examples, not onlookers. They have proved by their life that the live of faith is only life to live. The same God who was their God is our God. The God of yesterday is the God of today and tomorrow. They are not witnessing what we are doing, but rather they are witnessing to us that God can see us through.

Christians on earth are to comfort on another (II Corinthians 1:4). The OT saints mention in chapter 11 witness to us of the faithfulness of God who led and upheld them through all their conflicts.

When facing family opposition, remember Joseph!

When facing moving to a new place, remember Abraham.

When facing problems on the job, remember Moses.

They shouted down the wall of Jericho, conquered kingdoms, shut the mouth of lions, quenched the power of fire, received back their dead by resurrection, were tortured, mocked scourged, imprisoned ..... they are a testimony that the life of faith is the only life that wins.

II. The weights that confine us - "let us lay aside every weigh"

One of the greatest problems runners face is weight.

A man once went to the doctor with back trouble. After examine the patient the doctor said, "You are not having back trouble. You are having front trouble." What he was saying is simply the excess weight is causing you the problem.


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