Faithlife Sermons

Finishing Well

Guest Speaker  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:00
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 Finishing Well Hebrews 12:1-3 Pastor Dave Dunkin Sunday Morning, August 20, 2017 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. (ESV) Introduction: No matter how old or young you are, you will finish someday. How will you finish? How will you finish well? Key word: endure (Greek: hupomeno) means “to bear up courageously, to remain instead of fleeing, standing one’s ground, holding out”, and is often accompanied with the phrase to the end. Context: Hebrews was written to Jewish believers who were in danger of not finishing well because of the temptation to try to earn their salvation through works of the Law, not faith alone in Jesus. I. The Precedent for Finishing Well: Old Testament saints who hupomeno-ed to the end. a. They exhibited true faith as described in Hebrews 11:1, the confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences. See Daniel 3:17-18. b. The great cloud of witnesses are not watching us; they are giving witness to the faithfulness of God. “The witnesses of whom the cloud is composed are unquestionably the countless heroes of faith whose deeds have been summarized in chapter 11. The testimony which they bear can only be the testimony which they bear to God, either by victorious achievements or by courageous sufferings. In both respects, as conquerors and as sufferers, they witness to His power and faithfulness.” c. These saints set the precedent, showing that finishing well is possible. II. The Preparations for Finishing Well: Three characteristics of well-finishers. “Let us also…” a. “Lay aside every weight” i. “Lay aside” is translated “cast off” in Mark 10:50, what blind Bartimaeus did with his cloak before coming to Jesus” ii. The weights we lay aside (read cast off) are those things that interfere with our freedom to get closer to Jesus. If we want to finish well, we’re going to have to discard some possessions, limit some activities, avoid some associations, that slow us down or distract us from following Jesus and fulfilling the purpose for which He called us. b. “Lay aside…sin that clings so closely” i. General word for sin which includes both doing something that is forbidden or neglecting something that is required by God’s law or character, whether in thought, feeling, speech or action. ii. “clings so closely” also translated “entangling, easily distracting”; literally means “well standing around”, surrounding its target and attacking from every direction. iii. We are surrounded and attacked from every direction by “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life” (1 John 2:15b) c. “…the race that is set before us.” The race is… i. A prolonged race; a marathon, not a sprint, allows time for recoveries. ii. A providential race; designed by God who takes us through the ups and downs. iii. A personal race; everyone’s course is unique to them III. The Power for Finishing Well: “Looking unto Jesus” a. We are not told to look to the saints b. “Looking” word construction means to keep continually looking, not a casual gaze. c. What is it about Jesus that rewards our full attention? i. He is the ultimate expert, “the founder and perfecter”. He literally wrote the Book on finishing well. ii. He is the ultimate example, “Who for the joy set before Him”. He is talking from experience. iii. He is the ultimate energy. See Ephesians 3:20. He works within us and provides the power to overcome weariness (physical) and faintheartedness (spiritual) so we can finish well. Benediction: 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)
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