Application Of Faith
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
The apostle now turns to the application of the faith that he has laid out in the previous chapter. Wherefore, because of all these who have gone before and have obtained a good report through their faith and are now our witnesses or spectators this links back to..
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
But unlike the gladiators in the arena that would be watched by spectators who were indifferent to their suffering and death we have these other witnesses who have actually gone before us and have suffered as we suffer. And they don’t mock our suffering rather they are cheering us on and encouraging us in this challenge. So seeing that these have gone before and that they have fought the good fight and have finished their race and now they are our witnesses then let us..
Lay Aside Every Weight
Lay Aside Every Weight
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us
Lay aside every weight
When an Athlete prepares to run a race he wants to get rid of any and all weight which would slow him down. Today athletes wear special clothing to reduce weight and drag, shoes that weight almost nothing so that they can be fast and increase their endurance. Imagine someone getting ready to run a marathon showing up to the starting line with a backpack on and ankle weights, and heavy boots. Now, he may train with some of these. Perhaps he might wear ankle weight to build up strength and endurance in training, but on the day of the race he would cast off these things that would slow him down.
The cares of this World
The Luxury Living
And the sin which so easily besets us
Any sin all sin. Sin that easily besets afflicts, oppresses us. Sin weights us down, holds us back in this race. When I think of sin that easily oppresses I think of addictions. Sin which enslaves us. People struggle with all sorts of addictive sins and they are oppressed and afflicted by them. These sins hold us back in this race. They drag us down and discourage us. Yet here we are told to simply lay them aside. If only it were that simple. Well, by faith it is that simple. Sin no longer has dominion over us
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
this is truth, this is God’s word, so by faith in God I know that sin has no dominion over me therefore, for the Christian addiction is an illusion, it’s not true, you are not addicted, God’s word says that you are freed from sin. So by faith in God lay aside those sins which afflict you and oppress you, you are no longer servant to sin. And yield yourself to God. We must lay aside these things if we are to run in this race.
Run With Patience
Run With Patience
In keeping with the image we are urged to run as the cloud of witness watch and cheer us on we run this race.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
We are to run this race with patience. The word here means stedfast waiting for. Those saints which now make up the cloud of witnesses waited for the promised seed of a women who would bruise the head of the serpent the seed of Abraham who would bless all nations and they ran their race by a stedfast waiting for the coming Messiah. Today is the last day of advent which begins on the 4th and goes to the 24th. It is in remembrance of the patient waiting of the old testament saint for the coming Messiah and the churches patient waiting for the second coming of Christ.
So we run with patience because we are waiting for Christ to perfect us. We cannot apprehend that for which we were apprehended until we are perfected in Christ Jesus. So we run but we wait.
The race set before us
This race is not our own choosing or by our own design. Rather it has been set before us. We don’t get to choose the challenges that will be set out before us. We can only determine how we will face them.
Look Unto Jesus
Look Unto Jesus
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Because He is the author and the finisher of our faith
Because He is our example
Because by considering His suffering and how he endured His affliction we will find courage and strength to run strong to the finish.
So this Christmas lets not get weighted down with cares of this world and luxuries. Lay those things aside and run the race with patience Knowing that Jesus did come into this world, born in a sable as a servant but we look to His return as our King. So look to Jesus because he is the author and the finisher of our faith.