Faithlife Sermons

Stay in the Race

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Introduction
As a Christian, have you ever wanted to walk away from this whole Christian thing! Has life ever been so that you wanted say, “I’m not doing this “church” thing anymore?” You get tired of the same old, same old in churches that go on...You get tired of people in the church acting like people in the world...You get tired of trying to live this “Christian life” and always failing...You keep hearing the preacher say one thing, and culture say another...
The aim of the message today is, God wants us to stay in the race! There are so many things and people that try and take us from God’s purpose in our lives. Jobs can be a distraction. Family can be a distraction. Your boyfriend can be a distraction. Your girlfriend can be a distraction. Your past times can be a distraction. Worry can be a distraction. Many things and people can be a distraction. But, we must remain focused!
It is amazing how we can think that we are alone in the Christian journey. Have you ever felt like no one understood what you were going through? Do you ever feel like no one understands? We are not alone. We have witnesses (martyr, a witness for Jesus who dies because of that witness) to the life of faith. There are people whose lives tell us what faith means (refer to , [Stephen was a martyr that’s mentioned in Acts]). And since we are have been preceded by so many witnesses…
I. Let Us Lay Aside Every Weight and Sin (1a)
● “lay aside” means to put off, take off; be done with; stop…
● “every” – total, complete, all…each one…
o weight - ① material that is ponderously large, bulk. ② that which hinders one from doing someth., weight, burden, hindrance, impediment
o sin – departure from God’s standard of uprightness; wrong-doing;
● iniquity - no-equal, our standards are not equal with God’s standards, our standards don’t line up with God’s standards
● transgression: trans – across, gress – to walk – to cross the line of God’s standards
o (guilt – moral consequence of sin)
● “so easily beset us” - controlling tightly, constricting, obstructing, formally, easily distracting[1]
, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."
o Strongholds - re-occurring destructive habits that ultimately lead to our demise.
o Strongholds are birthed and dwell in deception (which are lies and false beliefs), so naturally the cure is to bring the truth in God's Word on the scene.
o you can break spiritual blockades that have been holding you back, so you can start living free. ()
II. Let Us Run the Race (1b)
Run - To rush, advance, get in a hurry (cp. , the man that ran and worshipped)
Run - to make an effort to advance spiritually or intellectually, exert oneself fig. ext. of 1: using the foot-races in the stadium as a basis[2]; exert oneself to the limit of one’s powers in an attempt to go forward, strive to advance[3] (the emphasis is entirely on the effort that the person makes[4])
o patience - the capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty, patience, endurance, fortitude, steadfastness, perseverance[5]
o patienceexpectation
Race - a struggle against opposition, struggle, fight (, “…having the same conflict which you saw in me…” – a spiritual battle)
III. Let Us Stay Focused on Jesus (2)
Looking - to direct one’s attention without distraction, fix one’s eyes;
Looking - to develop more precise knowledge about something; look with undivided attention;
Looking - look up to as to a model;
Looking - look away from all else
● JESUS
o Author - one who has a preeminent position, leader, ruler, prince[6]; one who begins someth. that is first in a series
o Finisher - one who began someth. that is first in a series; is to be at the end of a process
o Jesus is the starting line and the finishing line at the same time!
Conclusion
● Jesus understands because (v. 3 says) He endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself, (v. 2 says) He endured the cross, and (v. 3 says) He despised the shame!
● Jesus cares for us, "Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you!"
, “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above we can ask or think; according to the power that works in us.”
, “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and present you faultless before His presence in glory with exceeding great joy; to the only wise God, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen!”
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His Glory and Grace. (Helen Lemmel)
When I have closed my eyes in death, and my voice has been hushed by the great equalizer known as death; when I will have song my last song on this side, prayed my last prayer, put up my hymn book and bible, stuck my sword in the sands of time to study war no more, I can say like the Old Apostle Paul in , “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
[1] Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[2] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (1015). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[3] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (1015). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[4] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (1015). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[5] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (1039). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[6] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (138). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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