The Life of Faith V
The Life of Faith V
Hebrews 12: 1-3
I find the life of faith grows better and better every month I live. I can truly say my life flows on in endless song above earth’s lamentations and can add most heartily that, Day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it.
It is better and better the further I go. Oh what a wonderful salvation! What a perfect Savior! The blood of Jesus cleanses me from all unrighteousness; this is my confession for today.
I henceforth take Jesus Christ to be mine. I receive Him as a Husband to me. And I give myself to Him, unworthy though I am, to be His spouse. I ask of Him in this marriage of spirit with spirit, that I may be of the same mind with Him, meek, pure, nothing in myself and united in God’s will. And, pledged as I am to be His, I accept, as a part of my marriage portion, the temptations and sorrows, the crosses and the contempt which fell to Him. I rest in His love.
I am now writing a life of my father, for private circulation only.
As to my inward experience, I am still living the life of faith, and I have found it a very blessed life. But after trying it for some years, I still find myself going back to the old need of the conscious baptism of the Spirit, about which my soul has been exercised so often in the past. I am convinced that faith on our part is not the whole of our salvation. There must be the Divine response to the heart as well.
—Journal, May 6, 187
In previous sermons we have learned that;
Faith answers the door
Faith makes the hard choices
In Hebrews 11 we have seen at length many aspects and characteristics of the life of faith. There we saw that a life of faith is an intensely practical thing, consisting of very more than day-dreaming, or being regaled with joyous emotions, or even resting in orthodox views of the truth.
By faith Noah built an ark, Abraham separated from his idolatrous neighbors and gained a rich inheritance, Moses forsook Egypt and became leader of Israel’s hosts. By faith the Red Sea was crossed, Jericho captured, Goliath slain, the mouths of lions were closed, and the violence of fire was quenched.
So then a spiritual faith,is not a passive thing, but an active, energetic, vigorous, and fruitful one. The same line of thought is continued in the passage which is now before us; the same branch of truth is there in view again, only under a figure — a figure very emphatic and graphic.
Today armed with this new information the word is run your race
You are well equipped to do it
I. Run The Race
The picture is that of an athlete in a marathon and he is running in a stadium filled with tiers, and tiers of onlookers who are a source of encouragement
They are not a source of encouragement just because they are there, but also because they have already run the race well
So he says therefore or in light of this information run the race
The runner is not just a traveler, He is athlete
A traveler may rest and refresh himself but an athlete may not
This is a common metaphor is scripture
1Co 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
Gal 2:2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.
Php 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
Php 2:15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Php 2:16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
The idea is not competition but that one must strive, one must press it takes effort
To run is not a suggestion it is a command
So the command is to run your race
II Run The Race Without Hindrances
“Lay aside every weight”
It is the picture of an oversized or swollen mass or a tumor that is cumbersome an impedes progress, slows one down
It is very similar to a sinking ship that in order to stay afloat and save the lives aboard the occupants must throw unnecessary cargo overboard
But you have options you can try to run with it or throw it off
He say lay it aside it is around you it will consume you, throw it off
He then says “and sin”
This suggests that the weight could be something else
Look at the theme and context he is talking about faith so the thing that could hinder must be unbelief, unbelief hinders
Run the race by faith
Put off unbelief and other sin
Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
III. Run With Endurance
Don’t crack under pressure
Don’t succumb to the trials for they will come
Don’t lose heart
Do lose patience
This refers to the kind of character that won’t let you quit
During the time your temperament remains stable, consistent, or constant
“If all the saints of God lived, suffered, endured, and conquered by faith, shall not we also? If the saints who lived before the
Incarnation, before the redemption was accomplished, before the
High Priest entered the heavenly sanctuary, trusted in the midst of discouragements and trials, how much more aught we who know the name of Jesus, who have received the beginning, the installment of the great Messianic promise?” (Adolph Saphir).
IV. Run The Race Prescribed For Us
a careful look at Hebrews 11 will show that each had a specific assignment according to the will of God
The “race” speaks not only of activity, but of regulated activity, following the course which is “set before us.”
The question may be how do you do that?
So He tells us
V. Run With Your Focus Fixed
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus
It doesn’t mean just look at Him but it also means learn about Him
So look and learn
He has encouraged us to look back, now he says look backward and forward
Fix your focus by remembering and anticipating
Look at Jesus the son of God who lived in the flesh and then look to the Son of God who is at the right hand of God
This is what Paul meant in Philippians 3:14, here is how Eugene Peterson translates in the Message
“but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back”
Fix your eyes on Jesus because He is the object of faith
Fix your eyes on Jesus because faith begins and ends with Him
Fix your eyes on Jesus because faith is sustained by Him
Fix our eyes on Jesus because He is our example
“The cloud of witnesses is not the object on which our heart is
fixed. They testify of faith, and we cherish their memory with
gratitude, and walk with a firmer step because of the music of their lives. Our eye, however, is fixed, not on many, but on One; not on the army, but the Leader; not on the servants, but the Lord. We see Jesus only, and from Him we derive our true strength, even as He is our light of life” (Adolph Saphir).
He because of the joy set before him set the example
He endured the cross although He knew it was a sham and a shame
But that was not the end
He now enjoys life at the right hand of the throne of God
So when I get tired and weary I can look to Jesus
In those times when I am lonely I can look to Jesus
And if I look to Jesus I will not lose heart-Hallelujah!
What is a life of faith?
First, it is a life lived in complete dependence upon God.
Second, a life of faith is a life lived in communion with God
Third, a life of faith is a life lived in obedience to God
“For to me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21);
“Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20)
The story of a great pianist
Smith, H. W., & Dieter, M. E. (1997). The Christian's secret of a holy life : The unpublished personal writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (July 23). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.