Letter to the Hebrews Message 29
Hebrews Chapter Twelve is introduced by two exhortations to the believers in order for them to accomplish God’s purpose in their lives. There was an –
A. Exhortation to Fearlessness. 10:19-39
They were called to remain –
1. Confident. 10:35
2. Patient. 10:36,37
3. Faithful. 10:38,39 This led directly to the –
B. Exhortation to Faithfulness. 11:1-40 Today knowing the exhortations to fearlessness and faithfulness, we are prepared to receive the –
C. Exhortation to Fortitude. 12:1-11 courage, strength, perseverance. Because of –
1. Their Fellowship. 12:1-3
(Fortitude to run the race)
a. The Participants. 12:1a …great cloud of witnesses…” These are not spectators (theata), but are those that have finished their course and are a testimony to others, (marturon). They have run the race, finished their course, and are watching how we run. We need to understand that this race is not a marathon, but a relay race. We are part of a team and are responsible to complete our race while including and encouraging others to continue after us – handing off the baton to keep the race going.
We are instructed to prepare ourselves to run the race .
b. The Preparation. 12:1b To put away –
1). Encumbrances. Weights Refer to –
1 Corinthians 9:25-26 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: (His punches are thrown carefully in order to hit the mark)
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
2). Entrapments. 12:1c “…and the sin…” Refer to –
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Devil, who are taken captive by him at his will”
Do not be deceived, the Devilis close by and is paying attention to you –
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
If we are to run this race well, we must not let Satan send us on a detour, but we must stay close to the Lord –
James 4:7-8 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
c. The Pace. 12:1d Practical guide to long distance runners.
1). Stay focused. “…let us run…” To keep on running
2). Maintain good form. “…with patience…”
3). Know the course. “…the race that is set before us…”
d. The Purpose. 12:2,3 We must follow –
1). The pattern. 12:2,3 Refer to –
Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
He ran alone at times, never stopping even when we stopped –
Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus sets the pace for each one of us and we should follow Him!
We should seek –
2). The Prize. “The Joy…”
“…and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
John 17:4-5 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
John 17:13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
How, by looking unto Jesus – to finish as He finished!
2 Timothy 4:6-8 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.
The Exhortation to fortitude because of –
2. Their Future. 12:4 “…not yet resisted unto blood…”
(Fortitude to face the opponent)
We may ask ourselves, do I have the fearlessness, faith, and fortitude to be the witness for the Lord Jesus Christ now, at this time?
What have I done, and – I have not even had to resist unto blood!
I do not know what I will do when the time comes, but I know what I would like to believe I would do.
Will you pray for us, that we will be fearless, faithful, and finish our course with joy?
Will you pray for each other?
Will you pray for yourself?
Remember the Lord, the death, burial, and resurrection! Victory in Jesus.