The theme of the book of Hebrews is that “JESUS CHRIST IS BETTER”. In our Kiswahili series we have seen that “The Just live by faith”. Today we are going to see that in the race of life we must run a good race. There are four things to do. We see a track and field event, the runners have gathered and the event is about to begin. The second scene is heavenly and it is a scene of witness. These heavenly arena is filled with those who have gone on before. These are witnesses to us that God can see us through. See some of the witnesses.
- Abel is there, having offered a better sacrifice, a sacrifice offered in the attitude of faith. Abraham is there, he left his father’s land and followed where God was leading him.
- There is Enoch having walked with God until he arrived in heaven.
- There is Noah the man who trusted God enough to withstand the ridicule of his neighbors and obeyed God’s command. He spent 120 years building the Ark .
- Moses is there. He led Israel out of Egypt. He gave Israel the ten commandments. He met with God face to face. Now the time for our race has come. The writer of Hebrews tells us if we are going to run a good race, there are four things we must do !
- Let us learn :-
I. FIRST, WE MUST LAY ASIDE EVERY HINDRANCE (v.1)
- “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us”
- Let us lay aside “Every weight” (Onkos) – It means not necessary bad weight or evil, but anything that weigh us down or diverts our attention, saps our strength or dampens our enthusiasm for the things of God.
- The Army of Alexander the great was advancing towards Persia. The troops were threatened with defeat, they had carried so much plunder from previous battles.
- Too heavy, the general ordered all plunders be surrendered for burning. The soldiers were not happy, but they did surrender the plunder, they become light for battle-Victory was assured.
- The rule is this “ Anything that dims my vision of Christ, lay it off.”
- Lay aside every sin.
“And the sin which so easily ensnares us”
- This is a particular sin (“The Sin”)
- Each one of us has a sin that so easily entangles.
- Is it jealousy and envy ? Critical spirit, hatred, lust, pride, theft, evil eyes, lies and deceit, laziness, insult etc.
- This sin must be stripped off and left behind
II. SECOND, WE MUST RUN WITH ENDURANCE (v.1)
- The Christian life is a marathon race (II Tim.4:7-8)
- Endurance is a steady determination to keep going
- It means continuing when everything in you wants to slow down or give up.
III. THIRD, WE MUST SHIFT OUR FOCUS (v.2)
- “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith “.
- Take your eyes off the things that distract you.
- Le us concentrate our gaze on Jesus Christ.
- Jesus is our pioneer or initiator and finisher or completer of our faith.
IV. FOURTH, WE ARE TO CONSIDER THE SAVIOUR (v.3)
- Consider your motivation for running the race, don’t just run.
- To consider is to make a careful reckoning by comparing.
- Compare your hardship and suffering with His.
- Jesus Christ suffered more . Jesus Christ suffered more. Jesus had more hardship than any follower of Christ !!
- The writer of Hebrews is actually saying “ If you are not saved, get into the race, because you cannot win if you are not in race.
- “If you are already saved, run with endurance and don’t give up !!”
¨ The church of Jesus Christ exists in two states; Church triumphant and church military; Church victorious and church in the race.
¨ There is a lot of “give up “ spirit in the Church today.
¨ Finish your race whatever the cost. There is a great reward waiting for you in heaven.