Grace Baptist Church

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Let Us Run With Endurance

Feb 22, 2015

Passage: Hebrews 11:1-12:2

Preacher: Jared Longshore

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: endurance, faith, perseverance, race


Pastor Jared Longshore, in a message entitled “Let Us Run with Endurance” address Hebrews 11:1-12:2. The Christian life is regularly compared to running a race. God’s Word actually calls us to run with endurance. Hebrews 11, often referred to as “The Hall of Faith,” is replete with examples of believers who have run successfully, despite persecution, trials, and hindrances along the way. After a review of Hebrews 11 Pastor Longshore finds points of application in the first two verses of Hebrews 12.

Verse 1 is a clear call; Christians are to run a race. Metaphorically the race is following Jesus and living a Christ-like life. This is accomplished by us, just as by the saints in “The Hall,” living by faith. While the Christian life is one of action it is successfully lived only in faith. Running the race is impossible to accomplish on one’s own power and efforts; it is only through the gospel believers have the strength and fortitude to run with endurance. Since it is God that sets the race before the believer it will be God Who empowers. In addition to running and running with endurance, another point of application is the comfort and encouragement provided when considering “the great cloud of witnesses” that has gone before us to their reward. Nevertheless, Christianity is hard work as the believer strives to overcome sin becoming more Christ-like in the process. Nevertheless, it is just these witnesses and their stories that encourage the Christian. There are many witnesses, not just one. It seems as though there is a witness for every temptation or struggle. We are not the first to run. Through our faith we are able to endure.

However, the author of Hebrews provides admonition. We are to lay aside weights and sins. “Laying aside” requires action. It is not a passive verb. The weights, according to A. W. Pink, are “anything that retards our progress, anything that unfits us for the discharge of our God-given duties, anything that dulls the conscience, blunts the edge of our spiritual appetite, or chokes the spirit of prayer.” Christians should rejoice they have been saved and actively work to lay aside sin striving towards a holiness reflecting their Master.

Verse 2 of Hebrews 12 makes plain that is is to that Master believers are to look. In fact, the witnesses we are given, while providing examples, more importantly looked to God in faith, even during what Paul described in relative terms as “light momentary struggles” (2 Cor 4:17). Believers are to focus on better things to come. The joy that was set before Jesus is also set before us. It is attainable through trust in Christ exercised through faith in the effective propitiation gained by His work on the cross. Pastor Longshore closed quoting the late missionary Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”