The Weekend Word
Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
- Therefore ties us back to Hebrews 11 people of faith
- Those who came before us – those who died in the SAME faith
- We / They are being called to put into action that faith in Christ that saves as witnessed by the great cloud of witnesses.
- Jesus was faithful to them, saved them. It is not so much what they did – but what Jesus did.
- What holds us back? What are we told to lay aside?
- Every weight – and sin
- Let the race be our only thought.
- Who is called to be the witnesses? Them? – the Hebrews? Us?
- The witnesses of Ch 11 – we are told what they did, not what they said.
- If they were to speak a witness what would they say?
- They trusted in the promises of God – and we say that many never saw those promises come to fruition. (see v 2 for what they would say.)
2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
- This is their witness – they were looking to Jesus
- They said Jesus was the founder of the faith
- The perfecter – the one who because of who he was and what he did – made the faith real. Never forget that Jesus produces the faith in us … not our actions.
- And they would say why he was made man and was sent to earth – to endure the cross
- And where he is today.
- TODAY many people see themselves as the “authority of their own faith”
- They have weighed the evidence and the options and “decided” to accept Jesus … and the result?
- I become the “perfecter” of my faith – I work on my sanctification daily.
3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
- Consider him … stop and consider – don’t let it just drift past
- Jesus suffered what you are suffering – hostility against himself
- Do not grow weak – do not be discouraged.
- If you look to yourself, there is a good chance you will get discouraged
- Do we fall into a trap of setting ourselves up for failure?
4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
- They are being persecuted, but they are not yet being martyred.
- But because things will be tough, does not guarantee that Jesus will protect you from harm.
- Live your life recognizing your hardships
- If the world was bold enough to persecute God – they will have no problem doing the same to us.
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
- What??? This may be coming from God?
- Discipline as teaching – not punishment – is proof of our sonship.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
- What constitutes a child of God?
- We learn from discipline about our sonship.
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
- God’s discipline is what gives us the UMPH to endure.
- God does not say “if you go through troubles” but says “when you go through troubles.
8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
- Is everyone a child of God? Nope.
9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
- Respect for the spiritual father vs earthly fathers
- This also includes civil leaders who rule over us.
- What about our church leaders? Do we give them any rule over us today?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
- Share in God’s holiness – do we ever get to “feel” holy?
- Example of a wedding – the groom is standing up front watching his bride come down – all he sees is white and her beauty.
- The bride is walking down and all she sees and feels are all of her blemishes.
- Did my makeup cover up OK, is my hair OK, how is my dress, etc?
- God sees perfection in Jesus Christ – but the Church knows all the blemishes.
11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
- In the end, the result should be kept in mind – not the process.