I thought it would be helpful, and edifying to those reading to put up my sermon notes each week from the previous Sunday. I attend Immanuel Baptist Church here in Louisville, Kentucky, and every week I have the great opportunity to hear excellent, Spirit-filled, passionate expository preaching. I love my church and pray that you all are encouraged by these sermon notes each week.
This week’s sermon was from Pastor Jeff King, one of the elders at Immanuel. Our regular preaching elder/pastor Ryan Fullerton is on a much needed three week vacation, and will continue preaching the Word upon his return.
Once again, these are merely my notes and therefore are not a complete picture of the sermon, there are things left out/not explained. This is simply to point you to the Savior and encourage you all in Christ.
“Therefore, 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, (2) looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector 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. (3) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. (4) In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
This book was writted to a church that knew what it was like to feel exhausted.
There is hope that these Christians might be strengthened.
There are three points to this message.
1. What is this race?
2. What hinders us in this race?
3. What will motivate us?
1. What is this race?
What is the finish line? The end of this race is being with Jesus, in heaven. All of creation and every Christian is groaning for heaven. Important to remember – Everyone is running to one of two finish lines. Either heaven and being with God or eternal wrath in hell.
The only way to lay hold of heaven, to run this race, is by faith. Heaven is real. Do you want to be there? Do you want to say goodbye to this world? I don’t want to make any more hospital visits. I don’t want to have to visit so many people in this church who are hurting with tears in their eyes. I don’t want to have to comfort another soul. I don’t want to counsel another person about their problem with sin. I want to be in a place where every tear of every saint is wiped away by Jesus, a place where the sick are healed and the lame walk, a place where the blind can see and there is no more sinsick souls because all will be sinless and covered with the righteousness of Jesus. Do you want to be there? Do you want more of this world or do you want to say goodbye to it.
2. Hindrances to this race.
12:1 – Lay aside every weight and sin.
Sin clings very close, this is a battle that we cannot shake off.
Weights and sins both cling close. Anything that is set against God must be set aside.
There are not only sins, but their are weights. Most of the time we simply ask, “Is this sinful?” But that is not the only question that we ought to ask. But the question should also come, “Is this in my way to getting to God? Is this increasing my affections for Jesus, my love for God, etc? Is this hindering me or helping me?”
Practical Application: Write down the sins or weights that are hinduring you. What are provisions for those things?
3. What will motivate us?
-Hebrews 12:1 – A cloud of witnesses. We see this cloud of witnesses in chapter 11. Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel are all part of this group of witnesses. How are these people a motivation? They bear witness to us that the race can be run. It can be finished and finished strong. They hold out their wounds to us, their lives to us and say to us, “RUN!”
-Hebrews 12:2 – Looking to Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. God does not just look to us and say, “Do Better!” He lays down his life for us.
-Hebrews 12:2 – “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.” Jesus bore the wrath of God, he was perfect, he knew every detail of what was coming to him, and he ran strong. How did he do it and why? He did it for the joy set before him, it was greater than the pain, the joy was greater than bearing the wrath of his father. He purchased a bride, and his love for his bride and his love for being with the father pressed him on to endure the cross.
Does this motivate you? Are you joyful that you are going to be with Jesus forever. Endure this life and run this race well, looking to Jesus and the joy set before you of being with him forever.