講題大綱分享 Hebrews 12:1-11

Hebrews 12:1-11

Run with perseverance the race marked out for us

D-160 Mu-tien Chiou

TOB Hebrews 12:1 ¶ Ainsi donc, nous aussi, qui avons autour de nous une telle nuée de témoins, rejetons tout fardeau et le péché qui sait si bien nous entourer, et courons avec endurance l’épreuve qui nous est proposée, 2 les regards fixés sur celui qui est l’initiateur de la foi et qui la mène à son accomplissement, Jésus, lui qui, renonçant à la joie qui lui revenait, endura la croix au mépris de la honte et s’est assis à la droite du trône de Dieu. 3 ¶ Oui, pensez à celui qui a enduré de la part des pécheurs une telle opposition contre lui, afin de ne pas vous laisser accabler par le découragement. 4 Vous n’avez pas encore résisté jusqu’au sang dans votre combat contre le péché 5 et vous avez oublié l’exhortation qui s’adresse à vous comme à des fils: Mon fils, ne méprise pas la correction du Seigneur, ne te décourage pas quand il te reprend. 6 Car le Seigneur corrige celui qu’il aime, il châtie tout fils qu’il accueille. 7 C’est pour votre éducation que vous souffrez. C’est en fils que Dieu vous traite. Quel est, en effet, le fils que son père ne corrige pas? 8 Si vous êtes privés de la correction, dont tous ont leur part, alors vous êtes des bâtards et non des fils. 9 Nous avons eu nos pères terrestres pour éducateurs, et nous nous en sommes bien trouvés; n’allons-nous pas, à plus forte raison, nous soumettre au Père des esprits et recevoir de lui la vie? 10 Eux, en effet, c’était pour un temps, selon leurs impressions, qu’ils nous corrigeaient; lui, c’est pour notre profit, en vue de nous communiquer sa sainteté. 11 Toute correction, sur le moment, ne semble pas sujet de joie, mais de tristesse. Mais plus tard, elle produit chez ceux qu’elle a ainsi exercés un fruit de paix et de justice.

win001 running_race_large
 

Introduction:

On March 6, 1987, Eamon Coughlan, once the world record holder at 1500 meters, was running in a qualifying heat at the World Indoor Track Championships in Indianapolis. He stumbled while two and a half laps was remaining, but he got up and managed to catch the leaders while only 20 yards was left in the race. He turned his head to look the inside, and, seeing no one, he let up. But another runner, charging hard on the outside, passed Coughlan a yard before the finish, thus eliminating him from the finals. Coughlan’s great comeback effort was rendered worthless by taking his eyes off the finish line.

It’s tempting to let up when the sights around us look favorable. We are especially prone to totally give up when the situation works to our disadvantage We finish well in the Christian race only when we fix our eyes on the goal: Jesus Christ.

Proposition: Run the race towards Christ as the end goal with endurance. windsor-start-2005

Organizational sentence: To survive in the Christian race we first enter into the game, then adopt two tips of the game (divesting burden of sins and having the right focus), and finally refuel our whole body by remembering the fourfold game plan.

I. The legitimacy of the race (v 1): The authenticity of our faith is proven by a great cloud of witnesses, who serve as a public spectacle.

II. The call for perseverance (v 2-4): To survive in this race entails

1) That we throw off everything that hinders (v 1).  

2) fixedness of aim: Jesus the initiator and finisher of our faith (v 2) Christ is the starting point, the finish line, and the model (v 2-4). Stand firm in him and consider his example!

observations: The struggle is here said to be against “sin,” rather than their human oppressors. This could mean the temptation to sin (by renouncing Christ) presented by the persecutions, which should be regarded as disciplines from of God in the sense of punishment (for renouncing faith) and training (for partaking in His holiness).

III. Good reasons for sustained endurance in the race (vv 5-11)

1) Paternal reason: discipline proves that God is our Father as well as His love for His children (vv 5-8).

2) A fortiori reason: we give respect and submission to our natural fathers, shouldn’t it be more in regard to our supernatural father (v 9)?

3) Sanctifying reason: discipline intensify our Christ-likeness and makes us partaker of God’s holiness (v 10).

Illustration: A mom won’t let her children have Macdonald’s for every meal though she knows it would please them. Our heavenly father knows even more what would benefit us.

4) Hedonistic reason: not for momentary pleasure but aiming at the peaceful fruit of righteousness at the harvest time (v 11).

 

Conclusion and Application:

The Old Testament saints ran by faith. They also encourage us to run by faith, a faith that constantly looks to the finish line, a faith that never loses sight of the future. For them the finish line is Christ and the glory of life with Him, though none of them was able to see it in their earthly sojourn.

During the course of running, we may grow weary and feel painful. But we recognize that God’s game plan for our welfare is one that gives a future and a hope (Jer 29:11). Therefore, contemplate this goal and prize at the finish line, then brave the hardships!

running race

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