Bible Reading: Hebrews 12:1-2
“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, 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 God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Looking back at all the saints who had run the race in hope for redemption in Christ when He had not yet come, how much more must we trust in Christ who has died and resurrected and live each day by faith. Faith is displayed in trust and obedience. The saints believed in God’s word and lived it out even though that resulted in torture and persecution. How much more must we also trust and obey God because what He has done for us in Christ is sure.
The author of Hebrews exhorts us to set our eyes on Jesus and run the race of faith. He calls us to endure in our trust and obedience to God even though it might feel uncomfortable or even painful. Running our race to live each day in trust and obedience to God compromises two aspects.
The first is to lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely. To trust in God means to believe that His rulership is supreme and His ways are right. In turn, sin is rebellion against God, doing things that please ourselves and displease God. If we have been gifted with true faith, we will hate sin because we love God. If one is to live a life that serves God and worships Him, sin is not a fit companion. Sin hinders and entangles. It weighs us down from trusting and living for God. If we are to continue in the endurance of faith, we must put sin to death.
Yet, is killing sin enough? The author of Hebrews instructs, “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” (Hebrews 12:2). If we think that we can successfully defeat sin by our own efforts, we are very arrogant. Sin is deadly and lethal. We are weak and hopeless. Our only hope is Christ.
He is the founder of our faith. We did not work to earn our faith. There is nothing we ever did so that God gave us saving faith. It is purely a gift of God’s grace. On the cross, Jesus was sacrificed in our place. He endured the suffering of bearing our sin even though He was sinless so that His righteousness could be imputed onto us. This was His joy.
Not only is Christ the founder of our faith, but He is also the perfecter of our faith. Jesus’ work as a high priest did not stop at propitiation. He continues to be a mediator for us to this day. Sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, the place of God’s acceptance and pleasing, Jesus prays for us and perfects our faith each day.
Our hope is not in ourselves but Christ. Therefore, let us run the race of faith in endurance no matter how hard it may be.
Lord, thank You that You are the perfecter and founder of our faith. Please help us to run the race of faith with endurance. Teach us to put sin to death and teach us to live for You. Thank You for your undeserved grace and mercy. Glory be to You alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.