Sunday, Jul 16, 2017PM Service
Maintaining Spiritual Stamina
Speaker: Todd Murray
Passage: Hebrews 12:1-3
Download Sermon

In today’s passage (Hebrews 12:1-3), the writer exhorts the believer to endure in two specifics ways.  Following this design, we can maintain our spiritual stamina:

  1. Imitate the saints of old.
  2. Be fixated/concentrate on Jesus’ supreme faith and His example of endurance.

Imitate the saints of old (Hebrews 12:1)

  • In Hebrews 11, the writer just numerated faith examples of many saints of old.  Hebrews 11 is often called the “Hall of Faith”.
  • Since we have such a great example, the writer exhorts us to lay aside every encumbrance. 
  • Of course, sin is in view.  Sin is a destructive influence that wants to destroy us.  The primary encumbrance would be sin, so we are called to be separate from it.
  • In addition to sin, also in view are the things that may erode our convictions or things that are distracting us.
  • These things lull us to not be alert, prudent, or in communion with the Lord.
  • The author is exhorting us to be separate from every known sin and from any deluding influence leading to sin.

Concentrate on the supreme faith and the endurance of Jesus (Hebrews 12:2-3)

  • Our fixation should be on Jesus.  Don’t get distracted from Him.
  • Look constantly at the Author and Perfecter of the faith.
  • He is the beginner and the ender of faith.  The start and the fullest sense of faith.
  • Without Christ, we could not follow the faith.  He makes our faith possible.
  • This is an exhortation to trust only in the promises of God, despite what we see.
  • Jesus endured the cross, as it says in this passage.  The writer uses the one word, “cross” to summarize Christ’s entirety of suffering.
  • Notice, Jesus despised the shame of being associated with sin.  But not just an association, He braved all the false accusations without ever pushing back.
  • When we face even the smallest false accusation, we leap to defend ourselves.  It was Jesus mission to be punished for our sin and He accepted our shame and punishment.
  • After being shamed and crucified, God exalts Christ to the highest place of honor; seated at the Father’s right hand.
  • In verse 3, we see with piercing clarity an exhortation to consider, concentrate, and be fixated with Jesus’ example of enduring hostility, rebellion, and defiance of sinners, so that we will not grow weary or give up. 
  • Life brings long-term trials that will not end until we meet the Lord.  In these trials, as we endure, we experience greater sanctification and grow in godliness. 
  • On the contrary, giving up is akin to fainting or backsliding into spiritual soul sickness.  We must remain focused on our examples, so we progress in Christlikeness.

As we gather around the Lord’s table, let’s consider this passage and the further encouragement in Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”  We have examples for imitation in the saints of old and in Jesus Christ.  Don’t grow weary.  Endure.  Grow more and more Christlike.