Summary: #1 in "Let Us" Series
"LET US THROW OFF EVERYTHING THAT HINDERS"
TEXT: Hebrews 12:1-13
INTRO: (Having just concluded a series on God’s promises to us, we are going to
look at a series now calling us to respond to God’s love for us, it is the "LET
US" series...each message comes from a passage that is a call to all believers
in responding to God, a call to "LET US.....")
If you have ever watched the Olympics on TV. you have probably been amazed
at the feats the human body is capable of doing! It has always amazed me how
some of these people have spent their entire childhood preparing for a single
event that in some cases is over within a few minutes! The amount of training
and sacrifice is enormous...all for a single goal....a Gold medal and world wide
recognition that you are the best in humanity in that particular thing!
Since we are striving toward a more eternal reward, and more important
recognition by God, are we as willing to make the appropriate sacrifices and
practice the necessary discipline? This is Paul’s (or whoever wrote Hebrews, possibly Barnabus) point in this passage. The writer has in mind the same thing that we have witnessed every 4 years, for the Olympics were taking place already in the Apostolic age.
We have a more important prize than mere gold, and more important recognition than just that of this world to consider .... are we taking
seriously our walk with God?
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that we must be prepared to examine and discipline our lives appropriately if we are to be a disciple of Christ. Salvation
is not just a momentary experience at an altar, it is a lifestyle as well.
I. SELF DISCIPLINE 12:1-3
A. Fervent 12:1
1. Examples: This is the meaning of the word for "witnesses"
a. They are not the spectators of us, rather, they are the examples put
before us...we are to look to them!
b. This is meant to be an encouragement...their examples witness to us
that we can and should be fervent and faithful.
c. We are literally surrounded by these examples: Both Old Testament
and New Testament as well as contemporary examples of faith.
d. It is almost as if the writer here has in mind the champions mentioned
in chapter 11 (the Faith chapter), and like in the Olympics they are
standing before us with their medals (or wreathes) on spurring us on
to dream of winning too...thus encouraging us to strive by their examples.
2. Excesses: The example they set for us is to encourage us to "throw off everything that hinders..."
a. The idea here is to encourage those who wish to win the race to get rid
of those things that will slow us down or prevent us from competing
b. The word for "throw off" implies in Greek excess body bulk! It may also
refer to the heavy garments one wears that must be "thrown off" as one
prepares to make the run.
c. Everyone knows what extra baggage can do to a runner in a race....no
serious runner would ever consider carrying around extra baggage when
they are competing to win.
d. This is the essence of "SELF DISCIPLINE"....it is our responsibility
before God to cast aside those things that become serious extra baggage.
e. self discipline is needed to even get started!
ILLUS: I spent a fortune - On a trampoline, A stationary bike - And a rowing machine Complete with gadgets - To read my pulse, And gadgets to prove My progress results,
And others to show - The miles I’ve charted -- But they left off the gadget - To get me started!
3. Entanglements: the "sin that so easily entangles us" here is the sin of NO
a. how easily this sin strikes our lives!
b. Without this there can be no success in a race
c. There has yet to be a world champion that never practiced!
d. The Christian life doesn’t just happen, it comes as the fruit of self
disciples along with God’s graces.
e. Too much of the time we wait around for something spiritual to happen
to our lives, we should be preparing always for those spiritual things to
take place in our lives. A runner does not wait for the goal line to come
to him, he goes to it!
B. Focus 12:2-3
1. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus..."
a. Here is where our focus should be!
b. Good runners never look around them while they are running, this
distracts them and causes them to lose their own pacing!
(1. too often Christians do this today...we make decisions to drop out
of this or that Church, or this or that ministry based on someone else that we are looking at....this is wrong!