April 2019   
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HEBREWS 12:1-2

The book of Hebrews is a very mature and sober book. It covers the pain and stress of Christian living and the endurance required to run the race and fight the fight and finish well. It was written to a church that was getting old and was settling into the world. It was losing its wartime mentality and was starting to drift through life without focus, without vigilance, and without energy. Their hands were growing weak, their knees were feeble. It was just easier to meander in the crowd of life than to run the marathon.

The message of encouragement in Hebrews 12 was that people could have a possible faith even in the midst of all kinds of chaos. Verse 1 gives us three aspects of faith.
First is the Context of faith.
      You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
Next are the Conditions of faith.
       Throw off all of the weights that so easily beset and the sin that so easily entangles us.
Third, the Characteristic of faith is perseverance.
        Let us run with perseverance the race that He has marked out for us.

Verse 2 gives the Catalyst of faith. It’s not something we have to do by ourselves. The Catalyst is Christ Himself.
         Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the perfecter and pioneer of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endure the cross scorning the shame and has sat himself down at the right hand of the throne of God.

★    You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).
★    To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).
★    You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:
              Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on.
              I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.
              Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.
                     In Your name I pray, Amen.


Dr. Nicholas J. Gray, Pastor   Broadway Baptist Church    Sedalia, Missouri      2015