Faith, as evidenced in Hebrews 11, is always spoken of in a context and reflection of ACTION.
There is no such thing as an INACTIVE faith. If it does not produce action, it is not faith.
The great problem of some is that they place faith in a subjective realm.
"I know how I feel in my heart."
"I know that I am right with God because I can feel His presence."
Tonight, let's look at Hebrews 12:1-29 and see from a SCRIPTURAL view point "The Response of TRUE Faith."
IT WILL RUN THE RACE OF LIFE - v. 1-4.
Historical setting of statements:
"The reference is not to Jewish history, but to Grecian custom... The most imposing
form of this singular custom was perhaps that presented at Olympia, a town of Elis,
where games were celebrated in honor of Jupiter once every five years. An almost
incredible multitude, from all the states of Greece and from the surrounding countries,
attended these games as spectators. The noblest of the Grecian youths appeared as
competitors. In the race, to which there is an allusion in the paragraph before us,
a course was marked out for the candidates for public fame, and a tribunal erected at
the end of the course, on which sat judges - men who had themselves in former years
been successful competitors for Olympic honours. The victors in the morning contest
did not receive their prizes till the evening, but, after their exertions, joined the
band of spectators, and looked on while others prosecuted the same arduous labours
which they had brought to honourable termination." (J. Brown, P. 600-601)
Run because of the ancient witnesses - v. 1.
Lay aside every weight (obstacles) and sin (unbelief).
Run with patience - not a dash, but a steady pace as in a long race.
Run because of the example of Jesus - v. 2-3.
Endured the cross.
Despised the shame - (connected with crucifixion).
Finished His redemptive work and sat down in His home with His Father.
IT WILL UNDERSTAND THAT SUFFERING IS NOT CONTRADICTORY TO GOD'S LOVE - v. 4-13.
Some of you are giving up, your trials are not as bad as those Jesus faced - v. 4.
Remember Proverbs 3:11 - v. 5-6.
Discipline is for your own good.
James 1:2-4 - trials are to build our faith.
Learn the lesson of a good father - v. 7-9.
When a child isn't disciplined, he is treated like an illegitimate child - (Parents do not care).
The result of discipline - v. 10-11.
God wants to make us holy.
It will produce faith.
Encouragment to the weak who do not understand this - v. 12-13.
IT WILL FOLLOW AFTER RIGHT THINGS - v. 14-17.
Peace and holiness - v. 14.
Avoids falling from grace - v. 15a.
Keeps out any root of bitterness - v. 15b.
Guards against immorality and profanity - v. 16-17.
The example of Esau - rather have his security now instead of waiting.
Some actions cannot be corrected - do it right the first time.
IT WILL CHOOSE THE RIGHT MOUNTAIN - v. 18-24.
Look at Sinai - v. 18-21.
A reminder of the environment of Judaism.
A mount that cannot be touched.
God wrote the commandments on stone because they would not hear them.
Moses, in God's presence, was scared.
A look at Zion - v. 22-24.
When you come to be a Christian, you are part of the general assembly of the whole of God's people.
The mountain is no longer removed from you.
No need to fear while in the presence of God.
Able's blood cries out for vindication - Jesus' also, much more.
IT HEEDS THE EXHORTATION TO BE IN ZION - v. 25-29.
Don't refuse Christ - v. 25-27.
Moses was refused, people paid dearly -- how much more with Christ.
Shaking - indicates another change.
Serve faithfully - v. 28-29.
Our kingdom, the church, cannot be shaken.
Accept the benefits of the kingdom.
NEVER LOSE REVERENCE FOR GOD!
Does your faith react in the way it is supposed to?
Is your faith one of ACTION?
You can test your faith by seeing if it is consistent with this chapter!