Let Us Lay Aside Every Weight

March 8, 2009

Introduction

 

I think all of us know that Hebrews 11 is known as the great chapter on faith, but do we know what follows?  What is the lesson that the writer would like for us to learn from the lives of these great men?  We can find out by turning to Hebrews 12.

 

(Heb 12:1-3 NKJV)  "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, {2} looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. {3} For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls."

 

Body

 

I.        Let us lay aside every weight.

 

A.     The weights that are referred to here are the training weights of the athletes.

 

1.      For the real race, the athlete got rid of all but the barest necessities of  clothing.

 

B.     The Christian is to lay aside the weights, but what are they?

 

1.      For many, it is the care of daily living

 

a.       Peter encourages us to cast our cares on God.

 

(1 Pet 5:6-7 NKJV)  "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, {7} casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

 

b.      We have to have the faith of Hebrews 11 to believe that God will take care of us

 

(1 John 5:4 KJV)  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

 

II.      “The sin which so easily ensnares us”

 

A.     What is your besetting sin, or the sin that ensnares you?

1.  "The Sin"--Is it one sin?

2.  I believe it is "the sin" that ensnares you.--Sins get personalized.

 

·        Any addition that interferes with our Christian life or work.

·        Lack of discipline that keeps us from serving the Lord effectively

·        Failure to do the good things that we know we should do, and are capable of doing.

·        Attitudes that tear us and/or others down.

·        Bitterness will be dealt with later in this chapter.

·        Blaming others, or circumstances, or things of the past, can make us an ineffective person.

 

B.     Sins can ensnare, they can encircle us so that there seems to be no escape

 

1.  The original word was used to speak of a pack of animals that would encircle their victim, so that there was practically no way of escape.

2.  We can feel so guilty that we don't feel right about coming to church, or praying, or trying to get right with God.

 

III.   Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

 

A.     The race is a marathon; it isn't a 100 yard dash.

B.     Our encouragement is to the example of others

 

1.      "Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses."

2.      Our greatest example is Jesus

 

Hebrews 12:2, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith"

 

C.     The promise is only to those who finish the race

 

1.      Jesus said it in Revelation.

 

(Rev 2:10 NKJV)  ""Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

 

2.      Jesus had said the same thing when He was here on earth

 

(Mat 10:22 NKJV)  ""And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."

 

IV.  Do not become discouraged.

 

Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls."

 

A.     Lest you become weary.

 

to tire (fig. faint, sicken):--faint, sicken, be wearied.

 

B.     And to be discouraged.

 

lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls."

 

“souls.”  “faint in your minds.”  (KJV),  lose heart. (NIV & NASB)

original:  psuche

 

V.     The Answer:  Looking to Jesus

 

{Hebrews 12:2} looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

A.     Then there is Paul

 

(Rom 8:18 NKJV)  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 

B.     But what about us?

 

1.      Will we allow our sins and our weights to get us down?

2.      Or will we look to Jesus and overcome?

 

Conclusion

 

I.  Are there things in your life of a public nature that need to be confessed publicly?

 

II.  Have you obeyed the gospel, and put on your Lord in baptism?

 

  

Scripture quotations marked "NKJV™" are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

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