let us therefore …… look unto Jesus”
Christians are repeatedly reminded in Scripture to live by faith. Not faith in the power of faith – but faith in Jesus, the Son of Man. Not faith in the power of prophecy – but faith in Jesus, the Son of Man. Not faith in the power of positive thinking – but faith in Jesus, the Son of Man – not faith in the power of your Christian walk – but faith in Jesus, the Son of Man. If our focus is correct, then our vision and hearing will be unimpaired. If our focus is incorrect, then our vision and hearing will be distorted.
The book of Hebrews spends eleven chapters warning of the need of faith in Christ. For over ten chapters we are given a series of warnings and a succession of truths. The next chapter outlines a cloud of faithful witnesses that are examples for us to heed.. and then we arrive at chapter 12, which starts with the word: Therefore. – “Therefore,” ….because of all that has been written in Hebrews up to now, “Therefore,” ….because of what the author has been saying in the book ’til now.
“Therefore,” ….we are exhorted: therefore let us lay aside every weight, and let us lay aside the sin (of unbelief as demonstrated in earlier chapters) let us lay aside this sin which so easily ensnares us – lack of trust in God and let us run with patient endurance the race that is set before us…” But this trinity of demands has its focus on a person – the Lord Jesus, the Son of Man Let us look to JESUS…. If our focus is correct, then our vision and hearing will be unimpaired. If our focus is incorrect, then our vision and hearing will be distorted.
This first verse of ch. 12 is the catalyst for all who would be faithful servants of God. Here are the most important instructions for all maturing believers. A man must not be a double-minded man, for you cannot love God and the world, and the language construction here, is a single act requiring two distinct actions. We are to look to the Lord Jesus – and to look away from the world. The act of looking towards Jesus incorporates turning our back against all else.
When we look to Jesus, we have no option but to lay aside all that hinders our walk. When our faith is the Lord we have to remove our trust in ourselves and in the world. When we trust the Lord, we look away from the circumstances of life and rely on Him, alone. God uses all the trials in life for our sanctification – and we are to patiently endure. But it is only as we look to Him that we lay aside every weight and all unbelief, and run with patience the race set before us. There is no alternative.
We must not think that faith in Hebrews only refers to being initial salvation. Hebrews is not about salvation from sin, but the sanctification of the saved soul. Saving faith is faith in God. Sanctifying faith is living our life by faith in Jesus.
Men that walked with the Lord throughout His ministry showed a great lack of faith. The disciples were frequently told – oh you of little faith. The same men with the authority to drive out demons and heal the sick – lacked faith! Only weeks before Calvary the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive out the demon in the boy ?” and Jesus replied:- …"because you have so little faith…”
The leper had faith, that pleased the Lord. The woman had faith, that pleased Jesus. The centurion had faith, that pleased the Lord Jesus, but only later did the disciples saving faith mature into sanctifying faith. The saving faith of the Israelites, saved them out of the world – out from Egypt.. but they died in the wilderness before receiving the reward – because of unbelief. Only Caleb and Joshua had the maturing faith that is exemplified in Hebrews 11.
Let us have faith like Joshua and Caleb, who by faith received their reward. Let us have faith like the leper, the centurion, and the woman – saving faith in Jesus – and sanctifying faith through Jesus, as we look to Him.
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