I am not talking about children of God. You can remain a baby or a toddler if you want. Babies don’t have faith, for they are too busy feeding off their surroundings. They do not have the ability to reach up and grow in faith. Toddlers are too busy trying to avoid falling. They do not need faith because they are too focused on the obstacles round them, or the bright shiny toys.
Only those who desire the toga virilis require faith, those who want to be Sons of God, who want to reign with Him. Sons must grow up, train, endure tests and trial before they are awarded the toga virilis. Do you want to be a Son? Then step forward by faith and start living as if you are a Son of God!
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
FAITH PROVIDES THE POWER FOR SONSHIP
1. Run the Course
1. Therefore. Reaching back and gathering together all the heroes of faith, who by faith endured so much for promises they never obtained in this life (from chapter 11). They never knew Christ, but we have!
2. They are our witnesses
• does not mean spectators, but those who have born witness to the truth,
3. Run with endurance .
• Run with both passive endurance and active persistence.
• Bear up under, patience, endurance as to things or circumstances. This is in contrast to makrothumía, long-suffering or endurance toward people. Hupomoné is associated with hope (patience of hope-1 Thess. 1:3) and refers to that quality of character which does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial.
a. Lay aside fleshly encumbrances
• A tumor, mass, magnitude, weight, burden, impediment
• Lay aside swollen pride, dependence upon the flesh. These are fleshly things which tend to trip us up from living by faith!
• What tumors are you holding onto?
• What person has you trupped up because you won’t forgive them?
• What tumorous worry is dragging you down.
• These fleshly tumors keep you from living by faith
b. Lay aside sin
• Sin of self reliance, not wanting God’s design in your life
• Guilt that accompanies your sin
• Are you running your own course from selfishness or resistance?
• Are you even looking for God’s course for your life?
• Are you running in comfort alone?
• Is your self-focus preventing you from seeing the course God has for you?
4. Course set before us:
• The specific word for a race (dromos) is not used, the general term for an athletic contest (agon) being chosen. The words "set before us" (prokeimai) give one the idea that a certain type of race is placed before the Christian.
• The idea in the word prokeimai is that of something lying before you. It is like a road that stretches out before one's gaze .
SONSHIP REQUIRES DETERMINED CHOICES
So we must consider the course before us, and determine to run it, no matter the cost. We must realize this is a marathon, and trials will be great. There can be no turning back. There can be no excuses. Remember all those who testified before to the worthwhile pursuit of this course. But also remember the one who is our ultimate example…Jesus Christ!
2. Look to Jesus Daily
THERE IS NO FAITH FOR SONSHIP WITHOUT JESUS CHRIST
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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
1. Looking unto Jesus
• Fix your mind intently upon Jesus.
• The word "looking" is aphorao "to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something." The word also means "to turn one's mind to a certain thing."
• Let this mind be in you (Phil 2:5)
• Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2)
2. The author and perfector of our faith
a. (No “our”). He is the author and the completeness of faith.
b. This means that Jesus is the one who initiates (and completes) faith in the souls of men.
c. In the context faith is treated as a way of life. The author summons a "cloud of witnesses" whose lives testify to the reward of the life of faith. Jesus stands as the chief witness for it was He who blazed the trail and gave us the ideal model of "the faith