Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus Christ is both the founder (originator) and the perfecter (finisher) of our faith. Understanding this foundational truth is essential to truly comprehending and applying to our lives the faith that it takes to be saved from our sins and to have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven.
What this means is that the faith we must have for salvation from our sin comes not from ourselves, but from God. And, since it comes from God, and he is the one who created this faith, then when we believe in Jesus with this God-given faith, we will submit our lives to the Lordship of Christ, we will die with him to sin, and we will live with him, by his grace, to his righteousness.
Also, he is the one who perfects our faith. But again, this faith has to submit to him as Lord, and it has to surrender to his will for our lives and to walk in the ways of the Lord, but not in our flesh, but as empowered by the Holy Spirit now living and working within us. So, this faith cooperates with God’s work of grace in our lives in transforming our hearts and lives away from sin and to walking (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God.
So, when we have this faith, which is from God, and we exercise that faith, by the Spirit of God, we will want to lay aside every sin and every hindrance to our walks of faith, and we will want to run with endurance the race God has marked out for us to run, which is to walk with him in obedience, in holiness, purity, faithfulness, truth and in righteousness, by his Spirit.
Thus, when anyone says, “I believe in Jesus Christ,” but they feel that this faith in Jesus merely forgives them their sins and promises them heaven when they die, but that this faith requires no repentance, obedience or submission to Christ as Lord, then this is a false faith of the flesh, and it is not of God, for it does not submit to God/Jesus as Lord (master).
For this false faith in Jesus resists and immobilizes the Spirit of God. Thus, there is a Holy Spirit vacuum in the lives of those who adhere to this false faith. So, those who believe with this false faith are still dead in their sins, and they are still bound for hell, while they are being guaranteed heaven as their eternal destiny by false teachers. Thus, they continue in their sinful lifestyles and they continue to regularly and consistently live by their flesh nature, to do what is pure evil and immoral in God’s sight.
Hebrews 12:3-6 ESV
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Some people innocently enter into this false faith in Jesus Christ because they were deceived by clever enchanters into believing a lie and into rejecting the truth. But, others knowingly reject the truth of the gospel to follow after the big lie because they want to believe that heaven can be guaranteed them when they die even though they continue in their sinful practices while they still live on this earth.
Those who willfully choose the lie and reject the truth will often then fake their walks of faith, play-acting righteousness, while they secretly engage in all manner of evil behind closed doors or in a corner in a room where no one can see what they are doing.
Or, they may claim that they can’t stop their sinful practices or that they don’t know how to stop, when in reality they willfully, with full determination and motivation, are choosing their sinful lifestyles over obedience to Christ, and while they refuse to put in place the necessary constraints to help them to stop living in sin.
And, then they will often say that they are “struggling” with sin, but not in the sense of actually proactively and actively doing what is necessary to resist the devil, to flee temptation and to throw off those weights and those sins which so easily entangle. What is often meant by “struggling” is “regularly and consistently giving in to the sin.” But, they call it “struggling” so that it sounds like they are really trying to stop, when they aren’t.
And, so many of these people who have believed in Jesus with a false faith, which then enables them to continue in their sinful practices guilt-free, seem to also be free from the discipline of the Lord in their lives. So, they do continue on in their sins, oftentimes with pride in their hearts thinking that, because God hasn’t judged them yet, they won’t be judged.
Hebrews 12:7-11 ESV
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
So, what does this discipline look like, and what does it produce in us? It can come in many different forms. It could be a physical ailment, persecution, a difficult trial, or a hardship of some kind. And, it is painful. But, if we are true children of God by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, then this discipline will produce change in our hearts and lives. For, through discipline our Lord is conforming us to his likeness, he is pruning us, and he is making us holy.
If our faith in Jesus Christ is genuine faith, then this discipline should train us in godliness, holiness, purity, honesty, integrity and the like. The discipline should move us to the throne of grace to find help in our time of need. It should cause us to examine our hearts and lives and to seek God’s face, to repent of sins, and to walk closer to our Lord in faithful obedience.
Through divine discipline we should be maturing and growing in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. Daily we should be dying to sin and self, by the Spirit, and daily we should be putting on the armor of God with which to fight off the evil schemes of the devil which are coming against us. Our walks of faith should not be stagnant or declining, but they should be growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Thus, we should be bearing spiritual fruit for God’s eternal kingdom in keeping with repentance, which then impacts other people’s lives also for God’s eternal kingdom, and draws them to genuine faith in Jesus Christ, too. And, they should then be growing in their faith, putting off the deeds of the flesh, and walking daily, in lifestyle, according to the Spirit in faithful obedience to their Lord.
Hebrews 12:12-13 ESV
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
So, if you have bought into the cheap grace gospel, and your “faith” in Jesus Christ is not the kind that submits to Christ as Lord, that walks in obedience to his commands, and that surrenders to his will for your life, then it is not genuine faith. It is not God-given and divinely persuaded faith in Jesus.
So, the encouragement here is that you forsake the weakness of your sinful flesh, by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, and that you make straight (upright) paths for your feet, instead, so that you can be healed spiritually, be delivered from your bondage to sin, and truly have the promise and the hope of eternal life with God beginning now and forevermore.
I Do Not Seal My Lips
An Original Work / January 13, 2014
Based off Psalms 37, 40
Do not fear when evil man
Has success in all their plans,
For like grass they’ll wither soon.
They’ll be cut off from the land.
Trust in the Lord and He’ll give you peace.
Find your delight in Him through all stress.
All of your ways commit unto Him.
All your desires from Him He’ll fulfill.
Wait for the Lord; keep His way.
Delight in His Word always.
He’ll be with you to the end;
Life eternal found in Him.
I waited patiently for my Lord.
He turned to me, and He heard my cry.
He set my feet on the Solid Rock.
He gave to me a firm place to stand.
Blessed are we, who trust the Lord,
Who do not turn to false gods.
Our desire’s to do God’s will.
His word is within our hearts.
I will proclaim salvation to man.
You put a new song now in my mouth.
I’ll not withhold your love and your grace.
I’ll speak forevermore of your truth.
Saturday, July 27, 2019