Heb 12:1 NIV
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”
What is it that the church at large, in America, for example, needs to cast off? What is the BIG hindrance to believers’ walks of faith in Christ Jesus today? What’s the BIG sin in the American church, overall, that is so easily entangling those who profess faith in Jesus Christ?
A Pictorial Illustration
The picture the Lord gave me today was that of a dark metal glider with soft mushy cushions for comfort.
“Dark” is a biblical term representing evil and wickedness, like walking in and/or preferring the darkness (Jn 3:19-21; Ac 26:18; 1 Jn 1:5-7). Metals are typically lustrous (glossy, slick, showy) in appearance and are malleable (soft, flexible, bending).
Gliders are not stationary (not unchanging). They glide (drift, just get by, coast along) back and forth, like the double-minded or like the sluggard, for they waver, vacillate, and/or are tossed back and forth by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming (Eph 4:14-16; Jas 1:5-8).
A seat is a place where you sit, where you position yourself. A seat can also be a position of authority, like a seat of government. And this one is soft on sin and it comforts people in their sin rather than call them to repent of sin.
When the Lord gave me this picture, what I immediately saw was the cheap grace gospel. It is wicked, evil. It prefers the darkness and will not come into the light. It is slick (slippery, smooth, superficial), and it is showy (shallow, pretentious). And it is soft on sin and very bending on truth.
And it is ever changing, continually progressing further into depravity and further away from God’s purity and righteousness. It gives free license for its adherents to just drift along through life, to be double-minded, to be self-indulgent, and to go back and forth between professing Christ as Savior and living like hell in all kinds of wickedness.
And it is seated in a place of authority within the gatherings of the church in place of the true gospel of grace (the whole counsel of God), ruling in people’s hearts and minds, directing their paths, and convincing them that they can continue living in self-indulgence and still be saved from their sins and have eternal life with God.
Get Rid of It!!
So, the Lord is saying that it needs to be removed. We, as the body of Christ, need to throw off this cheap grace gospel and not give it a seat of authority within the gatherings of the church. It should be cast off and the true gospel of Christ should be brought back and placed in its rightful position of authority within the church.
For, this cheap grace gospel is leading many people to continue living in their sin while promising them that they are saved, that they are forgiven, and that heaven is secured for them for when they die, regardless of how they live while they are on this earth. Yet, that is a lie straight from hell!!
This cheap grace gospel is permeating today’s modern church and it is the biggest hindrance to believers’ walks of faith, because it makes no requirements for repentance (forsaking sin), or obedience to Christ, or for submission to the Lordship of Christ. And its adherents are given carte blanche to continue living in sin, only now without guilt.
The Big sin in the American church, thus, is spiritual adultery and idolatry. The church, overall, has forsaken her Lord as Lord of her life, and she has abandoned the truth of the gospel for a cheapened fake gospel which still leaves its adherents dead in their sin, headed to hell, while promising them heaven.
And this is entangling Christians or professing Christians in all sorts of evil behaviors, porn addiction being one of the big ones, but not the only one.
And that is because they are being consoled in their sins by this soft and cushy seat (authority) of this cheap grace gospel which gives them comfort in their sin, but which does not demand that they forsake their sins or obey or submit to God/Jesus Christ.
Heb 12:1-2 NIV
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
So, the body of Christ, in the gatherings of the church, needs to cast off this cheap grace gospel and its authority, and to bring back the true gospel of grace. And the church needs to repent of her sins of adultery and idolatry and then get back on course with God.
Then, she needs to run the spiritual race that God has had marked out for her to run even before he created the world. And that race involves first dying with Christ to sin, by God’s grace, through genuine faith in Jesus Christ, being reborn of the Spirit of God, and then walking by the Spirit of God in purity of devotion to our Lord Jesus, and not any longer to the flesh.
This is the race God has marked out for us. And the way we are able to run it (walk it) is by God’s grace, in his power and strength, by the faith God has given to us to believe on Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives. So, we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and follow his lead always.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Jn 6:35-58; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21; Tit 2:11-14; Col 1:21-23]
Heb 12:2-3 NIV
“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Jesus died on that cross to put our sin to death with him that we might die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. And he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God so that we would now glorify God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20).
Jesus died on that cross to put our sin to death so that we might be crucified with him in death to sin, be buried with him, and be raised with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. He died, too, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26).
So, the joy that was set before him was not just our salvation from the punishment of sin, but it was our deliverance from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we could be raised to new lives in him to be lived to him and for his glory and praise. He could endure the cross in order to see us free from slavery to sin and walking in purity of devotion to him. Amen!
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!