The Fight of Good Faith

Hebrews 12:1 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.”

We read in the Scriptures that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that he died that we might now live for him and no longer for ourselves. We read that he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we will now honor God with our lives. And we read that by faith in Jesus Christ our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God’s righteousness.

[1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6:1-23]

So, the purpose of our salvation from sin is not for us to “get saved” so that when we die we go to heaven, and so that all our sins are forgiven. And it definitely is NOT so we feel the freedom to now keep on sinning guilt free and punishment free. For the message is clear. Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and walk in obedience to his commands in walks of holiness and righteousness. He died not just to save us but to transform us and to deliver us out of our lives of slavery to sin.

Therefore, not only because of all the saints who have gone before us to show us the way of faith (chapter 11), but wholly because of what Jesus did for us on that cross to free us from our slavery to sin and to empower us to live godly and holy lives, we are to throw off (get rid of, cast away) every weight and every sin which clings so closely. And this not only includes all the sins but everything in our lives which tempts us to sin or which leads us to sin or which hinders our walks of faith in any way. They are to go, too.

So, if you are someone who is trapped in sinful practices, and so you keep going back to the same sins over and over again, please know, number one, that if you continue on that course of habitual and deliberate sin, the Scriptures teach that you will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. And, number two, you need to prayerfully evaluate if your faith in Christ is genuine God-given faith or if it is of yourself. And you need to prayerfully examine before God what is leading you into habitual sin, and that needs to go out of your life if you are to have a true relationship with the Lord.

For if we are still holding on to sin, we are not going to be able to run with endurance the race (the fight of good faith) that is set before us. We are not going to be able to resist the devil and to flee temptation and to fight off the attacks of the enemy against our souls. We are not going to be able to endure and to persevere and to keep on keeping on when the enemy of our souls pulls out all his tricks and he throws his darts at us. And we won’t be equipped with the armor of God in order to fight off our enemy. And that is because we are giving the devil a foothold in our lives. So don’t do that!

[Matt 5:27-30; Matt 7:21-23; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 5:16-24; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-11; 1 Thes 4:1-8; 1 Tim 4:7; Titus 2:11-14; Heb 12:1-17; 1 Pet 1:14; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

Hebrews 12:2 ESV

“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.”

So we are to cast away from ourselves all sins which are clinging to us and all hindrances to our walks of faith so that we can run with endurance the race (fight of good faith) that is set before us by God. And we can only do this by focusing our attention on Jesus and by drawing on his strength and power and by cooperating with him in doing what his word teaches us we must do in order to be able to run this race. For, if we are trying to go it alone in our own flesh it will never happen. We have to surrender all to Jesus Christ, and we have to do what his word teaches us we must do.

But first we must truly be those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, empowered by God. And we must be those who have been freed from our slavery to sin. For if our “faith” in Jesus Christ is of the flesh, and not of the Spirit, then we will never be able to throw off clinging sins and we won’t be able to run this race, for this can only be accomplished in the power of God and not in our own flesh. For the flesh and the Spirit are opposed to each other, so flesh will never be able to put flesh to death.

So, we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, and then daily we must die to sin and live to God and follow Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). For if we do not, and if sin is still our practice, then we will not inherit eternal life with God, and heaven will not be our eternal home.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

If That Isn’t Love

By Dottie Rambo

He left the splendor of heaven
Knowing His destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha
There to lay down His life for me

And if that isn’t love
Then the ocean is dry
There’s no stars in the sky
And the little sparrows can’t fly
Yeah if that isn’t love
Then heaven’s a myth
There’s no feeling like this
If that isn’t love

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