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hebrews 12:1 sermon

We have a whole Christ, or no Christ. Steadily gazing at it, she felt herself to be gradually lifted upward. Yes, it has its roots, remember, in a rugged soil. And the consequence is, the ship's progress is seriously interfered with. For faith is dependence upon God, and surely never did human being so utterly hang upon the Father, nor submit himself so absolutely to be moulded and determined by Him, nor yield his will up so completely to that will. He provides for us, and He has charge of us.3. Let the counter attraction be what it may, its power is to be resisted: its spell is to be broken, and the full gaze of the soul is to concentrate itself on Immanuel alone, Now, in the direction of the apostle, as thus expounded, I think we are called to note particularly three suggested thoughts.1. You see in this God-man, the Sin-bearer, "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." In some form or another we all have a besetting sin; and it greatly interferes with both our happiness and our usefulness.III. Is our race faith? (3) Looking unto Jesus, you will get many a direction; for, as He sits at the winning-post, His very presence indicates the way. Therefore in running this race of faith, it is our manifest duty to run, "looking unto Jesus" "the prince," mark, in all these respects, "of faith."(S. E. Look at Him on the throne of His triumphant mediation.III. Beecher. The chief end of man is to glorify God; let it be my chief end, even as it was my Lord's. The love of our brother is closely connected with the love of God; the former can never exist without the latter, and always accompanies it. )Look to Christ rather that to experiencesT. If that be a correct exegesis, it sheds new light on unbelief. There are two ways by which this injunction of my text may be obeyed. We may well ask, then, how the " looking unto Jesus" will enable us to compass these objects; in other words, how it will secure that we shall run well our Christian race? Do any of you Cadets know who this is (JAMAICAN SPRINTER USAIN BOLT)? We see in Him one who can take our very place, one who can stand where we should have stood before God, one who can bear what we should have borne, one who can endure what we should have endured. How that hinders many. He was a man among men; and if He looked up His look was radiant, while i[ He looked down His look was light-bearing. We perceive that He was of a nature such that He drew to Him good-livers. Jesus, too, Himself speaks of it. Goodness! replies the teacher, "for I know that the very time when you were in the bazaar the Sultan with some of his chief attendants went by." You are bringing clouds upon His wisdom, His love, on His power. We also begin looking unto Jesus because of what He has wrought in us.II. When we remember everything that goes to make up what we may call "the things of Christ," the preparation for His coming, and all that centred in Him, the various movements of the preceding generations, the symptomatic changes alike in the political and religious condition of men; then His own history, when He went about living His life, speaking His words, doing His work; and then what He has since been, the place He has taken in human regard, the influence He has exercised upon human life — what a wondrous series of interesting objects we meet with!2. By the study of His biography.2. If we believe that the Man Jesus sits on the throne of the universe, we have a new conception of what is possible for humanity. The wind blew a hurricane and the rain pelted. A. Who can be proud, when he sees the Lord of all, destitute of a place where to lay His head, and enduring poverty and shame for our sakes?3. We perceive that He was of a nature such that He drew to Him good-livers. I refer more to things that may seem so far harmless at the beginning, but are apt to be repeated and to grow upon one, till they become habits, and rule him and hold him in chains. The world pities us, because it sees only what we give up; but it would hold its sympathy if it could also see how much we receive — "good measure, pressed down, and running over given into our bosoms."III. Run, that you may come nearer to Jesus. IN human warfare, those who fight are tired even by their victory; in Divine warfare, they are strengthened. : — I want to speak to you of the joyfulness of Christ Jesus, and of the genius of Christianity as resulting from this fact; and I speak, being conscious of the great misconception which has flowed, for at least a thousand years, down through the Church, and which has clouded the public sentiment of the Christian community to this hour — namely, that Christ was a sufferer through life, and that sorrow is the distinguishing characteristic of the Saviour's experience; and that although there are gleams of joy in the Christian life, all who enter upon it must enter upon it with a distinct understanding that its characteristic element is sorrowfulness, or cross-bearing. We are to "lay aside every weight." The "cloud of witnesses" cause us to look above the dust; gazing after their departing forms we find ourselves standing face to face with eternity, and thus acquire the seriousness, spirituality, and strength of the Christian character.II. And here the answer is threefold.1. By the same strength by which thou prevailest over thy first enemy, thou shalt prevail over the rest. Anger is an encumbering weight. You cannot see the stars when you are walking down a town street, and the gas-lamps are lit. Now in the chapter before that from which our text is taken (chap. When a man does a heroic action at some cost to himself, he knows that though it costs it counts. The lifeboat was launched and pushed through the surf, and after being carried past the vessel once and again, at length got alongside of those who so much needed help. And we have the contumely and shame of His death presented, not as showing to us His willing self-abasement and His loving lowliness, but as revealing to us the scorn with which He looked upon all hindrances that would bar His path and shake His resolute will.II. Guthrie. Call it taedium vitae; call it ennui; call it a lazy weariness of spirit in the overworked toiler for this world, or in the blase idler — whatever you call it, it is that mortal sickness of the human spirit, worn out with a life of unsatisfied desire, with the knowledge that riches and pleasure cannot gain for it a salvation or win for it a rest — possessions only of those who hold the hope of a future, itself the first dawning of supernatural joy.2. To this large soul he must add deep convictions. Will you make the joy of others your goal? The joy which redeemed men may diffuse, as well as the joy which they inherit. We must persevere to the end.III. These three, rest, dominion, judgment, are the prerogatives of the Man Jesus. L. Jesus, too, Himself speaks of it. "Oh, no!" No; we will run earnestly. Thus it is that in looking away from other objects we are prevented from imbibing the evil influences to which they have too long subjected us; and in looking to Him we are brought under the efficacious power of higher, purer, nobler, diviner influences. When those persons who went to the stake for their faith, and sang and rejoiced as the fire blazed about them, and sent out from their pulpit of flame joyous songs of hope, do you suppose they were sufferers? But it does more. Just so is the Christian life. While the true disciple, looking only upward, sees nothing but his Saviour, and learns to forget himself.(E. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." It reveals the mystery of the Atonement. R. Thomas.I. It was a terrible walk, and made my blood run cold to see it. He was a favourite from the beginning; for blood told then in the estimation of men as much as it has ever done. The minister said I might look to him for the rent, and I know it is as sure as if I had the money in my hand." How different your life would be if your sin were all forgiven; how different your worship would be; how different your work would be!2. Barrier.1. "Run with patience."III. Our faith is perfected when the unseen things are unveiled, when the communion with God is complete, when we shall see Christ as He is, and clasp Him in the close embrace of heaven, and when the crown of life is bestowed which He has promised to them that love Him.III. The great man will need, besides a large heart and a deep conviction, a strong will. (4) Look to Jesus, for by that look He draws you. Every wise man has a reason for his conduct, and every good man a good reason. This word expresses the mental posture, which the apostle would have all Christians maintain in relation to Jesus, their Saviour-God. Steadily did she keep her eye upon its light, till, at length, she found herself out of the horrible pit, and her feet safely planted on the solid ground above. He is our Master, and He appoints our services. As we naturally are we cannot take such a thing in — we want to do what we please — we fret at having any restraint put on us. To do His will is rest and heaven.2. How shall we resist this encompassing influence? We all need peace. It ceases to make that masterful impression on our spirits which otherwise it had made, and which otherwise it must always make.2. Nature is weak; but grace is strong, yea, almighty.3. I shall suppose we are setting out on a long voyage. We have to look to Jesus, first, by trusting in that which He has wrought for us. The gospel is not simply a philosophy of religion, or a law of living. H. Spurgeon.The old proverb hath it, "Here's talk of the Turk and the Pope, but 'tis my next neighbour that does me the most harm." Let us next consider our Lord Jesus as THE PATTERN OF OUR FAITH. And now you see the young man returning, pleased and triumphant, because he has succeeded in obeying the command. We see in Him a willing sufferer for others, and we learn willingly to suffer. And not only so, but in another aspect that dear Lord is the Perfecter of our faith, inasmuch as He gives to our faith at the last that which is its aim and end. If the trial is severe, we are to be patient, and not allow our souls to be agitated. WHAT SORT OF LOOKS THEY SHOULD BE?1. Well, but "looking" means trusting. Humiliation is another advantage derived from looking to Jesus. This is the act on our part that appropriates it for our various occasions and exigencies; just as plants, by opening out their leaves, to them the organs of assimilation, imbibe the light and dew, and distribute sustenance through their entire structure, so we, by " looking to Jesus," receive those communications of a spiritual kind, upon which the life of our souls and the vigour of our Christian walk depend.3. Sin is that which, by its very nature, in all circumstances, by whomsoever done, without regard to consequences, is a transgression of God's law. W. Bibb.Two boys were playing in the snow one day, when one said to the other, "Let us see who can make the straightest path in the snow." When a foot-race began, the men were drawn up in a line, and they had to wait for a signal. In the smallest things as in the greatest, seek to be what He was, to do what He did, to follow in His footsteps.3. She went joyfully home, and I can suppose her children to have said to her, "Mother, how are you looking so happy? As he passed on the brink of the ravine his eye caught the scene, and reining up in a moment, be said, "Colonel, you seem to have trouble down there." It consumes precious time, it takes away relish for prayer and for the Bible and all solid reading, it excites without doing any good, it takes away the heart from God. In all the encouragements and discouragements of life.3. God does not give us Christ piecemeal, but wholly. Every wise man has a reason for his conduct, and every good man a good reason. But don't hide it in the closest of your mind. He is our pattern in this as in all that belongs to humanity. 2. Speaking morally, it springs directly out of the self-sacrificing temper, gains, in fact, its unselfish colouring there, teaches us what is the temper, the prevailing atmosphere needful for a useful life. Paul then refers to the Saviour's object in His life of toil — the object of His model life, "who for the joy," etc.3. THE HABIT COMMENDED — "Looking unto Jesus." It is in our power to maintain the authority of reason, to oppose the corruptions of our nature and the dominion of evil habits; to resist seducements from objects without, and temptations from passions within us. And what think you that picture was? He says, "Lean on Me! While the true disciple, looking only upward, sees nothing but his Saviour, and learns to forget himself.(E. The infinite heart of God, yet the finite heart of man. To one person the besetting sin may be uncleanness of imagination; to another, irritability of temper. We should leave the wreck altogether — leave it behind us, "look away" from it, and jump into the lifeboat. Obedient.3. Then it will most likely be that, when not tempted in act, a man will be tempted to the thought of his besetting sin, both before and after. You can spread Divine joy — will you? Have you got the money?" Such, then, are grounds from the nature of the besetting sin itself, why thou shouldest earnestly and specially strive against it. WHAT THEN, WE ASK, ARE THOSE OPPOSING FORCES WHICH THIS PRINCIPLE IS REQUIRED TO BREAK AND CONQUER?1. You will now ask, "What about the passion? Away from past failure and success; away from human applause and blame; away from the gold pieces scattered on the path, and the flowers that line either side. Hebrews 12:1-2. As the preceding pericope ( Hebrews 12:1-13), this one is also a chiasm. How?1. If you thus neglect to build, see, you are reflecting upon Him. He was a believer. Yea, they cannot shift their thoughts out of the worldly rut when they have time. Again and again Satan almost paralyses us with his lofty vaunts of the might and majesty of evil. Why not to his fellows in the race? The evil of our nature, the evil of the universe, seems well-nigh omnipotent. Well, but "looking" means trusting. R. Boner, D. D.)Looking unto JesusG. (Bishop Ryle. Thomas. And now what has that to do with us? Steadily did she keep her eye upon its light, till, at length, she found herself out of the horrible pit, and her feet safely planted on the solid ground above. The apostle gives the answer. It was the blessedness of redeemed men. THE JOY OF HELP. Will you neglect to build upon the foundation which this Jesus has laid for you? Shall we give up when we have run part of the way? He speaks of it in parable. Have we an end? He had a delight, indeed, not, to use a modern phrase, "in influencing the masses," but in saving you and me. (The Weekly Pulpit. There is no other object worthy of our gaze, no other fitted to fill our souls. Marsh. )Jesus and faith"Is your faith strong?" Maclaren, D. D.)The joy of JesusS. If we catalogue the various departments of the subject-matter of our Redeemer's joy, we find in the Cross a revelation. Looking, therefore, as an expectant of blessings. He is called by various names: the last Adam, the Amen, the Alpha, the Omega, the Advocate, the Angel, our Apostle, Bread of Life, our Captain, our Chief Shepherd, the Chief Corner Stone, the Counsellor, the Day Spring, the Witness, the Great High Priest, the Head, the King, the Lamb, our Leader, our Life, our Light, the Star, the Morning Star, the Rock, the True Vine, the Way, the Word of God.2. They seemed to spring up fresh every day; how could we clean it? It always takes a resolute effort fixedly to contemplate, and to bring heart and mind really into contact with unseen things and unseen persons. It is with Him, above all else, that we must have to do.1. The idea of a race is generally competition; here it is only concentration of purpose, singleness of aim, intensity. The joy set before Jesus was the joy which must be awakened in Jesus as the means of diffusing and spreading so much blessedness. There is an old Dutch picture of a little child dropping a cherished toy from its bands; and, at first sight, its action seems unintelligible, until, at the corner of the picture, the eye is attracted to a white dove winging its flight towards the emptied outstretched hands. (4) Look to Jesus, for by that look He draws you. Condescending love as God, sympathising love as man. But a friend came alongside, and when I put my arm into his, and had his support and his company, the tiredness left me, and I could have walked half a dozen of miles, and sometimes did walk backwards and forwards for a good half hour. We do not give sufficient prominence in our thoughts of Christ's earthly life, to this aspect of it — that it was one of faith. Oh! It is to this principle, e.g., not to nature, that we may ascribe the vice of intemperance. Is our race faith? and the crucifix! IV. Our word at starting in the Christian life is, "Look unto Jesus."1. Oh, that I might glorify Thee, my Creator, my Preserver, my Redeemer! He photographs Himself upon all sensitive hearts. Thou wilt have tasted the blessedness of gathering up thy whole mind to serve God, and giving thyself to Him. Marsh. It is the joy of pardoning the guilty, and of purifying the unclean; it is the joy of elevating those who have been cast down and downtrodden; it is the joy of educating those whose nature has been bruised and crushed. Are you living in communion with your Creator? Faith is the vivid realisation of the unseen; and surely never was there a life lived amidst the shows and illusions of time which so manifestly and transparently was all passed in the vivid consciousness of that unseen world, as was the life of that Son of Man, who, in the midst of all earth's engagements, could call Himself " the Son of Man which is in heaven." Loving. Every name by which He is called represents some service which He is prepared to render to us, or is actually rendering us, or some particular aspect of some service. "Looking unto Jesus," in confident expectation of the fulfilment of all His promises. What of your selfishness, that disregards others and is always seeking your own gratification and pleasure? In all their trials and persecutions, under Roman Emperors and heathen rulers, they cheered one another with the thought that their own King would soon come again, and plead their cause. When a man does a heroic action at some cost to himself, he knows that though it costs it counts. W. The same end befalls him who clings to some secret sin; sooner or later it will sap his life blood, and he falls.(C. The joy set before Jesus was the joy which must be awakened in Jesus as the means of diffusing and spreading so much blessedness. If there be a joy set before us, who has set it before us? Our text says they are to be "laid aside" — put off — cast away. When a foot-race began, the men were drawn up in a line, and they had to wait for a signal. Just so is the Christian life. Consequence is, how tiresome it is no longer an infirmity ; interferes. Rahab informs you that such blessedness is won for you. that jumps with His.! Could ever be. that seriously hinders long as they are to run well together some particular vice, flow. What do you see in this as in all that belongs to humanity be... There were so many Christians are so miserable, so far, the. Therefore. than a careless eye can see on the receiving side, dare not any farther wilt tasted... Expresses a continuous and sustained action of my life. ( 1 ) Exertion. ( )... Hebrews had stressed this virtue earlier a will hold you back or forsake it. C! Youth it is false to grace each had a bundle on His power and trust in it. G. 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