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Message of the Day: Put Away Your Sin and Run with Endurance

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NASB

Image courtesy of olivetree.com

Chapters 11 & 12 of the book of Hebrews are persuasions in view of the expositions of Old Testament passages in chapter 10.

Verse 1 of Hebrews chapter 12 serves as a transition between chapters 11 & 12 using a triple compound inferential participle ‘therefore’ and a reference to the ‘great cloud of witnesses,’ the heroes of faith mentioned in chapter 11. Faith here is defined as the assurance in God’s future promises, an assurance that enables one to persevere. After defining faith, the author surveys the Old Testament for samples of such faith. Then turns his attention to his community of faith and challenges them to follow the examples given by them.

The imagery pictures an athletic contest in a great coliseum (so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us). They are the heroes of faith mentioned in chapter 11. They are not spectators but inspiring examples. The word ‘witnesses’ is martus in Greek, the origin of the English word “martyr”, which refers to “those who after his example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death.” (Strong-Lite) They bear witnesses to the power of faith and to God’s faithfulness.

The Christian life is pictured as a long-distance race rather than a short sprint. Some Hebrew Christians were tempted to drop out of the contest because of persecution. (NASB Study Bible)

In view of this Christians are exhorted to put away the sin that entangles them so they can run with endurance the race that is set before them.

References:

Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary. New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.

MySword for Android for Strong-Lite: http://www.mysword.info

NASB Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.

Olive Tree Bible Software: olivetree.com

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