Sunday, June 28, 2015 Morning Worship

The Church: Its Definition, Mission and Legacy. Pt. 4

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  Matthew 16:18

Let us read together Hebrews 12:1-2, 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.”

So, what does God want us to leave behind as a legacy?

  1. A decision to move forward at all times.

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.” Hebrews 12:1

The key word in this verse is the word ‘therefore’. It refers the reader back to chapter 11, the chapter of faith. Because faith is taught through the lives of historical persons the believer can move forward as they did. The writer describes this moving forward as a race that is run and never is given up on no matter the trauma. We must clear the path of everything in our lives and move forward because others have set this legacy before us. They have been there.

  1. A passion to pass on that the church is a people of destiny.

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.” Hebrews 12:1-2

In these two verses the writer uses three words that mean destiny. In verse one, the word ‘surround’ is used with the central meaning to be buried. But, metaphorically, it can be translated as the word ‘destined’. Also, in verse one the word ‘before’ is used again with the meaning of destiny in mind. Then in verse two the word ‘set’ is used once again with the meaning of destiny. Putting all of these together, the believer is to run in faith with great endurance because it is his destiny. Giving up is never an option. Lastly, in verse two Jesus went to the cross because it was His destiny. So, because He completed His destiny we can embrace and complete ours in faith.

  1. A fixation on Jesus Christ, He is our legacy.

“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.” Hebrews 12:2

The word ‘looking’ means to be fixed or to be totally focused. The tense of the verb means a fixation or focus that is continual. This fixation is accomplished because Jesus competed His mission of death and now has complete authority in every matter. So, He can be trusted to begin and finish our faith in Him. That is legacy.