Lee Dymond is the Baptist Campus Ministries Pastor at Auburn University Montgomery. In this Sunday evening sermon, he expounds Hebrews 12:1-2 to encourage believers to beware of drifting away in their walks of faith. To keep from drifting, we must lay aside all sin and encumbrance, and set our gaze upon Christ who is the author and perfecter of our faith.
As Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, his heart for their well-being and spiritual health bled through every word. These verses are a prayer of sorts for their deepening love and burgeoning knowledge of Christ, who Himself is the Christian’s and the church’s greatest wealth and treasure. As Morningview stands on the cusp of a significant capitol campaign for the renovation of our building, the focus is set upon drawing near to, depending upon, and treasuring Christ.
John Murray has rightly noted that calling upon God’s name for salvation does not occur “in a vacuum; it occurs only in a context created by proclamation of the gospel on the part of those commissioned to proclaim it.” What Paul does here with this series of questions in verses 14 and 15 is walk us backwards from the sinner calling upon the Lord to the original cause of God sending His messengers to preach. What we are meant to understand is that the proclamation of God’s Word is God’s ordained means to draw His people to Himself in saving faith.
As the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation was written to the churches to assure struggling and persecuted Christians of Christ’s faithful love, His sovereign reign, and His ultimate judgment of all wickedness. In the first chapter, as John is given His first vision, he sees the exalted Christ and hears his Lord’s concern for His churches. It is this Christ that we should set our gaze upon in every generation. Only as we walk by faith — loving Him, reverencing Him, and depending upon Him — will we know true comfort and joy in the midst of this dark world.
When Paul considered how his fellow Israelites rejected their Messiah, he was filled with great sorrow and unceasing grief. He knew He could not redeem them himself, but in his own heart, he would willingly be separated from Christ if it would accomplish the salvation of his kinsmen. They were a privileged people, and the righteous Son of God was born among them, but because of their unbelief, Jesus did not belong to them. But their unbelief did not thwart Paul’s passion for ministry, it fueled his mission. To live life on mission is to share the burden of Christ for this world, and to reach sinners with the gospel by acting and speaking and loving and ministering and suffering like Christ until He brings us home to glory.
When we look around and see a world in chaos, we often feel overwhelmed and helpless. How do we get to a lave where we can act according to God’s will? Pastor Terence shows us that we must first be moved to inquiry, which will move us to compassion, move us to prayer, and moved to courage. It is from here than we can be rightly moved to action.