Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Gracefully RUNNING the RACE
In the NEW YEAR
Heb 12:1

1 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, (NAS)

INTRODUCTION
RUNNING the RACE with GRACE. When I say that what comes to your mind? Lofton Huttson wrote a book titled GRACE IS NOT A BLUE EYED BLOND. I am talking about running the Christian life race. A race that is run with God's Grace.

1. Encouragement . .As We Run the Race with Grace.

2. Encumbrance . . As We Run the Race with Grace.

3. Entanglements .. As We Run the Race with Grace.

4. Endurance . . As We Run the Race with Grace.
 


1. Encouragement To . .
Gracefully Running the Race In the New Year.
Heb 12:1 a


1 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, (NAS)

A. Encouragement from. . Eyewitnesses of the Past. v 11 a & Heb 11:1-38
1. Note: v 4 Abel, v 5 Enoch, v 7 Noah, v 8 Abraham, v 11 Sarah, v 20 Isaac, v 21 Jacob, v 22 Joseph, v 23 Moses, v 30 Joshua, v 31 Rahab, v 32 Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, The Prophets, v 38 Men of whom the world was not worthy.

2. They are the eyewitness of our race.
3144 martus-THAYER a witness:
a) in a legal sense, b) an historical sense, one who is a spectator of anything,
3. They are the examples encouraging us on.
a. Witnesses and part of the evidence.

B. Encouragement from . . Eyewitnesses of the Present. v 11 a
1. Those we have know who have gone on to be with the Lord.
2. Those who love us and want to see us grow.

ILLUSTRATION
This week I read an interesting story about a horse pulling contest. The two leading horses pulled 4,500 an 4,400 pounds. Someone got the idea of hitching them together to see how much they could pull. Some guessed 9,000 lbs, since they pulled a total of 8,900 lbs individually. To many peoples surprise the horses pulled 12,000 lbs together.

APPLICATION

Encouragement . . As We Run the Race with Grace. v 1 a
 


2. Encumbrances To . .
Gracefully Running the Race In the New Year.
Heb. 12:1 b



1 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, (NAS)

EXPLANATION
KJV The Weight A.T. Robertson suggest, doubt, pride, and sloth.

A. The Encumbrance of . . Skepticism. (doubt)
1. Scotch tape called up Lear and told him you can not get eight tracks on one tape he told them I am glad you did not call a week ago because we succeeded yesterday.
a. Edison concerning attempts to design the light bulb.
1) Not 9,999 failures but 9,999 ways it can not be done.

B. The Encumbrance of . . Snobbery. (pride)
1. Some people seem to think they are elevated when they pull some one else down.

C. The Encumbrance of . . Sloth. (laziness)
1. Do Nothing.
a. Lack of education or training.

ILLUSTRATION
Sam Jones was a preacher who held revival services, which he called "quitting' meetings." His preaching was directed primarily to Christians, and he urged them to give up the sinful practices in their lives. Sam's messages were very effective. and many people promised to quit swearing, drinking, smoking, lying, gossiping, or anything else that was displeasing to the Lord.

On one occasion Jones asked a woman, "Just what is it that you're quitting'?" She replied, "I'm guilty of not doing anything -- and I'm going to quit doing that too!" Even though she had no bad habits to give up, she wasn't actively living to please God.

How much better it would be if believers were known primarily as people who do certain things instead of those who don't do certain things. Radio Bible Class, 9-6-92

APPLICATION

Encumbrance . . As We Run the Race with Grace. v 1 b
 


3. Entanglements To. .
Gracefully Running the Race In the New Year.
Heb. 12:1 c



1 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, (NAS)

EXPLANATION KJV A besetting Sin

A. Entanglements of . . A Darling Sin
1. It seems you just accidentally fell into sin.
a. Do not blame God.

ILLUSTRATION
In the Australian bush country grows a little plant called the "Sundew." It has a slender stem and tiny round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew. Woe to the insect, however, that dares to dance around it in the sunny air. For while its attractive clusters of red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, the leaves are deadly. The shiny moisture on each leaf is sticky, and will hold any bug prisoner that touches it. The struggle to get free is often futile, for the movement of the insect causes the leaves to close even more tightly. This innocent- looking plant actually feeds upon its victims if they do not quickly wriggle out of the entanglement.

B. Entanglements of . . A Damning Sin

4029 perikeimai (per-ik'-i-mahee); from 4012 and 2749; to lie all around, i.e. inclose, encircle, hamper (literally or figuratively): KJV-- be bound
2749 keimai (ki'-mahee) middle voice of a primary verb; to lie outstretched (literally or figuratively):

2749 John 2:6 Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. (NAS)

4012 peri (per-ee'); properly, through (all over), i.e. around;

ILLUSTRATION
During the Franco-German War two shells fell close to a house near the scene of the conflict. The owner decided to keep them as a curiosity. After polishing them, he put them near his fireplace. One day he showed these interesting objects to a visiting acquaintance. His friend was suddenly struck by a horrible thought. "What if they're still loaded?" he inquired in alarm. Being an expert in such matters, he quickly examined the shells. "Get them away from the heat of the fire immediately! They're as deadly as the day they were made!" he exclaimed. Without realizing it, his host had been in grave peril. So, too, many go on enjoying "the pleasures of sin for a season," ignorant of impending doom. By failing to obey the Gospel, they face the dreadful prospect of being "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord."

APPLICATION
Entanglements . . As We Run the Race with Grace. v 1 c

The deadliest sin is the consciousness of no sin. -- Thomas Carlyle

Admitting your sin is never a substitute for quitting your sin. -- Dennis J. Dehaan
 


4. Endurance In . .
Gracefully Running the Race In the New Year. Heb. 12:1 d

1 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, (NAS)

EXPLANATION KEEP ON RUNNING

A. Titles . . for this Enduring Race.
1. The title of . . The Servers Marathon.
2. The title of . . The Sufferers Marathon.

B. Traits . . for this Enduring Race. (Concurring Graces)
1. The . . Trait of Patience
2. The . . Trait of Perseverance

C. Tracks for this Enduring Race.
1. Set before us. Marked out ahead of time.

Illustration
A small boy was standing by a horse tied to a post. A stranger asked him, "Can that horse run fast?" "I don't know," said the boy, "but he can stand fast."

Steadfastness. It means not faith, but faithfulness. It is the quality of reliability, trustworthiness, which makes a person one on whom we can utterly rely and whose word will stand. (1 Cor. 15:58)
 

Illustration
In his practical book, How to Witness Successfully, George Sweeting focuses on the problem of believers who are silent about their faith in Christ. He gives this illustration: "During the reign of Oliver Cromwell, there was a shortage of currency in the British Empire. Representatives carefully searched the nation in hopes of finding silver to meet the emergency. After one month, the committee returned with its report. 'We have searched the Empire in vain seeking to find silver. To our dismay, we found none anywhere except in the cathedrals where the statues of the saints are made of choice silver.' To this, Oliver Cromwell eloquently answered, 'Let's melt down the saints and put them into circulation.'"

APPLICATION
Walter Payden Ran a hill several time each week during the off season.

1. Eyewitness . . As We Run the Race with Grace.

2. Encumbrance . . As We Run the Race with Grace.

3. Entanglements . . As We Run the Race with Grace.

4. Endurance . . As We Run the Race with Grace.
 
 



 
 


 
 


 

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