1 in 300 *
How can I resist sin?
A series of articles, each answering one big question in 300 words.
Hebrews 12:1-2a says:
''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 …' (ESV)
Notice how the author, having painted a picture of the Christian life as a demanding race, turns our attention away from the heat and the agony, and towards Jesus. The author claims that to run the race and resist sin we must fix our eyes on Jesus.
This may seem overly simplistic - perhaps even Sunday-school-like - but I know from my own experience that it is SO easy to get preoccupied with my life, my struggles, my challenges - and even my attempts to improve my running ability and endurance levels. Fix your eyes on Jesus.
It's important that we notice that part of the reason the author encourages us to look to Jesus is because he wants us to see and learn something about the way Jesus himself endured. He wants us to consider the way Jesus pressed through the agony that he faced at the cross. 'For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross ...'
- How did Jesus endure the pain and brutality of Roman crucifixion?
- How did Jesus face the mocking of people whom he had created?
- How did the Author of Life taste the bitter waters of death, as he had his life snuffed out as a common criminal?
The answer: 'for the joy that was set before him'.
My point is this: Jesus did not set us the example of holding on by his fingernails. No, we’re told that great oceans of joy, pleasure, and delight where the means by which Jesus endured his harrowing race of redemption at the cross.
So what will help up to lay aside burdens and sins and run the race? When we look to Jesus’ example we see a heart consumed with joy and delight - not guilt or effort. May our hearts be captured by such a potent delight that our temporary burdens and sin lose their power!
* Adam & Lorna Bradley
Adam works full-time for Life Church, where he leads the eldership team. He and Lorna moved to Peterborough in December 2009. Before joining Life Church they lived in Attleborough (Norfolk) where they planted Christ Community Church. Prior to that they lived in a variety of places from Central London to Sheffield. Life church http://www.life-church.eu
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