Mar 6, 2011

Hebrews 12:1

In Hebrews 12:1, the author runs with a metaphor drawn from the athletic world, more specifically a footrace. Here spiritual perseverance is presented as a footrace. The exhortation found in the main clause is to “run with endurance the race that is set before us. Three points are worth noting at this point. First, like running, spiritual perseverance is an active exercise. Second, as in many footraces, spiritual perseverance requires endurance. Even the one who comes in last has done better that the one who does not finish. Third, as races are usually set on predetermined courses, so also our spiritual perseverance must be exercised in the course “set before us.” Our task is to run. It is God who determines the course. We may choose how we will run the race, but we usually cannot choose which race we will run. What we can do is be encouraged by the presence of a great throng of witnesses who have finished their races. This great throng, portrayed like spectators in the ancient amphitheaters, is most likely the faithful of Hebrews 11. Those who run the race of faith can also choose to remove those things which would hinder their ability to run the race, both encumbrances (probably representing distractions) and entangling sin. 

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