Christ: The Perfecter of Faith
October 26th, 2018 | Hebrews 11:32-12:3
Marathon runners know the challenge of enduring for 26.2 miles. The moment will come when lungs are burning, joints are aching, and muscles are failing. These athletes also know the power of encouragement from the great crowds cheering them on from the sidelines.
In chapters 11 and 12, the author of Hebrews is developing that image of runners being cheered. He continues the list of heroes in the faith, including men and women who endured great danger and torture and “faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment” (11:36). Many were killed, often in gruesome ways. Others lived, but experienced poverty, persecution, mistreatment, and homelessness.
Why does the author of Hebrews mention all these? Because “these were all commended for their faith,” even if “none of them received what had been promised” (11:39). Moreover, these men and women of faith are “a great cloud of witnesses” (12:1) now surrounding us as we run our own race in life. Imagining them cheering us on, we are encouraged to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” and run “with perseverance” (12:1).
We do not run aimlessly. As in any race, we must look to the goal, and Scripture encourages us to run while “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (12:2). Our focus is on Christ because He is the culmination of this “hall of faith,” the perfect example. In perfect faith, Christ “endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (12:2).
Christ is not just our model and source of faith; He is also the “perfecter” of faith, that is, the one who brings it to completion. In Him alone, we are brought to the finish line of faith.
APPLY THE WORD
The Christian life involves focusing on Christ and rejecting sin, which Scripture describes as an entangling hindrance. Whether gossip, anger, lust, pride, or an excessive trust in material possessions, these sins are like heavy burdens, weighing you down. Ask God for the strength to throw them off and run with perseverance.
PRAYER | SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES
Pray for Jen-jen, a young believer who experienced persecution from her classmates and teacher. Pray that she will hold to her principles and will not succumb to pressure from the Muslim community. Pray for her family’s provision.
Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries
Follow us on Twitter