We are commanded throughout scripture to “live by faith”.
Romans 1:17 – …“The just shall live by faith”
Galatians 3:11 – …”The just shall live by faith”
Hebrews 10:38 – “Now the just shall live by faith”
When we see something repeated over and over generally there is emphasis, that means we should pay attention to that thing. In the books of the bible it says “the just shall live by faith”. In the old and new testaments there is an expectation of God for us to live by faith.
How do we live by Faith?
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Listen to the witnesses (vs 1)
But in what sense are they “witnesses”? Not, probably, in the sense of spectators, watching their successors as they in their turn run the race for which they have entered; but rather in the sense that by their loyalty and endurance they have borne witness to the possibilities of the life of faith.
The witnesses are listed in Hebrews 11. It is imperative that we bring the witnesses to the stand so that they can testify what faith in God can do.
- Abel – worshipped by faith
- Enoch – walked with God by faith
- Noah – worked by faith
- Abraham obeyed by faith
- Sarah – bore a child by faith
- Isaac & Jacob – blessed the next generation by faith
- Moses – refused royal privileges by faith
- Israel – passed through the Red Sea by faith
- Jericho’s walls fell by faith
Those witnesses are speaking to us. Not only are there witnesses from a biblical perspective, but there are witnesses today. You can be a witness also. Do not minimize what is going on in your life. The witness’ testimony will help us.
In the light of the witness’ testimony we must:
Lay aside the weight and the sin (vs 1)
To lay aside means to put it away. There are patterns in our lives that hinders us. Every weight is not a sin. Some things are just not good for you. Lay aside those things that are keeping your from running the optimal race. Lay aside the sin that so easily ensnares us. Friends that are always critical, always putting folk down. I get high every Friday. You can’t live dirty and expect to be confident with God. There is a conscious. We have to admit it and quit it. Sometimes we are involved in sexual relationships outside of marriage. Sex is good and one of the things we do is distort it. It’s supposed to be in a covenant of marriage. When you step outside of the boundary of marriage, you are in unknown territory. Make sure you live your life so you are confident before God.
Train yourself to be Godly (1st Timothy 4:7). God wants us to be free. You may be struggling in a particular area but if you keep going to God he hears that cry. You can make no sense of what’s right and wrong. You will begin to see a change in your life. You don’t like the way the thing feels after it’s done, that’s how you know it’s God. You keep on coming to God and coming to Him, that’s how he will change you from the inside out.
“Your lust won’t go away just because you got married”—Pastor Billy Johnson
Run your race (vs 1)
You can’t run somebody’s else’s race.
Run your race
Stay in your lane
Run at your pace
God has set the path for your life. You have Grace for your race. Look at the stages of your life and recognize the stage you are in because your pace will change according to what stage you are in. We fail to realize the season of our life and fail to adjust our race.
Three aspects to this “race” are set before all believers:
Running a race requires preparation, participation, and perseverance. Christians prepare to run the race through daily training. We pray, read the word of God, and examine our life for habits that would impede us in the race. We participate in worship, and we persevere by maintaining a Christlike and God-honoring attitude even when the trials are strong and we feel weak.
(Life Application Bible Commentary – Hebrews.)
Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Look to Jesus (vs 2)
Why look to Jesus?
He is the PIONEER (author) of our faith – the initiator, the pioneer
Pioneer. The Greek word is archegon; it means pioneer, pathfinder, or leader. Perhaps “champion” conveys the best meaning. Jesus is our hero, the first who obeyed God perfectly and thus began the new covenant (see also 2:10). He set the course of faith, ran the race first (6:20), and now waits for us to join him at the end, encouraging us all the way.
He is the PERFECTER (finisher) of our faith – one who makes possible the successful completion of something
“Perfecter” is teleioten in Greek, meaning finisher, the one who brings us to our intended goal. Jesus is our perfecter, both because he was made the perfect High Priest through suffering and obedience (see 2:10, 5:8) and because he perfects us as we draw closer to him.
(Life Application Bible Commentary – Hebrews)
He is the PATTERN of endurance – He endured the cross (Crucifixion)
Crucifixion was a horrible and shameful way to die. Jesus endured this disgraceful and degrading death; even more, he “disregarded” the shame it represented, despising and scorning it. The human shame amounted to nothing compared to the shame that Jesus felt when he took on the sins of the world. So great were the sins that even the Father had to turn his face away from his Son.
What caused him to endure? JOY!
Look to Jesus because he is the author and finisher of your faith. He is the pioneer that has gone before you. He is the perfecter. He is the one that brings us to the intended goal. He is the pattern of endurance. If you ever grew a little weary, look to Jesus. Joy that was set before him gave him the ability to endure. No wonder the devil wants to steal your joy.
 F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Rev. ed., The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 333.