Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 5, 2021

“let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 12:1-3.

“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:1-3. 

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Endurance is the theme of each of the three verses in today’s Scripture.

First, we have the command:  “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”.  So to speak, some people live a short life, a 100 yard dash;  some people live a medium life, a 10K race;  and some people live a long life, a marathon.  But, the length of each race is set by their Maker and is perfect for them, and we can trust God.

Second, we have the example of Jesus:  “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, …  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself”.

Third, we have the need for the endurance:  “so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 

Other doctrine fixes its eyes on itself and its willpower and its perseverance.

But, Reformed Doctrine fixes its eyes on Jesus and His will and His preservation of us.  

There is hope in “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”! 

Jesus is the author of our faith.  Like Jesus set the length of the race for us, Jesus gave us the faith needed for that race.

“…  To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:” 2 Peter 1:1.

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby.   

Article 8.  For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation:  …  that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death;  …  

Jesus is also the perfecter of our faith.  “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints.

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.

Article 8.  Thus, it is not in consequence of their own merits, or strength, but of God’s free mercy, that they do not totally fall from faith and grace, nor continue and perish finally in their backslidings;  which, with respect to themselves, is not only possible, but would undoubtedly happen;  but with respect to God, it is utterly impossible, since his counsel cannot be changed, nor his promise fail, neither can the call according to his purpose be revoked, nor the merit, intercession and preservation of Christ be rendered ineffectual, nor the sealing of the Holy Spirit be frustrated or obliterated.

Article 9.  Of this preservation of the elect to salvation, and of their perseverance in the faith, true believers for themselves may and ought to obtain assurance according to the measure of their faith, whereby they arrive at the certain persuasion, that they ever will continue true and living members of the church;  and that they experience forgiveness of sins, and will at last inherit eternal life.

This is “Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”  1 Thessalonians 5: 23-24. 


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