1 Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.
2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. (New Living Bible)
The picture being painted for us here by the writer to the Hebrew Christians, is one of an athletics stadium, with a running track and a grandstand with onlookers.
We who are alive at present are the ones on the track. The writer instructs us that there are several things we must do, if we are to run our race of life successfully.
First, we are to "strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back".
When we look at athletes on the running track, one thing that is very evident is that they carry the least amount of weight on them. When running a race with serious intent, extra weight is a real keep-back.
Later in this chapter, we find the author listing some weights that we struggle with:
16 Watch out that no one becomes involved in sexual sin or becomes careless about God as Esau did: he traded his rights as the oldest son for a single meal. (New Living Bible)
Today we will look into Sexual Sin:
During all of human history, people have wanted to make their own rules about what is sexually acceptable.
The Bible speaks of several kinds of sexual contact.
First, there is the one that God definitely approves of:
that's the kind He put together when He made the first couple. God Himself married Adam to Eve. This was His statement about the kind of sexual contact He blesses: that is, marriage between one man and one woman who include God in their union.
The Bible describes this kind of marriage in Ecclesiastes 4:
12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (New Living Bible)
A triple-braided cord describes a marriage which is comprised of husband, wife and God.
This is God's idea of how marriage is supposed to succeed.
Then the Bible talks about Fornication: that is sexual contact between people who are not married.
The Bible also talks about Adultery, that is sexual contact between people who may be married, but not to each other. As we read through the Bible we understand that God does not bless either of these practices.
This is what the Lord Jesus Christ says in Matthew 5:
27 “You have heard the commandment that says, 'You must not commit adultery.'
28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (New Living Bible)
The only Person who can look into our heart is God. Therefore, we know that even if we can fool other people about our sexual encounters, we certainly cannot fool the Lord.
There is much sexual activity available visually on the internet, and many people can keep their viewing of this content a secret from the human beings around them.
But God is looking into our heart. He is looking to see whether the deepest desire of our heart is to go after Him and His will and purpose for our life, or if we just want to please the desires of our body, whether or not these desires please Him.
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