Endurance

            During the month of March we will study lessons concerning endurance in the Christian race. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (Hebrews 12:1-3).

The race must be entered.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16). Salvation is in Christ Jesus and only in Christ Jesus. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Salvation is only found in Christ Jesus and the only way to get into Christ Jesus is through baptism. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4).

The race must be run.

Jesus said His disciples must continue in obedience to His word. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed (John 8:31). The apostle Paul made a very similar statement but he said that one must continue in the faith.  If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister (Colossians 1:23).

The concept of continuing infers that one has already begun a particular thing. In making application to the Christian race, if one is in Christ, he or she must abide in Christ.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me (John 15:4).

The race must be finished.

Paul made the following observation about his life: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (II Timothy 4:6-8). Saul of Tarsus, in order to be saved, had to put Christ on in baptism as commanded by God. The apostle Paul had to run faithfully in the Christian race. As his life came to its end, Paul did not speak of things that he would do in this life but he spoke of the things he had done in obedience to God. Paul had fought a good fight; he had finished his course; he had kept the faith and by the blood of Jesus Christ, Paul looked forward to a home in Heaven.

Let each of us enter the race, run the race and finish the race. Let each of us look forward to that home in Heaven.

                        Tim

 

 

 

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