Establishment’s Purpose: Conforming Faith

Hebrews 12:2, 7-8, 11-14

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

The chapter begins with the announcement of Christ as our faith, our object of faith, the creator and the finisher of our faith. The establishment is reestablished, setting before us path, the living faith of works, and passion for a better country. Now Christ lays before us the glory of God through conforming faith. When I read this chapter, I can’t help but think of Luke 9 starting at the 23rd verse. Through our faith and complete trust in God that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God our Savior do we have confidence to deny ourselves. In our denying of self, we die to self and entrust ourselves by faith to the grace of God through obedience we submit. In our submission to the Lord of heaven and earth we do receive a crown in heaven and a crown on earth in the form of a cross we must bear. So we take up our cross and at times it disciplines us and it can be hard to bear. But our Lord has conquered this very cross before us. But we are not just called to pick it up but to carry it as we follow that path after Jesus. In carrying the cross, we walk as the Son walked and we walk in his victory. It is like the infantry following the path left by airstrikes and tank battalions. The enemies have been crashed and are weakened. We march in victory but never careless as some still sneak around to kill not to win but to strike fear and discourage. Following the tanks ahead is not always easy but they pass without fail just as Christ had passed and not failed but overcame the world. Our victory is sure and we have faith in that which is certain. We don’t see the end of the road but we see that the conquered kingdom has a new King of kings seated on the throne and we see empty seats next to him. What causes us to hang our heads and make our knees weak is our attempts to save our lives, the very lives we were commanded to deny and entrust to Jesus. In our attempt to save ourselves, we die, we lose our lives as we have to be friends with the world to do. No friend of the world can be counted as a son.

 

To deny yourself, take up the cross and follow Jesus requires faith which brings about works of love that embodies the crucified Christ that presents the Gospel and it conforms us in a holiness so that we may see the Lord. Glorified in His likeness at his return. But it starts with a heart ready to hear the word of the Gospel about Jesus and then the Father blesses with faith by grace to believe and say Jesus is the Christ as the Holy Spirit works and take up residence. A submitted heart yields to the will and works of God because it will no longer be us that live but Christ that is living within us. This living is a living faith that follows Jesus towards a higher mark looking for a better country. This pleases the Lord and He is unashamed to be called our God, and he helps us to walk for his glory so Jesus promises and is faithful to be the author and finisher of our faith to the very end.

Base your faith not in a particular situation or deliverance but in the one deliverance that’s made fresh every second, our salvation. God didn’t even spare his Son. So now that he lives at the right hand, there is no limit.  There is not Jesus Christ has commanded us to do, that He hasn’t already completed.  He shows us that nothing is impossible for God.

Our obsession with the “Best Life Now” actually does more to fuel discontent than motivation to gain more stuff.  This obsession will lead us to resent God’s shaping of our hearts through discipline or sanctification.  With the slightest twist Christians can find ways to make it a normal things because in our eyes God only wants to bless not discipline us. We want to believe God does not punish good people and he doesn’t Jesus Christ took all the punishment already but what desire comfort and a life without having to turn on the Bat Signal. R. C. Sproul Jr. said “people sin first and then create worldviews to justify the sin; people don’t create worldviews and then sin”

Meaning that a lot of what we “believe” about God’s character or what we choose not to know is because our view is set up to justify our sins.  We create views that mask the seriousness of the discontent in our hearts.  We willingly call it ambition and not what it really is, Idolatry.  This happens when our faith is wrongly placed and our hopes are on our shoulders and not Christ’s.  When we take it upon ourselves to create faith and design our own path as well as choose our own type of cross,  the seed falls onto thorns. Matthew 13:22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. When our faith is not established and our faith have objectives that can rust or be stolen our heart quickly reveal that our treasure is a lifeless idol.  But faith that starts at the cross, carries a cross, and ends at a empty tomb a life will be resurrected by power.  This is not a faith that is merely wishful thinking but a fact because Jesus Christ has already faithfully proven it.  But also the faithfulness of Christ we see with every inhale and exhale also with every trial.

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