KEEP ON RUNNING
October 9, 2016
Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV:  Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  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.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Introduction: The author compares the journey of faith to a race. He wants to motivate us to keep running, because he knows that we will all be tempted to stop running or to coast. He understands enduring in genuine faith is not easy. He wants us to understand that those with genuine faith keep running. It’s absolutely essential. We must finish the race. We must keep on running.
1. Be encouragedto keep running (endure) by looking to those just referenced who kept running (endured).
· Their motivation to keep running was their reward. “The best is yet to come”
· They kept running no matter their circumstances.
o Some temporarily delivered.
o Others not
· They laid aside the weights and sins which prevented them from running.
2. Be encouraged to keep running (endure) by looking to Jesus (the best example of faith).
· Jesus is the founder and perfecter of our faith.
· Jesus’ Motive was the joy of his reward.
· Jesus endured shame, hostility, and execution.
Life Group Questions:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
1. How would you summarize 11:32-40?
2. Explain how the therefore relates to, and transitions from, chapter 11?
3. Who is the author referring to by saying “this great cloud of witnesses”? Who are they and what are they witnessing? Are they witnessing us run the race?
4. Is the author making a distinction between a weight and sin?
5. What is the race that we are in? In what way are we encouraged to run? What does it mean that this race is “set before us?”
6. What was the finish line that motivated Jesus and allowed Him to endure the race that was set before Him?
7. In what sense was the cross a cause for shame? In what sense did Jesus despise it? Explain.
8. What does the author mean by saying Jesus is the founder of our faith? The perfecter of our faith?
9. How would you paraphrase the big idea of 12:1-3?
HOW DOES IT APPLY?
1. What do you think it means to lay aside the weight of sin that clings to us? What image does that language create in your mind?
2. What kinds of sin tend to captivate our culture today?
3. What sins keep us from running the race?
4. What can we do to remove those weights that slow us down in living out our faith?
5. How do we find encouragement in the great cloud of witnesses and what are ways we look to encourage us in this race?
6. How do we let those other runners know the weights in our life in order to help us run faster? Is that uncomfortable? How can we lean in to that discomfort?