It is my fervent prayer that you will be blessed by the following Bible study lesson entitled: THE WEIGHT AND THE SIN.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily hinders us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1).
So many times in our lives we seem to do all the right things according to the will of God, but we soon discover that something is still lacking – something is still missing. We fail to achieve the spiritual breakthrough that we long for so desperately.
Some children of God become frustrated, disillusioned, and eventually “throw in the towel” without ever finding the root cause of their spiritual stagnation. Oftentimes we tend to place the blame for our inability to grow in the things of God on outside circumstances, such as family, friends, spouses, when the actual cause may be us – ourselves.
The Narrow Road
The true Cnristian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run patiently, and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. However, to live this life of righteousness effectively, bearing much fruit, we must keep our eyes on Jesus and the ultimate prize – eternal life with Christ.
What does it mean to lay aside every weight (an oppressive force) and the sin. We must rid ourselves of all excess affection or desire of the flesh, and all pre-occupation with the body and this present life and world. The present life and fondness for it is a dead weight upon the spirit, and pulls it downward when it should be ascending upwards, and pulls it back when it should pressing forward. It renders our duty to Christ more difficult, and makes it seem like a burden
What is the sin that so easily traps us?
The sin that has the greatest force against us, through the circumstances we are in (the flesh) is ourselves This may mean either the sin of unbelief (lack of faith), or the favourite sin of the Jews – an over-fondness for their own life and times. We must lay aside all external and internal hindrances if we are to run victoriously and endure to the end.
Running the Race
Only after discarding the weight and sin(s) we are able to run with patience the race that is set before us – that is, the mission that God has assigned to each of us in this life. The writer (Paul) speaks in the gymnastic style, taken from the Olympic Games and althletics.
Believers have a race to run, a race of service and a race of suffering, a course of active obedience. This race is set before us. The psalmist confirms tnis when he wrote: “And in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:16). Therefore, the race we are to run has been marked out for us, not only by Divine Providence, but also by the examples of the faithful servants of God; that cloud of witnesses by whom we are surrounded. It is set out by proper limits and directions (by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who dwells in us). The mark we run to, and the prize are set before us.
This race cannot be successfully and victoriously run if we are burdened down with sins, distractions, a worldly attitude and carnal ambitions. The race that we are running as children of God must be run with patience and steadfastness. Patience will be required to encounter the difficulties and setbacks that lie in our way. We must have perservance to resist all temptations to turn aside from the way. Faith and patience are conquering virtues, and therefore must be cultivated and nurtured, which means growing.
People of God have greater example to encourage them in their narrow walk than any or all who have been mentioned before, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.
How does One Lay Aside the Weight and the Sin?
If one desires to run a successful Christian race, there are a number of requirements that must be met, and are as follows:
1. Stop sinning – it slows you down
2, Never give up – press towards the mark
3. Think of Jesus already at the finish line
4. Focus on future glory
5. Remember the “witnesses” who cheer you on.
Bear in mind what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:27: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. And everyone who competes for the prize exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore, I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight; not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
Laying aside those hindrances in our lives – the things that hold us back and prevent us from becoming all we can be in God, requires discipline and purpose. Children of God are running toward their eternal reward. The fundamental disciplines of prayer, fasting, worship, and Bible study equip us to run with enthusiasm, stamina, and zeal. Don’t merely observe from the bleachers. Don’t just jog a couple of laps each morning. Train diligently, because your spiritual life depends upon it.
“COUNT ALL THINGS LOST!”
At times we must give up something good in order to do what God wants. So we may have to give up something good in order to get something better – the favour of God upon our lives. With the high goal of pleasing God, our denial is nothing compared to the eternal (“incorruptible”) reward that is ours. In Jesus’ message of denial found in the Book of Matthew (16:24), He used the illustration of His followers taking up their crosses to follow Him.
Finally, the apostle Paul was inspired to write: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7, 8).
ARE YOU PREPARED TO LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT AND THE SIN WHICH HINDERS YOU?