[SW065] 10/28/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Fix Your Eyes”
Lord Jesus, I see a church with her eyes turned away from You. I see that You are commanding them to fix their eyes on You. Our eyes need fixing!
You say I should show them that they are corrected by a loving Father. If they do not receive His correction, they are not His children.
The Father’s correction is for your good, so that you may share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10).
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
Cross out the “let us” right before “lay aside” and “let us” right before “run.” Those are not in the original Greek. It is LAY ASIDE! It is RUN! These are commands, not suggestions.
In Hebrews 11 — All witnesses obeyed God “by faith,” a great cloud of them!
— Faith is an action, not an assent
So, in Hebrews 12, “by faith” continues:
–By faith, lay aside (659, in a decisive moment of time, aorist tense — not “Let us” but a command) (see Ephesians 4:22, lay aside the old, enter into the new)
–Every encumbrance (3591) every mass, bending or bulging by its load, a burden, a hindrance, a weight — in a word, the SINS we haul about with cart ropes (Isaiah 5:18). “Come to Me!” cries Jesus!
–The sin (not SINS here, but the sin nature, our inbred rebellion) that entangles (2139), a Greek word used nowhere else
— it is the SIN nature which easily encircles, easily surrounds, easily entangles,
— Satan’s snare! And we tell Him we know better than Him. We reproach Him for commanding us to be holy.
2 Timothy 2:24 The Lord’s bond-servant . . . 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
By faith, run with endurance (5281) cheerful, hopeful, constance, endurance, patiently waiting (this is not not OUR idea of running . . . )
The race set before us — (73) a contest, a struggle, a conflict, a fight, opposition! Not against our sin nature . . . we have laid tat aside in a moment of time, we have separated from the sin we’ve been hauling with cart ropes. Our opposition comes from the same place Jesus’ did — the religious system of the day which claimed to know His Father but did not. The race is indeed a struggle against that opposition, but we don’t fight in our own strength. We are running with God, in the strength of Christ. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
What is our goal?
Fixing your eyes on (872) looking away from all else to look at and considering attentively, estimating, esteeming . .
–Author (747) the Founder, Leader, the Captain, Prince
–Perfecter (5051) Completer, Consummator, Finisher, Consecrator, Fulfiller.
He is our Goal!
What do we see as we esteem Him?
His cross which He endured. We have become like Him, having separated ourselves from the sin nature and the sins that are the snare of Satan. We have done it, as He did, for the joy set before Him. What joy do we see? The same as Him! We see many for whom He died, we see them come to faith in Him, we see them filled with His Spirit and made His witnesses. We see God’s will being done, we see His coming kingdom, and He already reigns in us!
Because we have taken up our cross and followed Him, scorning its shame, we also sit down at His right hand (Ephesians 2:6)! Right now, we have His access to the Father. Right now, we can hear the Father’s voice, we see Him working, we enter the fields for the harvest is ripe — it is white!
Consider Him (357), contemplate Him, estimate His ways
–Obedient out of love
–For His Father
Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
What is the church fixed upon? What does most of the church esteem?
Unfortunately, self. There was a recent report of a study from Ohio State University, in which 900 adults ages 18 to 90 were evaluated. The findings? Young Americans carve praise and compliments more than food, friendship and sex! This craving is akin to an addiction.
The professor who conducted the study identified the 1969 book The Psychology of Self Esteem as the launching point for a generation of Americans obsessed with self esteem. And with each generation, the obsession becomes stronger.
Americans, including those in the church, can’t seem to get enough of being true to self, expressing self, fulfilling self, improving self, and advancing self. Choosing a church to attend is no longer a matter of finding where the Word of God is taught and where people are striving to live in a manner that pleases God. It is now a matter of finding a church that has the best programs and preferred music and activities.
O Church, we have not yet been crucified with Christ, and sin still easily entangles us.
Our eye is on us, not Him.
Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
A clear eye, a single eye, an eye looking at and esteeming and considering Jesus! Then your whole body is full of light.
But if your eye is on self, on the world, and not fixed on Jesus, you are full of darkness, and how great is that darkness!
Shed blood is required in your striving against sin.
O Church, you have not done this.
Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh [that is, the sin nature] with its passions and desires.
Pursue sanctification (Hebrews 12:14), O church!
Pursue (run toward it, flee to the horns of the altar)!
The sanctification (holiness, His divine nature in you), that which He prayed for in John 17!
Why pursue and run toward and flee to sanctification?
. . . Without which no one will see the Lord.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)!
Flee to Jesus! By faith, lay aside and separate yourself from that cartload of sins you’re dragging behind you! By faith, lay aside and separate yourself from that rebellious nature, the sin nature.
You’ll be footloose and free, no longer entangled in Satan’s snare! You’ll be pure in heart! You will see God, not just someday, but every day, all the time! You will be seated with Christ, in the very throne room of God! Run to Him!