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Their testimony of what pleases God is recorded for us in the Old Testament. There is no evidence in the Scriptures of saints in heaven watching saints on the earth. Neither does it encourage Christians to pray to the saints in heaven, nor are saints in heaven praying for us here. It is an illustration of the importance of persistent faith as seen in these Old Testament saints.

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It is their testimony to us. Campbell Morgan observed, "The writer is not describing witnesses who watch us, but those who witness to us. Abraham obeyed, obtained, offered. Isaac and Jacob foretold. Moses, being preserved, chose. Israel had its Exodus, and came into possession" The Westminister Pulpit , vol.

We do know that Christ is praying for us in heaven as our great intercessor and mediator before God the Father. The apostle Paul wrote: "who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us" Romans The writer of Hebrews has already told us: "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" Hebrews There is only one mediator between the Christian believer and God; he is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit lives within the believer and helps us in our prayers.

The Bible teaches the priesthood of the believer and is therefore our responsibility to pray for one another and encourage each other by praying for one another. Let's exercise our holy priesthood praying for one another. The writer of Hebrews uses the analogy of an athletic contest where each believer is likened to a participant in a footrace. The runner removed all "bulk or mass" of hindrances in order to run more efficiently.

It is our responsibility to "lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. We get so easily entangled with the world affairs. The words "easily entangles us" is composed of "standing, well, around. We get entangled with everyday affairs.

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These are the vulnerable, weak areas where Satan constantly tempts us. These hindrances may not be sinful in themselves, but they prevent us from making progress in our Christian life. The temptation to sin is ever present in our lives and we must be on constant guard. The solution to removing the weeds of life is to focus on Jesus. When we keep our eyes on Jesus we remove every weight, and sin which clings to us.

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Jesus is the "author and perfecter of faith" who has blazed the trail before us and completed the course. He has entered as a forerunner for us Heb. The word archegos means originator, leader or pioneer. Jesus is our archegos. He is also the completer or perfecter teleioten of our faith. From the beginning to the end it is all about Jesus. How tragic that many professing believers in Jesus Christ never understand that Christianity is Christ.

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It is not programs, methods, organizations, fascination with dynamic leaders; it is all about Christ and an intimate personal love relationship with Him. Jesus is "the author and perfecter of our faith," not some fascinating personality. Why should we be so distracted by others?

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Remember Galatians ? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. Acts ; Isa. Jesus obediently suffered the agony of death on the cross with its shame. Jesus suffered extreme humiliation and an extreme exaltation.

With just a few words the writer of Hebrews gives us an account of the life, death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation of Jesus to the right hand of God the Father cf. This is the only passage in Hebrews that uses the word "cross. Only the finished atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross is the foundation of our faith. Jesus endured the suffering and shame of dying on the Cross. With triumphant joy of the resurrection He sits at the right hand of the throne of God in heaven.

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When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they" Hebrews The words "Fixing our eyes on Jesus" has the idea is to look away from everything else in order to focus one's gaze on one thing.

Christ is the one person that really counts. Here the idea is to neglect everything else in order to concentrate your attention on the one thing, the person of Jesus Christ. The believer looks with an utter concentration, wander in amazement of a loved one looking with adoration at his lover.

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It describes the believer who is lost in wonder, love and praise of His Lord and Savior. How tragic that we live in a day when the church is lost in the wonder of worldly preachers offering material prosperity at the expense of the exaltation of Jesus. How tragic that we get lost and infatuated with the media and charismatic leaders, but are not in love with Jesus.

Think over, carefully consider by way of comparison, and ponder the person and work of Jesus and what He has accomplished for you. Compare what Jesus endured with your own less severe persecution. William Barclay observes, "The way to avoid the failure of your nerve and heart is to compare your situation with the situation of Him who met the opposition of sinners with such constancy and courage. Jesus endured all kinds of hostility of word and deed.

He went to the cross and died a vicarious, penal atoning sacrifice for our sins. What we need is a fresh encounter with Jesus Christ and a nurturing of faith in Him so that in testing of our faith we endure. These believers had suffered persecution, but had not suffered martyrdom. Their problem was dealing with their own sinful nature. This is probably a reference to martyrdom. Even though these believers had suffered much, none of them as far as we know had paid with their lives.

Leon Morris keenly observes, "Suffering comes to all; it is part of life, but it is not easy to bear.

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Yet it is not quite so bad when it can be seen as meaningful. The writer points out the importance of discipline and proceeds to show that for Christians suffering is rightly understood only when seen as God's fatherly discipline, correcting and directing us. Suffering is evidence, not that God does not love us, but that He does" Expositors Bible Commentary , vol. How sad the emphasis in our day that if you are a Christian and have faith you will be healthy, wealthy and happy.