The verse before us, Hebrews 12:1, gives the Christian a very practical application for winning the spiritual race that is "set before us", the race of faith which occupies every aspect of our lives. We often have a tendency to overlook key portions of Scripture to our great loss, and in this familiar verse the focus of our attention usually centers upon "the sin that so easily besets us", yet I'm afraid that such a focus has actually "beset" us from the deeper and more practical application of this passage.
Notice the division the Spirit makes between "weight" and "sin": "let us lay aside every weight, and the sin
which doth so easily beset us". Without carefully reading, these two are often blurred together as one, but it should not be so. The Bible is speaking of two very different hindrances that bog us down and prevent us from running in such a way "that ye may obtain." (1 Corinthians 9:24) Most of us are well aware of the meaning of sin and its frustrations, but are we just as aware of this other besetter indicated here by the inspired apostle?
WHAT IS A WEIGHT?
A weight is anything and everything that slows us down from our prescribed run. The expression "every weight" tells us that weights are manifold; there can be many, and they can be diverse.
A weight is not sin. There are many things we do as Christians that hinder our run even though those things
in and of themselves are not wrong. The apostle Paul put it this way: "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." (1 Corinthians 10:23) There are no rules about how you must dress when participating in a race, but simply because it is lawful for you to wear what you will, that certainly does not advocate donning a heavy coat and cumbersome footwear! Such choices, while legal, do nothing but oppress the runner from running to win.
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