Continued from Part 2…
We left off in Part 2 talking about how to run the race. John Calvin put it this way, “A constant view of the glory of Christ will revive our souls and cause our spiritual lives to flourish and thrive. Our souls will be revived by the transforming power with which beholding Christ is always accompanied. This is what transforms us daily into the likeness of Christ. So let us live in constant contemplation of the glory of Christ, and power will then flow from him to us, healing all our declensions, renewing a right spirit in us and enabling us to abound in all duties that God requires of us. … the more we behold the glory of Christ by faith now, the more spiritual and the more heavenly will be the state of our souls. The reason why the spiritual life in our souls decays and withers is because we fill our minds full of other things, and these things weaken the power of grace. But when the mind is filled with thoughts of Christ and his glory, these things will be expelled (see Col. 3:1-5, Eph. 5:8). When we behold the glory of Christ by faith every grace in us will be stirred up. This is how our spiritual life is revived (see Rom. 5:3-5, 2 Pet. 1:5-8).”
The Christian life is about laying sin aside and laying Christ on, moving away from the world and moving toward the Lord.
5) Be motivated by the gospel (2b).
“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” (Hebrews 12:2, ESV). Jesus primary joy was that He would return to the Father. Just as Christ went back to the Father without hindrance (namely, He got His glory back and was now not limited to a mortal body), so in the same way strive and agonize, oh Christian, to run the race with no entangling sin or vice.
“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Hebrews 12:3, ESV). If you can highlight the words “consider him,” please do so. This is very important and the center of all these entries. Fix your eyes upon the Lamb. Let his shame and humiliation both before crucifixion and during it be your ultimate motivation.
Concluded in Part 4…