by J. Gerald Harris

The Key to Success
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Hebrews 12:1-2

Have you ever noticed the many figures of speech which are used to describe the experience of the believer? He is compared to a sheep, a temple, a soldier, a bride. And in our text for this morning the believer is compared to an athlete running in a race to obtain a prize or trophy.

But let me say this to you about these athletes, these runners in the race. They are believers who have qualified for the race by being "born again" through faith in Jesus Christ. These runners are not trying to reach heaven by their efforts. They are already saved and sure of heaven. They are not running in order to be saved, but they are running because they are saved. And this 12th chapter of Hebrews is an impassioned plea to Christians to discipline themselves and grow up into maturity so that they can give a good account of themselves in the race.

Now, there are several things I want us to see here. First of all, I want us to consider:


The event is the race. Look in verse 1 (read). Now, that last phrase is the key to our first point. This is a race that is set before us, and we're to run the race with endurance.

I'm afraid that most Christians aren't running. Some are jogging; some are trotting; a lot of them are walking. Many of them are crawling or sitting, going nowhere. And some are even going backwards.

But the Christian life is not a trot. The Christian life is not your morning constitutional. The Christian life is a race.

The Greek word for race is "agon" from which we get our word "agony." This is a race where you've got to exert some energy. It's not a sprint. It's not a dash. It's a marathon kind of race. And it is to be run with endurance.

There must be rigid discipline to be effective in running. We're not called upon as Christians to lie around in flowery beds of ease. But we're to run in a race that is strenuous, self-sacrificing, a race that involves hard training and d ...

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