By Clayton W.

Confirmation Class of 2015

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, 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 12:1-2

My faith is like a race. This verse challenges me to live my Christian life like I am running a race, fixing my eyes on Jesus because He perfected my faith and He gives me endurance. 

There are clouds of witnesses also surrounding me. They are encouraging me because they have already won the race and they make a good example for me to follow. There is also the sin and encumbrances that surround me. These can make me stumble and fall in my race. In order to win the race, I have to run with endurance. The way I get endurance is to fix my eyes on the throne of the Father with Jesus at His right hand.

Hebrews 12:1-2 talks about things that help you and encourage you to endure in the race. The great cloud of witnesses cheers you on in the race against the entanglement of sin. Hebrews 11 talks about who is in great cloud of witnesses. They are Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets and many more. They were an example of perseverance and faith. They showed that they had perseverance and that they would not give up even when they were going through a rough time. This encourages me when I go through rough times, that others made it through by faith.

This verse also talks about things that stop me from running the race. One encumbrance is the devil. He temps me and attempts to destroy me.  Another thing that stops me from winning is the sin and encumbrance that surrounds me. It can trip me and make me get off the path to salvation and not finish the race. Today, there are many things that can encumber me like false teachings, guns, and drugs. Most people do not believe in God and do ungodly things that I should not do. They can get me off track from living my life for Jesus.

In this passage Jesus does great things. The most amazing thing is that Jesus dies, and not only that, He does it with joy! He has joy because He is taking away the sins of the world. Jesus rises from the dead and defeats death to save me. Jesus had joy because He saved me!  

He perfected my faith, meaning He paid the price for my sin that I could not pay. To do this, He had to endure opposition from other people who crucified him. After that, He sat down at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. I run the race for the prize, knowing Jesus is the prize.

At the end of my race, I will go to heaven and I will worship the Trinity for the rest of eternity after the second coming. The dead will be raised in their body. Then we will see Jesus seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

My response to all that Jesus has done for me is to love Him, listen to Him, and obey His commandments. Sometimes there are distractions that can get me off the path. In order to avoid this, I have to put aside every sin and encumbrance that surrounds me and keep my eyes on Jesus. If I remember the promise of the Bible and do not forget Jesus, I will not grow weary and I will finish the race.

I know that I am saved by Jesus enduring the cross and shedding His blood to take away my sins. There is nothing I can do nothing to be saved, it is God’s grace alone that saves me. The prize is knowing Jesus for the rest of eternity and living my Christian life in a way pleasing to Jesus. I want to be with Jesus forever; He is the way, the rock, and my salvation.

For more faith papers from the Confirmation Class of 2015, click here.