The Faith I Live By

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The Race for Eternal Life, December 29

Paradise Restored at Last

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1. FLB 369.1

In the epistle to the Hebrews is pointed out the singlehearted purpose that should characterize the Christian's race for eternal life.... Envy, malice, evilthinking, evilspeaking, covetousness—these are weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully the race for immortality. Every habit or practice that leads into sin and brings dishonor upon Christ, must be put away, whatever the sacrifice. The blessing of heaven cannot attend any man in violating the eternal principles of right. One sin cherished is sufficient to work degradation of character, and to mislead others. FLB 369.2

“If thy hand cause thee to stumble,” the Saviour said, “cut it off: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having thy two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire. And if thy foot cause thee to stumble, cut it off: it is good for thee to enter into life halt, rather than having thy two feet to be cast into hell.” Mark 9:43-45, R.V. If to save the body from death, the foot or the hand should be cut off, or even the eye plucked out, how much more earnest should the Christian be to put away sin, which brings death to the soul! FLB 369.3

The competitors in the ancient games, after they had submitted to self-denial and rigid discipline, were not even then sure of the victory.... FLB 369.4

Such is not the case in the Christian warfare. Not one who complies with the conditions will be disappointed at the end of the race. Not one who is earnest and persevering will fail of success. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. The weakest saint, as well as the strongest, may wear the crown of immortal glory. All may win who, through the power of divine grace, bring their lives into conformity to the will of Christ.68The Acts of the Apostles, 312, 313. FLB 369.5