Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)

12 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,

Back in 1983 I was stationed at Osan AB, ROK and I was a Martial Arts (Tang Soo D0) Instructor. I was about to test for my 2nd Dan and at the same time God was dealing with me about preaching and teaching. I was a Deacon at the time and I was content being a Deacon, my family is filled with Deacons, 4 of my uncles were Deacons so I felt like I was in the right place spiritually. I visited the sick and I taught Bible Study and Sunday School…yet God required MORE. I heard a preacher the night before I had to test for my 2nd Degree Black Belt preach Hebrews 12:1…and the Title of the Sermon was “Lose weight and Gain Jesus”. This sermon changed my life forever. That night I realized my love for Martial Arts had become a weight that was keeping me from fulfilling my calling and destiny. After the service I didn’t sleep all night because I KNEW I had to tell my Master I was no longer going to be an Instructor and I would no longer be seeking 2nd Dan. I was angry and disappointed but after I told him I felt relieved. It was about 3 weeks after that I met a Pastor that needed me to help him start the first COGIC in the ROK. From then on my life has never been the same. What weight do YOU have to lose in order to fulfill YOUR calling and destiny?

Rev.Dr. Mark H. Stevens

In Hebrews 12:1, the following are the Greek definitions of every word that has a significant meaning.

Wherefore means consequently
Also means cumulative force
Compassed (about) means to lie all around, encircle, or enclose
So (great) means so vast as this, large, so great, so many
Witness means a witness (literally [judicially] or figuratively [generally]); by analogy a “martyr”:—martyr, record, witness.

Lay (aside) means to put away (literally or figuratively):—cast off, lay apart (aside, down), put away (off).
Every means all, any, every, the whole:—all (manner of, means)
Weight means a mass (as bending or bulging by its load), that is, burden (hindrance):—weight.
Sin means offense
Beset means well standing around, that is, (a competitor) thwarting (a racer) in every direction (figuratively of sin in general):—which doth so easily beset.
Run means to run or walk hastily (literally or figuratively):—have course, run.
Patience means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:—enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).
Race means contention, fight, and contest

Set (before) means to lie before the view, that is, (figuratively) to be present (to the mind), to stand forth (as an example or reward):—be first, set before (forth).

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses

Putting all of this together we get, “Consequently we (the cumulative force) should observe that we are surrounded (encircled) and together with (enclosed) so many other legal witnesses. So many great witnesses who can judicially testify to the fact that the upcoming statements are true. Why are these people called witnesses and why is this considered a judicial matter? Sin is a transgression of the law, and the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Legally, Satan could have claimed every soul as we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

But Thanks b e to God who gave us a gift called Jesus Christ, who literally paid the penalty for our sins. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23). These witnesses are those who went on before