Hebrews 12

Hebrews 12:1 1 For that reason, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of people who gave evidence of their trust in God, let's get rid of everything that holds us back, the seductive sins that trip us up, and let's keep on running the race placed before us.

Last week we read about the heroes of faith. We read they did great works of faith that pointed to Jesus. They are our witnesses now. We read in the previous chapters that sin is unbelief. Sin is when we try to live by the law. When we are surrounded by teachings at church and by the world, we can easily get entangled to live by works and not by faith.

Hebrews 12:2-3 2 We should keep on looking to Jesus, the one who begins and completes our trust in God. Because of the joy ahead of him Jesus endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God's throne. 3 Think about Jesus who endured such hostility from sinful people so you don't grow tired and become discouraged.

The cure for sin is to fix our eyes on Jesus! Having faith is not a work because he is the one who perfects our faith.

Again a reminder of the definition of faith trusting in the work Jesus did on the cross that took away our shame and guilt.

Hebrews 12:4-11 4 Your resistance so far hasn't cost you blood as you fight against sin. 5 Have you forgotten God's appeal to you when he reasons with you as his children? He says, "My child, don't treat the Lord's discipline lightly, and don't give up when he corrects you either. 6 The Lord disciplines everyone he loves, and he punishes everyone he welcomes as his child." 7 Be patient as you experience God's discipline because he is treating you as his children. What child doesn't experience a father's discipline? 8 If you are not disciplined, (which everyone has experienced), then you are illegitimate and not true children. 9 For if we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we even more be subject to the discipline of our spiritual Father which leads to life? 10 They disciplined us for a short while as they thought appropriate, but God does so for our benefit in order that we can share his holy character. 11 When it happens, all discipline seems painful and not something to be happy about. But later on it produces peace in those who have been trained in this way so that they do what is right.

Discipline of God.

God loves us so much and he doesn't want us to live a life of unbelief, strife, and self-effort. He wants us to live by the spirit; through his power. That's why he disciplines us. He sends us his correction to depend only on him. His discipline is truly a joy; it is not like the human discipline. It is discipline so we trust in him and rely on him.

To the Hebrews, being told of the supremacy of Jesus above the law and the priests was difficult to hear. This is the discipline of God. The whole letter to the Hebrews was to turn them from the old covenant to the new covenant; from the law to grace.

The amplified bible says that God's discipline "yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness" in verse 11. So God's discipline brings peace and righteousness. We know we are righteous by faith. So the discipline is to get us to have faith so that we will be declared righteous by faith and have the peace of assurance that the blood of Jesus has saved us. This is consistent with the whole of Hebrews which repeatedly tells us to look to Jesus and have faith---to rest from our works and trust.

God shares with you his Holy character. Because you cannot make yourself Holy. It is written, without holiness you cannot see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:12-13 12 So strengthen your feeble hands, and your weak knees! 13 Make straight paths to walk on, so that those who are crippled won't lose their way, but will be healed.

It is painful to live under the law by the works of the flesh.

Hebrews 12:14-29 14 Do your best to live in peace with everybody, and look for holiness---if you don't have this you won't see the Lord. 15 Make sure that none of you lack God's grace, in case some cause of bitterness arises to give trouble and end up corrupting many of you. 16 Make sure there's nobody who is sexually immoral, or irreligious, like Esau was. He sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 You remember that even when he wanted to receive the blessing later on he was refused. Even though he really tried, and cried hard, Esau couldn't change what he had done. 18 You haven't arrived at a physical mountain that can be touched, that burned with fire, to a stormy place of black darkness, 19 where the sound of a trumpet and a voice speaking was heard---and those who heard the voice begged never to hear it speak to them again. 20 For they couldn't take what they were told to do, such as, "Even if a farm animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death." 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses himself said, "I'm so scared I'm shaking!" 22 But you have arrived at Mount Zion, the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, with its thousands and thousands of angels. 23 You have come to the church of the firstborn whose names are written down in heaven, to God, the judge of everyone, and to those good people whose lives are complete. 24 You have come to Jesus, who shares with us the new agreed relationship, to the sprinkled blood that means more than that of Abel. 25 Make sure you don't reject the one who is speaking! If they didn't escape when they rejected God on earth, it is even more certain that we won't escape if we turn away from God who warns us from heaven! 26 Back then God's voice shook the earth, but his promise is now: "One more time I'm going to shake not only the earth, but heaven too." 27 This expression, "one more time," indicates that all creation that is shaken is removed so that everything that is not shaken may remain. 28 Since we're receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have a gracious attitude, so we can serve God in a way that pleases him, with reverence and respect. 29 For "our God is a fire that consumes."

(All verses from the Free Bible Version Bible)

Author: Lyall Jonathan Di Trapani 15 Feb 2015