Hebrews 12

Hebrews 12:1-13 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. 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. 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. 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.

Hebrews 12:14 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.

We are not holy by our works. We are made holy by God through faith in Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says it is Jesus who makes us holy. Hebrews 10:9-10 says we are made holy through the new covenant (the work of Jesus) once and for all time. So the work of Jesus makes us holy, and it is effective for all eternity. There is nothing that we can add to our holiness.

1 Corinthians 1:30 It's because of him that you live in Christ Jesus, who God made to be wisdom for us. He sets us right, keeps us right, and frees us.

1 Hebrews 10:9-10 9 Then he said, "See, I've come to do what you want." He gets rid of the first agreement so he can set up the second, 10 through which we all are made holy through Jesus Christ offering his body once and for all time.

Hebrews 12:15 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.

He is not saying, make sure you don't lack works. He says, make sure you don't lack grace. Grace is God's undeserved favor. Bitterness comes from living under the law instead of living under grace. It comes from relying on your flesh to provide instead of relying on God's spirit to provide. Many Christians are fearful and believe sin is what causes corruption. They are always afraid of the world's sinful influence on them. But it is living under the law instead of receiving God's grace that leads to corruption. Sinful actions are just a fruit of the bitterness of being under the law.

In Galatians 5:4 we can clearly see that if you are not living by grace, then you are under the law. Falling from grace means trying to be right/righteous by doing the works of the law.

Galatians 5:4 4 Those of you who think you can be made right by the law are cut off from Christ---you have abandoned grace.

Galatians 5:4 Amplified 4 If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God's gracious favor and unmerited blessing).

Hebrews 12:16 16 Make sure there's nobody who is sexually immoral, or irreligious, like Esau was. He sold his birthright for a single meal.

Sexually immorality and godlessness comes from living under the law. If you want to be free from that sinfulness, you must receive God's grace. It is by faith in Jesus that you are made right with God.

Hebrews 12:17 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.

Don't trade your birth right as a child of God for the fruit of the works of your flesh under the law. When you are busy working in your flesh, you miss out on God's grace; you miss out on your spiritual birthright. That is when you become godless and profane in God's eyes.

John 1:12 Amplified 12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name--

Hebrews 12:18-21 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!"

This is referring to Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai is where God gave the Israelites the old covenant through Moses to include the 10 commandments. Hebrews is saying, this is no longer your relationship with God. You are no longer in a relationship of fear. Those days are over.

Hebrews 12:22-23 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.

Hebrews is comparing Mount Sinai with Mount Zion. Mount Sinai represents the old covenant and Mount Zion represents the new covenant. You are under the new covenant because you believe and trust that Jesus made you right.

The old covenant bring a spirit of slavery and fear, but the new covenant brings a spirit of sonship. You are a child of God under the new covenant thanks to the work of Jesus.

Notice that God's city is in Zion not Sinai. Notice that Sinai is a place of darkness.

The "good" people in God's city are good by faith in Jesus, not by works. Remember that.

Hebrews 12:24 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.

If you want to be with Jesus, you must come to mount Zion, not Sinai. You must live under the new covenant, not the old covenant. You must live by faith, not by works.

Hebrews 12:25 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!

The new covenant is even more important than the old covenant and brings with it an even weightier consequence to those who ignore it.

Your effort to obey the law through the works of your flesh is worthless to God. Actually, it is disobedience to the faith. Let go of your self righteousness and take hold of Jesus' righteousness by faith.

Hebrews 12:25-29 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."

Remember, it is impossible to please God without faith. When you have faith, you are receiving grace. When you receive God's grace, you are serving God. That is the service God requires of you, to believe in the one whom He sent---Jesus the son of God.

John 6:28-29 28 So they asked him, "What do we have to do in order to do what God wants?" 29 Jesus replied, "What God wants you to do is to trust in the one he sent."

(All verses from the Free Bible Version Bible)

Author: Lyall Jonathan Di Trapani 21 Feb 2015