Hebrews – Chapter 12

Hebrews 12:1-29 from the Commentary in Translation Version

(1)  Therefore, let us also keep running our race which is set before us with perseverance, having put away every weight and the sin that readily entangles, seeing that we, yes we,  have lying about us a vast mass of witnesses,

Encouragement against apostasy includes the veiled warning against stopping our race to the Crown of Life. If that that have gone on before (Chapter 11) can resist profaning God, even to the point of death, then we have no excuse.

(2)  Fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the founder and perfector of the faith, who to obtain the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(3)  For consider him that endured such hostility at the hands of sinners against himself, less you grow wearied and grow faint in your souls.
(4)  You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood, striving against sin.

Christ was not disobedient, and if He was obedient even to death, then we can do no less.

(5)  And you have completely forgotten the encouragement which reasons with you as children, saying: My son, stop thinking lightly of the correction of the LORD, and stop becoming discouraged when being admonished by him.
(6)  For whom the LORD loves, he corrects, and he punished every son whom he accepts.
(7)  It is for correction that you endure. God deals with you as with sons, for what son is there whom a father does not correct?
(8)  But if you without the correct of which we all share, then you are fatherless children and not sons.
(9)  Furthermore, we have had earthly fathers who corrected us, and we gave them respect; would we not rather be subject to the Father of our spirits and live?
(10)  For they, yes they, indeed were correcting us for a short while in what seemed good to them; however, God corrects for our advantage, to share of his holiness.
(11)  Now indeed, no present correction seems joyfull, but painful! Yet afterwards it yields the fruit of righteousness that is a quite heart to those who have been exercised by it.
(12)  For this reason, brace up the hands that hang down and the feebled knees,
(13)  And make straight paths for your feet, so that the lame limb will not be dislocated, but rather healed.
(14)  Pursue peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord,
(15)  Looking after one another less anyone fall back from the grace of God – unless any bitter root spring up trouble you, causing the many to be defiled,
(16)  Lest anyone be a fornicator or a profane person like Esau, who for one piece of meat sold his birthright.
(17)  For you know how that later on, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected, for he could find no way for repentence, although he pleaded with tears.

The threat of Esau is not hollow, or hypothetical, but real. Esau sold his birthright, which was the promise of Abraham, which is Christ and His Church. The same may be said of the person who has Christ but for acceptance by this world tramples the blood of the Covenant and therefore rebells against God.

(18)  For you have not come up  to the mount that is touchable, and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and whirlwind
(19)  And the sound of a trumpet, and the sound of words, which voice they that heard, begged that no more words should be added.
(20)  (For they could were not bearing that which was commanded, and even if an animal were to touch it, it was to be stoned, or thrust through with an arrow)
(21)  And so awesome was the sight that Moses said: I am terrified and trembling)
(22)  But you, yes you!, have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the numberless multitude of angels in joyful assembly,
(23)  And to the church of the firstborn, who are recorded in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
(24)  And to the Mediator of the new covenant – Jesus, and to the sprinkling of bloos, that speaks better things than Abel.
(25)  See that you do not refuse him that speaks. For if they who refused him that spoke on earth didn’t escape, shall we then escape if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven?
(26)  Whose voice then shook the earth, but now he has promised, saying: Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

Is it possible to turn away from God? This writer says that it is and further says that if we do, we cannot escape. But who is he talking to? Sinners? Or Christians. Throughout the letter, and indeed, every book written after Acts, the audience is the Church.

(27)  And this word: Yet once more, clearly shows the removal of the things shaken, as of things having been created, so that he things not being shaken shall remain.
(28)  For this reason, since we receive an unshakable kingdom, let us have grace, through which we may acceptably sacred serve God with reverence and godly fear.
(29)  For our God is a consuming fire.

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