Memory verses for this week:
116:15 Precious in the
sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
In Chapter 11, we studied about faith.
We started out studying about the definition of faith, and
read about dozens of the saints who stood strong in the Lord by
6 of the chapter taught us that it is impossible to please God
without faith. We
continue on this topic in the beginning of Chapter 12 as we look at
the ultimate example.
Jesus – The Ultimate
Example of Faith and Patience
12:1 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,
12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who
for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the
shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners
against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
reference to ‘so great a cloud of witnesses’ refers back to the
list of the many men and women of faith we just studied in chapter
11. We also have other
Christians that live about us who are a witness to the saving power
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A dedicated, consecrated life lived for the Lord has a great
testimony to the lost in the world, and to us who know Jesus as our
Lord and Savior. Paul
tells us to lay aside every weight and the sin that pulls us down,
and to run the race set before us.
Effective runners don’t come to a track meet weighted down
in combat boots. And you and I need to examine our hearts and if there
is sin in our life, we need to get rid of it.
Sin has a price, and it burdens us and pulls us away from the
Lord. Is there a
sin in your life that hinders you?
Most likely, if we will all be honest, there are areas in
every one of our lives that could be improved upon.
Turning away from the sin and seeking God’s forgiveness is
the beginning of running the race to win.
None of use can run the race set before us effectively if we
are loaded down with burdens and sins.
Maybe you hold something against a fellow Christian or a
family member, and you need to get that cleared up.
Only you know what holds you back.
But until our heart is pure before the Lord, we will never be
effective in the race of life.
is the one we are to look to as our example… he truly is the
author and finisher of our faith.
At the end of Christ’s life, he experienced great joy as he
returned to heaven to be with the Father.
He went to the cross, despised the same, and paid the price
that our sins earned. And today, He sits at the right hand of the Father as
our Great High Priest.
Gill said this about looking to Jesus:
Ver. 2. Looking unto Jesus, the author and
finisher of our faith, Not with
bodily eyes, for at present he is not to be looked upon in this
manner, but with the eye of the understanding, or with the eye of
faith; for faith is a seeing of the Son; it is a spiritual sight of
Christ, which is at first but glimmering, afterwards it increases,
and is of a soul humbling nature; it is marvelous and surprising; it
transforms into the image of Christ, and fills with joy unspeakable,
and full of glory: a believer should be always looking to Christ,
and off of every object, as the word here used signifies.
and God’s People
12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you
as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the
Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every
son whom he receiveth.
hard do we try to withstand sin?
Verse 4 says we have not resisted unto blood striving against
sin. That is so
true. We all need God’s grace to resist sin. We discuss chastisement in the next several verses
beginning with verse 5. Who
is to receive chastisement?
is not for the lost man or woman, but is for the saved Christian.
God’s children are the only ones who are to receive
children do not have to worry about being chastened.
They are doing their father’s will.
But a payment date will be coming one day if they don’t
turn from their sins and accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
Verse 5 tells us to not despise chastening when it comes.
Chastening from God does not mean God has removed his love
from us. Chastening
comes because God really loves us.
3:19 As many as I love,
I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
3:11 My son, despise
not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
3:12 For whom the LORD
loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he
5:17 Behold, happy is
the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the
chastening of the Almighty:
94:12 Blessed is the
man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;
94:13 That thou mayest
give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged
for the wicked.
94:14 For the LORD will
not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
94:15 But judgment
shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall
Barnes in Barnes Notes on the New Testament said this about verse 6:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth—This
is also a quotation from Proverbs 3. It means that it is a universal
rule that God sends trials on those whom he truly loves. It does
not, of course, mean that he sends chastisement which is not
deserved; or that he sends it “for the mere purpose” of
inflicting pain. That cannot be. But it means that by his
chastisements he shows that he has a paternal care for us. He does
not treat us with neglect and unconcern, as a father often does his
illegitimate child. The very fact that he corrects us shows that he
has toward us a father’s feelings, and exercises toward us a
paternal care. If he did not, he would let us go on without any
attention, and leave us to pursue a course of sin that would involve
us in ruin. To restrain and govern a child; to correct him when he
errs, shows that there is a parental solicitude for him, and that he
is not an outcast. And as there is in the life of every child of God
something that deserves correction, it happens that it is
universally true that “whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.”
12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons;
for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers,
then are ye bastards, and not sons.
12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected
us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in
subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own
pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his
12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but
grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
should never despise chastening because it is one of the ways God
uses to mature us spiritually.
Look back at all the good times in your life.
Now think about all the bad times.
In which time did you learn the most spiritually? Of course it was when you went through the bad times.
We have to look to the Lord in the tough times.
So chastisement is good and proves to us that we really are a
saved son of God. Chastisement causes us to be drawn closer to God.
I remember as a child being corrected by my dad, and it hurt.
But looking back, I now know he did it for my own good.
If you are living in sin and are not being chastised, you’d
sure better check your salvation.
According to the bible, it says that God chastises those whom
for the Child of God
12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble
12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is
lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
tells the mature Christian to help the weak Christian.
6:1 Brethren, if a man
be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one
in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be
6:2 Bear ye one
another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Adam Clarkes Commentary on the New Testament
Wherefore lift up the hands—The
apostle refers to Isaiah 35:3. The words are an address to persons
almost worn out with sickness and fatigue, whose hands hang down,
whose knees shake, and who are totally discouraged. These are
exhorted to exert themselves, and take courage, with the assurance
that they shall
infallibly conquer if they persevere.
we fail to live a separated life for God, many times it hinders us
and our testimony is damaged.
We are not effective and it hurts us in trying to reach the
12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man
shall see the Lord:
desire for us to seek after peace with all men. I have learned that when we live peaceably, we avoid
much trouble in this life.
And we can eliminate a lot of controversy and hard feelings
by using soft answers.
15:1 A soft answer
turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
15:2 The tongue of the
wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out
15:3 The eyes of the
LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
15:4 A wholesome tongue
is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the
12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby
many be defiled;
is important to realize who is hurt when we are troubled and have a
root of bitterness in us… we are the ones hurt.
Vernon McGee said this about verse 15.
diligently” has in it the thought of direction.
And what is that direction? “Looking unto Jesus the author and
finisher of our faith …” (Heb. 12:2).
any man fail of the grace of God.” The word here for “fail” is
not apostasy—this is not speaking of the danger of apostatizing.
It means simply to fall back. In other words, a believer must keep
his eyes on the Lord Jesus, not on men. If he doesn’t keep his
eyes on Him, he is apt to get to the place where he does not avail
himself of the grace of God.
God has a tremendous reservoir of grace, and He wants to lavish it
upon His children. He is prepared to do that, and He is able to do
that. Christ paid the penalty for our sins, and God is rich in
mercy, rich in grace, and He wants to expend it upon us. The problem
is that many of us do not avail ourselves of His grace. But you see,
we are talking here about reality—something that you can go to God
for and lay hold of it. That is the glory of it all, and that is the
message of this epistle. Have you gone to Him today, my Christian
friend? Have you talked to Him—yes, reverently, but really talked
to Him like He is your Father? Tell Him about yourself. Tell Him you
need grace. We all need grace and it is available, but we’ve got
to apply for it. We need to ask Him for it. Do not fail of the grace
any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be
defiled.” One critical, ugly saint in a church can stir up more
trouble than you can possibly imagine, just like one rotten apple in
a barrel spoils all the others. We need to ask God for grace to
endure whatever we are going through, and not become bitter toward
any one or toward any circumstances.
12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who
for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited
the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance,
though he sought it carefully with tears.
was in line for the birthright.
But because of being a person in control, he sold away his
birthright to obtain food and lost the birthright.
He lost the wonderful blessings by his own choice.
It appears that Esau had gone so far that he could not find a
place of repentance. If
a person can not repent, then very bad results follow.
A person who willfully sins after receiving the truth is in
danger of God’s judgment upon his life.
When the Holy Spirit moves on our heart, we need to respond
right then. There
may come a day when God will no longer call.
103:8 The LORD is
merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
103:9 He will not
always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
8:13 For if ye live
after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do
mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
8:14 For as many as are
led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
10:26 For if we sin
wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth,
there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
10:27 But a certain
fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall
devour the adversaries.
6:8 For he that soweth
to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth
to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Sinai and the Heavenly Jerusalem
12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and
that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and
12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which
voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken
to them any more:
12:20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if
so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust
through with a dart:
Heb 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly
fear and quake:)
was wandering in the desert near Mt. Sinai when the law was given.
The chosen nation of God stood in the presence of God without
having Christ to intervene for them.
Thank God that Jesus stands as our mediator today between us
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the
living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of
12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which
are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the
spirits of just men made perfect,
12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the
blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel
God that we in the New Testament times do not stand at Mt. Sinai
without one to take up and defend us.
We have come unto the Holy Jerusalem.
what all is gathered at the heavenly Jerusalem:
An innumerable company of angels.
The church of the first born.
(The New Testament church which is the Bride of Christ.)
God -- The Judge of all.
The Spirits of just men made perfect.
(Old Testament Saints… these are not in the church which
make up the bride)
Jesus – The Mediator of the covenant.
and Old Testament saints are not in the church which means they are
not in the bride of Jesus Christ.
12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped
not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we
escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
is a somber verse to remind us that we had better listen to God when
he speaks to us. And
how does He speak today? Through
the written Word, the Bible, and the guiding of the Holy Spirit.
If Israel did not escape when they disobeyed the law, neither
will we if we forsake the New Testament law.
12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised,
saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of
those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those
things which cannot be shaken may remain.
12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let
us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence
and godly fear:
12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.
shook the earth once and He will shake it again in the future at the
close of this age. We
may have an earth that is unstable, but we have a kingdom in Christ
that is solid and can not be moved.
When Jesus is your foundation, you are truly on the rock that
can not be shaken. The
nation of Israel received a material kingdom which was moved because
of their sins. But
with Jesus, we are not going to be shaken.
Cor 3:10 According to
the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I
have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let
every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
Cor 3:11 For other
foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
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