Saturday, 20 October 2012

Hebrews 12

Here's how the study works: Read the chapter mentioned in the heading several times during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for a chapter creates the opportunity to reread it several times and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people's insights.


Susan said...

v.1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,

My commentary (Constable) tells me that “the word ‘witness’ does not imply a spectator” but rather that their lives bare witness to their faith. We have many “heroes of the faith” in chapter 11 who have given us examples and models of how to trust God in difficult circumstances.

Susan said...

v.1 let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us

The Christian life is not a sprint. It is a marathon.

Susan said...

v.2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus was motivated by his reward.

Susan said...

v.7-8 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.

(From Constable Commentary)"The ancient world found it incomprehensible that a father could possibly love his child and not punish him. In fact, a real son would draw more discipline than, say, an illegitimate child for the precise reason that greater honor and responsibility were to be his. (Since in Roman culture illegitimate children did not inherit.)

This probably explains why committed Christians seem to experience more difficulties than non-committed Christians. This is observable clearly in countries of the world where Christians are being persecuted. Christians in those countries who seek to remain faithful to the Lord draw more persecution than Christians who compromise. God is preparing committed Christians for greater honor and responsibility in the future."

Susan said...

v.28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

Here the motivation is gratitude.

Both reward and gratitude are Biblical motivations.

Susan said...

v.11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Discipline produces righteousness and peace if we let it.

Susan said...

v.16-17 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.

In that culture being the first born was an important privilege. The first born inherited a double portion, he was priest of the family and he was second in charge of the household.

(From Constable’s Commentary) "True Christians fully parallel the description of Esau. We are children of God and we are firstborn sons. Because of that we possess the rights of the firstborn. We do not have to earn these rights. They are given to us through the grace of God. However, we must value and keep these rights and are warned by Esau's example regarding the possibility of not doing so. But even though we cannot forfeit eternal life, we can forfeit our firstborn rights."

Susan said...

v.23-24. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

Abel's blood cried out for justice. “The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10).

Whereas Jesus’ blood cries out to God for mercy and forgiveness, therefore, it speaks a “better word”.

Susan said...

v.28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken

(From Constable’s Commentary) "This, I think, is the key message of Hebrews: 'You can be
secure while everything around you is falling apart!'"