Hebrews Chapter 12

February 6, 2014

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Hebrews. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Hebrews 11 contained a list of the heroes of the faith. People who had demonstrated a life of faith in many different situations and circumstances. The recipients of the letter could look at the testimony of their lives and now the writer will point them to Jesus as the ultimate example of a life of faith that contained the suffering of the cross and yet ended up at the right hand of the Father.

The testimony of the Old Testament heroes and of Jesus encourages us to set aside any hindrance that gets in the way of following Jesus. Nothing that the persecuted Jewish believers were going through compared to what Jesus had dome for them.

Hebrews 12:1-29 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 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. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. 14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 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. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears. 18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 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, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 12:1-4

Following Jesus is all about living by trying to do the next right thing. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to make choices for God, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and running the race that He has marked out for us.

Hebrews 12:5-13

God is committed to us as a loving Father who disciplines His children.

Who loves their child more, the parent who lets them do whatever they want, or the parent who corrects and guides their child to do the next right thing.

Being corrected and disciplined by God is not pleasant, but it is a display of His amazing love for us. He wants to teach us to grow to live by doing the next right thing.

Sowing and reaping. If you sow foolishness you will often reap difficulties. It is to help you to learn to stop sowing foolishness.

How you respond makes all the difference. You can be angry, or have a pity party, or you can realize that God loves us so much that He wants us to live rightly.

Hebrews 12:14-29

Our God is a consuming fire…

The writer of Hebrews promises that God will help us to live by trying to do the next right thing. At times it may seem difficult, but even Jesus had a difficult path. The consuming fire of God that sears the universe merely warms God’s children. As we are warmed by His love we are able to move through the difficulties in life and experience the full and abundant now and forever life that Jesus came to bring.

We have the promises of the unshakeable Kingdom of God. Everything here will one day be shaken away, but the Kingdom of God cannot be shaken. Build your life on the Kingdom and not on what can be shaken away.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful,

And be thankful, where have you heard that before?

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