PLUS Resource: 6 Prayers for When You Are Fighting Anxiety

Hebrews 12

SUMMARY.--How to Run the Christian Race. Enduring Affliction. The Lord's Chastisement of Children. The Lesson from the Case of Esau. The Terrors of Sinai Contrasted with the Gospel. Paying Heed to the Gospel.

      14-17. Follow peace with all. Live peaceful lives. And holiness. Pure and sinless lives. Without which no man, etc. Without a holy life no one shall be in fellowship with God. To see the Lord is to realize his presence with us. See Matt. 5:8 . 15. Looking diligently. Being careful that no one lags behind and falls by the way so as not to reach the final reward. Lest any root of bitterness. Any bitter opposition, or element of disturbance causing members to sin. 16. Lest there be any fornicator. Of course such a sinner would not live the life of holiness enjoined. Or profane person. A worldly person who profanes holy privileges by placing on them a worldly estimate. Like Esau. See Gen. 25:27-30 . He illustrates what is meant by a profane person. For a savory meal he bartered away a birthright bestowed by God. So any professing Christian who would sell his heavenly birthright for worldly advantages would be a profane person. 17. When he would have inherited the blessing. See Gen. 27:31-34 . The spiritual blessing that belonged to the birthright was denied to Esau though he wept over the disappointment. No place of repentance. No way to correct the mistake and to secure the blessing. It was too late for this, since he had forfeited his birthright. The apostle holds up his case as a warning example.

      18-21. For ye are not come unto the mount, etc. Ye should be diligent "for," etc. Mount Sinai and the inauguration of the law are described. It was a mountain that could be touched, a mountain of earth. It burned on that occasion with fire. See Exod. 19:12-19 . 19. And the sound of a trumpet ( Exod. 19:16 ). The trumpet blast preceded the giving of the law. The voice of words. The voice of God proclaiming the Ten Commandments. They . . . entreated. Filled with terror at the awful manifestation they entreated that God speak no more directly to them. ( Exod. 20:19 .) 20. For they could not endure. The command and penalty of Exod. 19:12 , added to their terror. 21. Moses said. Even Moses was filled with fearful awe ( Exod. 19:19 ).

      22-24. Ye are come unto Mount Zion. The law was given at Sinai; the Gospel was to go forth from Mount Zion; that is, from Jerusalem. See Ps. 2:6 Joel 2:32 Rev. 21:2 . It is used as a type or symbol of the kingdom of heaven. The heavenly Jerusalem. This heavenly city is where our Lord dwells and is our eternal home. In coming to Christ we have come into the covenant which gives us the right to a place in that city. An innumerable company of angels. The angels of heaven. 23. General assembly and church, etc. The universal church of Christ. The first born son in Israel inherited the birthright, but all the saints have the birthright and hence are called the first born. They are all enrolled, not on earthly registers, but their names are written in heaven. To God the Judge of all, who will inflict judgment in behalf of the persecuted church. The spirits of just men made perfect. To the fellowship of all the sainted dead now perfected above. 24. To Jesus. To fellowship with Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant as Moses was of the Old. To the blood of sprinkling. To Christ's atoning blood by which our hearts are "sprinkled from an evil conscience." That speaketh better things than that of Abel. Abel's blood cried for vengeance; Christ's pleads for mercy.

      25-29. See that ye refuse not. The whole Old Testament shows that those who refused to listen to God's message delivered by men did not escape. How can those escape then who refuse to listen to God's own Son? 26. Whose voice then shook the earth. At Sinai ( Exod. 19:18 ). But now he hath promised. See Haggai 2:6 , which declares the removal of the heavens and earth at Christ's coming. 27. And this word, Yet once more. This means, says the apostle, that there is only one more shaking after the time of Haggai. It is not a material, but moral and spiritual event. It began when Christ came and will continue until all that is temporal or erroneous be removed and only the eternal remains. Among the things removed is the covenant of Sinai. 28. Wherefore we, etc. We Christians have received a kingdom which cannot be shaken and which is eternal. Hence should serve God with reverence and godly fear since we are called to so high an estate. 29. For our God is a consuming fire. Because, while God is very merciful and loving, he will not overlook willful disobedience, but will destroy those who despise his commandments.

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