HEBREWS CHAPTER 12

I) [Heb 12:1]:

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.

XIV) [Heb 12:14]:

"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord."

A) MAKING AN EFFORT TO BE HOLY IN ORDER TO SEE THE LORD, I.E., HAVE ETERNAL LIFE IS NOT IN VIEW - THE GRACE PROVISION THROUGH THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST OF THAT HOLINESS IN ORDER TO SEE THE LORD IS

(v. 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.

[Notice that believers, (v. 7), are in view who are exhorted to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" in a "race marked out for us" [= believers, not unbelievers] in view of the example of the great cloud of faithful witnesses of past, OT, saints.]

(v. 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.

[Notice that Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of our faith implying believers have a secure eternal destiny]

(v. 3) Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

[Believers are also exhorted to fix their eyes on Jesus' example of faithfulness. Notice that our Lord's faithfulness was not in order to receive eternal life, but the reward of sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God. And so it is with believers]

(v. 4) In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

[Notice that believers are reminded of not sufficiently resisting sin - "to the point of shedding blood" Interesting to note here, that this could hardly be a requirement to secure eternal life and see the Lord, (v. 14), namely to resist sin to the point of shedding ones blood in order to see the Lord and have eternal life. Scripture no where supports the doctrine that only martyrs who shed their blood go to heaven]

(v. 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,

(v. 6) because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.'

[Notice that this passage is addressing those in the family of God relative to disciplining them for disobedience. Again, the context does not harmonize with the subject of salvation unto eternal life, as if to say that God would send members of His family to the Lake of Fire as the final result of discipline for disobedience, especially since the context so far indicates that no one in the family of God will avoid being unfaithful nor escape being disciplined for being unfaithful]

(v. 7) Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

(v. 8) If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

[Notice that children of God are being addressed in this passage and are viewed as being disciplined - all believers - obviously for unfaithfulness, i.e., sinful behavior. Evidently all believers are in need of being disciplined from God at times throughout their mortal lives. Hence no believer is viewed as sufficiently holy on his own auspices to result in seeing the Lord, i.e., having eternal life. There is a confidence of God's child of remaining His child for eternity here]

(v. 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!

[The word "live" evidently refers to the preservation of ones physical life as opposed to the reception of eternal life, given that submission to discipline for unfaithfulness could hardly be the requirement for the reception of eternal life. Notice that submitting to the Father's discipline results in the preservation of the child of God's physical life. Eternal life cannot be in view, for it cannot be received due to a sinful child of God's submission to discipline for sinning. That hardly results in holiness - being submissive to being punished for committing sins! Hence the word 'live' here refers to the physical life, the preservation of it by submitting and not resisting the discipline of God in ones life for doing wrong]

(v. 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.

[Notice that discipline for a little while results in sharing in the Holiness of God in some manner - another assurance that children of God will be holy as God is Holy, but certainly not on the child of God's own auspices]

(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.

[Notice that God's discipline is so that believers may share in His holiness. Thus holiness is brought about in some manner through God's discipline of believers who have sinned rather than through efforts of believers themselves to be holy. In view is a "harvest of righteousness" that God provides the believer, His child, for submitting to the discipline, rather than through the efforts of the believer to be holy on his own auspices. The child of God can hardly be viewed as acceptably holy under his own auspices so that he can see the Lord unto eternal life considering the fact that God is constantly having to discipline his children for doing wrong, i.e., sinning]

(v. 12) Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.

(v. 13) 'Make level paths for your feet,' so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed."

[So believers are encouraged to strengthen their feeble arms and weak knees as they undergo God's discipline and be healed of unholiness in some manner.

The phrase 'Make level paths for [their] feet,' so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather be healed,' refers to the context of Pr 4:26 and has the intended meaning of telling believers to take care of fellow believers who have a problem with sinfulness by enabling them to be more faithful]

(v. 14) "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord."

[Verse 14 then summarizes the first 13 verses exhorting children of God to "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy" with the reminder that "without holiness no one will see the Lord."

In view of the context of chapter 12 so far, the last phrase of verse 12:14, "without holiness no one will see the Lord" cannot be saying that one must live a holy life sufficient to earn the right to "see the Lord," i.e., have eternal life. It has already been shown that believers for the most part are under God's discipline for unholy behavior and through that discipline God provides a share of His holiness in some manner, evidently as a gift.

Furthermore, all believers when they go to be with the Lord will be provided with God's holiness and righteousness in order to see the Lord, (1 Jn 3:2). This does not depend upon the behavior of the believer but is provided by the grace of God as a free gift. The thought of this should provide strong motivation for the child of God to pursue God's holiness, and accept His discipline.

A number of times in history, a king has died leaving the throne to be occupied by a young son when he reaches maturity. In the meantime, guardians typically were appointed to train the young son to become king until he reached the appointed age when he would be coronated and then given the authority of king. In the meantime the young boy was trained and exhorted to act with the authority of a king. He was often motivated by his tutors telling him, 'You are going to be given the authority to rule over your country as king; so learn to act with proper kingly authority; without authority given to you when you reach maturity, you would not be king." Notice that the young boy would assume the authority to rule as king at the appointed time regardless of how he responded to the guardians' training because of his birthright, not because of his behavior. But he was to keep in mind his future stature and authority and discipline himself to learn to act with proper kingly authority until that time.

In the same way individuals become God's children who are inevitably destined by the grace of God to be holy and see the Lord at the appointed time as a result of God's plan, not man's doing. In the meantime, they are being trained - discipline being evidence of this, (vv. 12:4-11), - and exhorted to "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord" as a motivation to make an effort to be holy]

1) [Compare Heb 13:1-12]:

(v. 13:1) "Keep on loving each other as brothers.

(v. 13:2) Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

(v. 13:3) Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

(v. 13:4) Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

(v. 13:5) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'

(v. 13:6) So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'

(v. 13:7) Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

(v. 13:8) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

(v. 13:9) Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.

[These nine verses are specific stipulations for the goal of believers to live a holy life. Yet in the final analysis the holiness, i.e., sanctification comes from Jesus Christ and what He did at Calvary]:

(v. 13:10) We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

(v. 13:11) The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp.

(v. 13:12) And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood."

[Notice that Jesus Christ suffered on the cross and through His shed blood, will come the holiness which people will receive - through His work not theirs]