Summary: It was a “New Day” for the Hebrew Christian!
Review of Chapter 11 – the “Hall of Faith”
A. The Hebrew Christian was a direct descendant of the great men and women of great faith
B. Direct result of anyone that ever represented the holiness and righteousness of God in the Old Testament.
C. Awesome blessings (of teachings, ethics and spiritual values)
D. Awesome responsibility (not to shame their forefathers)
E. Awesome accountability (to minister to others)
F. They should never discount, or take for granted, or ever forget the goodness of God that had been passed down to them.
G. These Hebrew converts had more going for them (spiritually) than anyone else in the world.
H. Great heritage and great lineage
But something was missing in these blessed saints of God.
Text: Hebrews 12:1 thru 3
It was a “New Day” for the Hebrew Christian!
God was telling them it was time to:
A. Throw off those things that so easily distracted them from the true cause of Christ.
B. Pursue their new destiny in Christ with perseverance
C. Fix their eyes (focus) on Jesus Christ exclusively
D. Consider the sufferings of Christ at the cross of Calvary
This was quite a wake up call to the Christian Jew.
Likewise this is a wake up call to us. It is a “New Day” for us.
Why were these things important for them to realize?
A. The legalism of the Jewish law was no longer necessary
B. They were well grounded in the foundation of the Lord
C. Many of the New Jewish Believers were discouraged and getting ready to give up on their new found faith
D. The stories of persecution were frightening them
E. Being sold out to Christ required more discipline and faithfulness (on their part) than they had realized
F. Being religious was much easier than being faithful (and, being told how to live)
G. They were use to the priest being the only one who had to make sacrifices for God. Why should they have to suffer?
H. Being a traditional and religious person meant pretty much always having it your way
For the first time, these folks were faced with what they thought were “hardships”.
This letter was written without commas, paragraphs or chapters.
A. Chapter 11 was a reminder of the great things of God
B. Chapter 12:1 thru 3 was a pep talk that would help them motivate them to faithful in living for Christ
C. Chapter 12:4 thru 10 came as a strong word of caution on how the Lord deals with His children.
There was a false doctrine the Hebrew believer had bought into.
A. Being a follower of King Jesus would make things easier.
B. There wasn’t going to be hardships or struggles anymore.
C. The word “grow weary” in verse 3 referred to those who would be beaten for the sake of the Gospel.
D. The word “lose heart” referred to those who would fall away from (backslide) the Lord because the Christian put new demands on their life.
Sometimes, as believers, we expect things to go easy for us.
That is why the next few verses were written for us living today.
Read verses 4 thru 11.
This is the side of Christianity that you might not ever read about down at the Bible Book store. You may never attend a Christian conference entitled, “The Blessings of God’s Hardships”.
That kind of teaching probably won’t attract or lure the un-churched person to be a part of a local fellowship.
The Truth we find in this passage is that God will discipline you and He will even punish “everyone He accepts as a son.”
If you are not accepting the discipline He brings to your life, you are not one of His children. You are illegitimate.
Why would God be so harsh to us? All discipline is painful.
Why would He expect us to “endure discipline”?
A. That we may “share in His holiness”.
B. That we might “produce a harvest of righteousness and peace”
The fact is we know that the Lord has been:
A. Calling us to deeper level of holiness. We have sensed it, and here He has shown us how He chooses to do this.
B. Wanting us to live in His righteousness, and not ours.
C. Trying to bring His peace to our lives and our homes.
Many of us have had to face many difficulties in our lives, and we kept asking ourselves, and God, “Why”.
You once prayed that God would become more meaningful to you and that He would use you in greater ways.
And then (like the Hebrew Christian) He did something to you that you didn’t expect.
He brought you “hardships”, disappointments and difficulties.
You don’t like what He is doing to you, and you may want to “grow weary and lose heart”.