Bible Reading Outline: Hebrews 12

Encouragement to Endurance in the Life of Faith.

v 1, An Endurance Race – Exhortation to Self-discipline

Encouragement from the past, a pattern established, a great cloud of witnesses.

General – every weight (onkus – bulk, encumbrance),

Specific – the besetting sin of unbelief.

Exhortation to endurance.

Vs 2-4, Exhortation to study the Supreme Example, Jesus, our Lord’s humanity.

v 2, Looking off unto Him will help to free us from sin’s power.

Looking off unto Him will help us to find grace in time of need.

He explored & defined the life of faith;

He reached and realized its perfection. He is The Pattern:

In Motivation, the joy set before Him, His anticipation of glory with the Father.

In Endurance, despising the cross and its shame.

In Triumph, set down … at the throne of God.

v 3, In His example, we are encouraged to ponder what and how He suffered.

It is relevant to their own suffering.

It is the motivation to follow His steps.

v 4, Their comparative sufferings fall far short, they were not unto blood.

Vs 5-11, Exhortation to Submit to Discipline in the School of God as our Father.

v 5, The evidence of Sonship. We should value and respond to it.

Suffering and correction lead to our perfection (1 Pet 5:10,2 Thn 3:16,17).

v 6, The evidence of love and acceptance and the proof of sonship.

v 7, Discipline is the prerogative and responsibility of a father.

v 8, Absence of discipline is a sign of illegitimacy

v 9, Natural fathers gain respect for correction given.

It is the disciplined child who respects his parents.

Our heavenly Father deserves commensurately greater respect.

v 10, Their intentions were good. God’s training is effective and fruitful, and produces holiness.

v 11, All training is difficult and unpleasant in its duration. All training is fruitful in the future (yield, apodidomai, returns, gives back).

Vs 12-17, Exhortation to Adjust our Attitudes

v 12, In relation to ourselves – to be able to encourage others, Foster encouragement to the Lord,

v 13, Avoid extremes and deviations, and be an example.

v 14, In relation to others – follow peace.

In relation to God – live a sanctified life.

Peace and holiness will cause men to feel their need.

Foster right relationships with men as well as with God.

Vs 15-17, Warnings Against Apostasy – to those who were wavering.

v 15, Watchful that others don’t miss salvation,

Watchful that those who turn away don’t poison others.

v 16, Watchful that apostates like Esau don’t influence others.

He chose present sensual satisfaction rather than future blessing.

v 17, Afterward, when he should have had the blessing, he was rejected.

He found no possibility of change.

Vs 18-29, Contrast of Two Covenants & the Choice of One or the Other.

Vs 18-21, The Old Covenant, for those who draw back.

v 18, Mount Sinai – tangible, but terrible.

Burning, blackness, darkness, tempest,

v 19, Trumpets.

A voice that they could not bear to listen to (Exod 20:18-19).

v 20, Commandment threatening judgment.

v 21, Even the mediator, Moses, feared.

Vs 22-24, The New Covenant

v 22, Mount Sinai, the dwelling place of God, the Heavenly Jerusalem,

Heaven, the City whose Builder and Maker is God.

v 23, The general assembly of angels, the glory of angels on display.

Church of the Firstborn – the church,

Written in Heaven, enrolled in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

God the Judge,

Spirits of just men made perfect – OT saints who have reached their goal.

v 24, To Jesus, the Mediator,

Blood of sprinkling – peace and reconciliation – the blood applied.

Speaking better things than the blood of Abel that cried for vengeance.

Vs 25-29, More Warnings about apostasy.

v 25, No escape if the earthly mediator was rejected.

No possibility of escape if the One who speaks from Heaven is rejected.

v 26, Whose voice shook the earth, at Sinai.

The same voice will speak in finality in the Day of God, (2 Peter 3:10-13).

v 27, The Old is shaken and removed, where sin has reigned.

v 28, The New cannot be shaken or removed.

Grace needed to serve reverently, with a dignity that befits our calling, as well as reverential respect for the awesome glory of God.

v 29, “For our God is a consuming fire.”