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Hebrews Chapter 12

So, since the patriarchs and the accounts of men of faith in scripture show a looking forward to promises, Paul writes that every worldly inclination and sin should be put away, in order to please God by "racing" the grace and minstration of God with repentance and obedience to come into eternal life and the fruits of the Spirit more quickly. (v1) In so doing, following the example of Jesus Christ who suffered on the cross knowing the riches of God's promises in eternal life that awaited Him. (v2) Promises of God to the Son in His victory - to sit and judge at the right hand of God, having entered fully into His rest.

Paul writes that note should be taken to strive with the Holy Spirit to obedience through suffering, not to be wearied by suffering to cause oneself to fall away from grace. (v3) For these believers have not yet been obedient to death. (still remaining alive) (v4) As such; suffering is refinement and chastising (v5) - (for we are sinners requiring correction) and by strengthening that which is strong in the believer - the hope in God to become a close Father we turn to in need (v7), God brings into being a stronger believer through adversity. Having a closer Father, we are assured we are His sons (v8).

Our worldly fathers disciplined us in obedience which we obeyed (or may not) - then God should be obeyed more so. Correction by God assures us of eternal life, and suffering tempers that correction to show it holds fast. (v9) In this manner we are mindful of our election when we hold to the true faith through suffering. (v10)

No suffering is enjoyable, but is beneficial when faith is considered. One "cleaves" to God through adversity, (v11) thus becoming stronger in faith to which we are imputed righteousness and peace. (v11) So one should be glad and run this race against grace to strive to be reconciled to God. (v12) Not to be swayed by false doctrine or bad behaviour - having every misconception of God's requirements purged and healed with the truth. (v13)

In all things to all men, Paul encourages them to be blameless, (v14) charitably minding those who are weak in their faith in adversity and helping one another to remain strong in the Holy Spirit and grace. (so as not to break the bands of grace by falling away.)

For if grace corrects with the Holy Spirit, then continuing sinning would entail stronger corrective action of the Spirit, rather than a weaker reconciliation. Such evident contradiction shows that a person is not born again. (v15) Unbelieving and reprobate people within fellowships cause division, and the body of Christ is to remain totally Holy - fellowship in the Spirit with sinners would pollute the faith; (though the body is spiritual and not defined by personal associations.)

Such sinners that break the grace of God have sold their inheritance for a bowl of soup as Esau. Choosing sin over eternal life for instant gratification of the senses is a poor trade indeed. (v16) For breaking the bands of the Holy Spirit and then returning to Christ to be reconciled a second time (when election has been justified beforehand as given, then broken) is to break the sealing of the new covenant - and God is not mocked. (v17)

Believers do not come to the earthly dwelling places of God (v18) at which God spoke and the people were very much frightened (v19) whilst strictly seperated from the personal presence of God. (v20) Even Moses was fearful even though the separation of God from His people existed: But we are come into the actual presence of God without separation and should be also fearful of the power of God to judge. (v22)

We are of the assembly of all believers which dwell in the presence of God (v23) and we are come to Christ who has mediated this covenant of grace under that sealing by God once and for all, better than any sacrifice of the old system and offering of man to God. (v24) We should not refuse the Holy Spirit that speaks to us, for Israel died in the wilderness for their sins and disobedience, (because they were hard of heart) but we are spoken to by God after that grace has been sealed once for all. We will not escape if we neglect this salvation since this salvation is perfected. (v25) If we shame this perfect salvation, then are we totally reprobate? I believe so.

God, whose voice shook the earth to make the Israelites tremble has now spoken to shake everything in earth and heaven (v26) and this is yet to happen, so that only those things that God has secured for us as His people to Christ might remain. (v17) Therefore when all has passed away the kingdom of God will remain, and us with it if we are obedient under the grace we are extended. (v28) We should fear God because there is no middle ground - we shall be holy or consumed in this shaking, for God has said. (v29)


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