Hebrews Chapter 12 Second Continued
Hebrews 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;”
“Looking diligently”: Believers are to watch their own lives, so as to give a testimony of peace and holiness, as well as to look out for and help those in their midst who are in need of salvation.
“Fail of the grace of God”: This means to come too late and be left out. Here is another mention of the intellectually convinced Jews in that assembly, who knew the gospel and were enamored with Christ, but still stood on the edge of apostasy.
“Root of bitterness”: This is the attitude of apostates within the church who are corruptive influences (Deut. 29:18).
“Root of bitterness” accurately portrays the nature of bitterness. First it is hidden but when it is discovered its noxious roots have spread and it springs up as something much bigger and more destructive (Deut. 29:18).
We are told to not let the sun go down on our wrath. We are also told to forgive. Even part of the Lord’s Prayer says Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. It is even dangerous to take communion if we are bitter toward any one.
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.” “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” “For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”
Jude 1:20-21 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,” “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Verses 16-17: “Profane person”: This profanity (Greek bebelos), involves far more than one’s speech; it is a quality of one’s life. The author sees this quality exemplified in Esau, even though Esau was not a vile man. In fact, he was less of a crook than his brother Jacob. The author accurately focuses on the one area that revealed Esau as profane, the selling of his birthright.
To “profane” is to regard something as unhallowed, to treat something sacred as common. Being totally concerned with his temporary and material needs, Esau gave them priority over his rights as the firstborn son and his responsibilities as heir to the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 25:29-34).
The result in Esau’s life was that “afterward”, when he wanted the blessing, he was “rejected”. He repented with tears, but the situation was irrevocable.
Verses 16-17 (See Gen. 25:29-34 and 27:1-39). Esau desired God’s blessings, but he did not want God. He regretted what he had done, but he did not repent. Esau is an example of those who willfully sin against God and who are given no second chance because of their exposure to the truth and their advanced state of hardness (6:6; 10:26). Esau was an example of the “godless” person.
Hebrews 12:16 “Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.”
“Fornicator”: This refers to the sexually immoral in general. Apostasy is often closely linked with immorality (2 Pet. 2:10, 14, 18; Jude 8, 16, 18).
We spoke of this in a previous lesson, how we have been adopted into the family of God. If we walk away from God, and go back into the sinful way of life, it is as if we have no respect for our birthright in Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:4-7 “That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor;” “Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:” “That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.” “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”
Hebrews 12:17 “For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
This again, has to do with those who have the gift of salvation, and have walked in the Light of God. If a person has been adopted in to the family of God and then turns away from God it would be like crucifying Jesus all over again. Salvation is a daily walk. It is not something we take on and off as we please.
Luke 13:24-27 “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” “When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:” “Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.” “But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”
God will help us if we try to live for Him, but if we turn away from Him after we have been saved, (or think we have been saved), and turn back to a life of sin again, we will separate our self from Him. Then this will be the time to reexamine yourself as you were probably never saved in the first place. The solution would be to repent and ask Jesus for forgiveness and to follow His commandments faithfully (John 14:15).
Verses 18-29: These verses contain the fifth and final warning passage of Hebrews (see 2:1-4). In each of these passages a particular area of danger is revealed. Like the second warning (3:7 – 4:13), the fifth begins by exhibiting Israel’s failures and disobedience while journeying to the Promised Land.
In the second, Israel’s sin was unbelief concerning God’s promise to care for them. In the fifth, their sin is the refusal to hear God’s warning at Sinai, (verses 25-27 contain the heart of this warning). The danger lies in refusing to hear the warning of Him who speaks from heaven, for if those at Mount Sinai did not escape God’s wrath “much more shall not we escape”.
One may escape God’s warnings now, but “once more” at Christ’s second coming, God will shake the earth and no one will escape (Isa. 3:1-8; Joel 3:14-16; Matt. 24:27-30; Rev. 16:16-21).
Verses 18-29: The writer proceeds to give an exposition based upon Israel’s encounter with God at Mt. Sinai (see Exodus, chapters 19 – 20; Deut. 4:10-24).
Hebrews 12:18 “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,”
Exodus 19:12-13 “And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, [that ye] go [not] up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:” “There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether [it be] beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.”
It was then and it is now, certain death to try to reach God the Father by any other plan than the plan He has provided for us. The way to God the Father is by His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is the door to heaven that we must pass through. We are not acceptable to God the Father until we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ).
Romans 14:18 “For he that in these things serveth Christ [is] acceptable to God, and approved of men.”
1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
We are acceptable to the Father, because we have taken on the righteousness of Christ.
Philippians 3:9 “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
Hebrews 12:19 “And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which [voice] they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:”
Exodus 19:16 “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that [was] in the camp trembled.”
Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. They did not understand what they saw and heard, but they knew it was far greater than anyone they had ever encountered. This is when they asked Moses to speak to God for them, and then bring the message to them.
The strange thing to me is after this loud voice from this mountain (that sounded like a trumpet), spoke the 10 commandments, they still made the golden calf. Why did they not heed this voice that they were so afraid of? One of the first things He told them was not to make a graven image.
They had heard the voice of God, and then made the golden calf and worshipped it. When Jesus comes back for the Christians, the trumpet will blow and the voice of the Word will call to the believers. Jesus is the Word.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”
Hebrews 12:20 “(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:”
(Quoted from Exodus 19:12-13; 20:19; Deut. 5:23-24).
Their regard for the commandments of God was not what it should have been.
Romans 3:19-20 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that very mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.”
There was no possible way that they could keep the law. They did not even understand why they were doing these things, so even if they did keep the letter of the law, it was not enough, because their heart was not in it. We will see the purpose of the law and all of the ordinances in the next Scripture.
Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the law. If we look to Him for our salvation, then we are no longer under the law.
Galatians 3:25 “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
Hebrews Chapter 12 Second Continued Questions
- What is spoken of that defiles a person in Hebrews 12:15?
- What are we not to let the sun go down on?
- Forgive us our trespasses as we ______ _____ ___ _______ ____ ___.
- What are we guilty of if we take communion unworthily?
- What are the penalties many pay for taking communion unworthily?
- Keep your selves in the ____ of God.
- Who is spoken of as a fornicator in Hebrews 12:16?
- If we walk back into a sinful way of life after we have been saved, it is like what?
- Every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in _________ and _____.
- God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto _________.
- Salvation is a daily ____.
- What will the Lord Jesus say to many who attempted to get in the gate, but did not live what they professed?
- What were the people told not to do, while the presence of God was on the mount?
- What would happen to them if they touched the mountain?
- What is the only way we can reach heaven or the Father?
- What makes us acceptable unto the Father?
- What are Christians called in 1 Peter 2:5?
- The only righteousness acceptable to God is through what?
- Who is the Voice of Words?
- What had frightened these Israelites at the mount where God was?
- Fear of the Lord is the beginning of ______.
- What terrible thing did these people do after they heard the voice of God, speak the 10 commandments to them?
- Who is the Word?
- Who was the law for?
- By the law is the knowledge of what?
- The law was our ____________ to bring us to Christ.
- After that ______ hath come we are no longer under a ____________.