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."