Text: Hebrews 12:1-11
Verse 10, “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.”
In verse one, we see there is so great a cloud of witnesses, which refers to those heroes listed in chapter eleven, among others.
God uses an interesting phrase in verse one, compassed about. This describes the way that contenders in the Olympic games had the eyes of all the spectators fixed on them.
We are to look to Jesus as if at a game with our attention focused on the players. The implication is that Christians should manifest perseverance and confidence in their holy walk with God. In other words, we ought to live in such a way that those in chapter eleven and others could cheer us on. The cloud of witnesses indicates so many that they are without number.
Let us lay aside every weight. Those in a race would lay aside anything that might slow them down; so must we lay aside anything that might hinder our race for God. These weights include anything that would distract our attention away from the Lord.
The sin which doth so easily beset us is the sin that takes hold of us and becomes dominant in our lives. It also implies the sin of unbelief or any sin that would keep us from staying in the race to win the prize of the high calling of God.
In verse two, the “author and finisher” means that He is our source and cause of anything we might be. The idea is that He is not only to be preeminent, but He is also the Head of all things, as in Colossians 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
Verse three says, “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” I believe there comes a time when we need to focus on His sufferings for us rather than on our own problems. Jesus would never belittle our trials, but we ought to consider Him or observe and analyze how He responded to His suffering.
We must also remember that He faced continual opposition, yet they could not defeat His Spirit. His patience and perseverance teach us to have courage when we face these same kinds of sufferings and trials. Should the Lord bear all this for us and we make no sacrifice in return?
Verse three refers to the Jews who not only opposed His plans and perverted His doctrine but also mocked His claims. In spite of the opposition, He continued on the path that had been laid out for Him long ago.
The idea is that we, too, are to pursue the path of holiness and duty. We are to follow the dictates of the Word of God and let the world say what they will about it. In doing this, we cannot find a better example than our Saviour. No opposition ever turned Him from the way He considered to be right; no persecution ever caused Him to desert any of His plans; no argument, trial, or tribulation ever caused Him to turn from His path.
Jesus had many traits that every Christian ought to diligently seek after, but one is certain; we are to be partakers of His Holiness. Read Hebrews 1:1-9, Deuteronomy 7:1-7.
In verse ten, “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.”
Chastening was regarded as a normal part of what the contenders endured in order to win the game. So with the Christian, God does not chasten us to punish us but to correct and improve us because He loves us. Chastening is also intended to produce a desired result. The fact that God sometimes chastens us means that we are under His watch and care.
Loving parents chasten their children for their own good, or to bring about obedience, but God always chastens us to correct and instruct us in order to make us partakers of His holiness. Why?
HE IS HOLY
Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
- He endured unspeakable suffering on the cross and is now exalted to the Holy position of sitting at the right Hand of God.
- He endured this suffering in the place of all sinners.
- He “resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”
HE IS RIGHTEOUS
1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
When we come before our righteous God, we have every reason to expect that He will judge us righteously. As a matter of fact, I believe that it is perfectly appropriate for us to go to Him pleading for mercy and grace, though we are not worthy of it. His mercy is not based upon our righteousness but upon His.
HE IS JUST
Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”
This wonderful prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus presented Himself as King of Israel during His triumphal entry into Jerusalem in Matthew 21:4-5, “All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.”
HE IS WITHOUT DECEIT OR GUILT
Please read 1 Peter 2:20-25.
HE IS SINLESS
John 8:46, “Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?”
HE IS SPOTLESS
Please read and meditate on 1 Peter 1:13-19.
HE IS MEEK
Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
HE IS MERCIFUL
Hebrews 2:17, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”
HE IS FORGIVING
Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
HE IS INNOCENT
Matthew 27:4, “Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.”
There are many things that we are incapable of doing; however, these ten basic principles are a good start so that we can be partakers of his holiness.
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Bro. Nikoley emigrated from Germany to the United States with his family at age 13. He served full time in the Nevada Air National Guard for six years. At age 32, He was saved, and in 1977, he graduated from Bible College. He pastored for over 31 years, 27 of them at Pomerado Road Baptist Church in Poway, California. Bro. Nikoley has served at Golden State Baptist College in the Bible Department and also as the Student Employment Director since 2007. He and his wife Mary have two children and have been married for 58 years.