Jesus Christ Our Example
Book of Hebrews Chapter 12
Who are you looking at?
What is our process of Christian growth?
A “faith” that is never tested cannot be trusted!
The challenge of every Christian is to persevere until Jesus comes or until God takes us home to be with Him!
Unless you are a “citizen of Heaven” while you are still alive on this Earth, you cannot even take part in God’s challenge to remain “faithful” at all cost.
This chapter in the Book of Hebrews will teach us to have endurance and this endurance cannot happen without patience!
There is “saving faith”:
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
“Saving faith” requires knowledge, conviction, and trust!
But there is also the “gift of faith”:
1Co 12:9 [To another faith by the same Spirit]; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
The “gift of faith” comes only after salvation!
It is the “gift of faith” that brings brotherly love and the good works of the believer!
It is the “gift of faith” that is measurable and seen by others.
It is a great privilege to serve the Living God BUT we cannot expect to serve God and not go through some trials.
It is easy to become a Christian, but Jesus said to pick up our own cross and follow Him.
A cross is a symbol of pain and suffering!
My worse day being saved is better than my best day when I was lost.
Our example is Jesus Christ!
It is only when we follow in His ways that we can be called a Christian.
If we are not involved with the work of God, how can we say we are Christians. If you are not being obedient to the Word of God you are not like Christ and therefore not a visible Christian.
It is in our obedience where we will find fulfillment and joy!
It is not our behavior that pleases God as much as it is our belief that we can only do all things through Christ Jesus who gives us the strength and the endurance to accomplish whatever God has for us to do!
God wants us to realize that we cannot stand on our own two feet, we must rely on Him to meet all our needs and He will!
When we look back to chapter eleven we can see that each and every individual suffered hardship as they walked in “their faith”!
*****Heb 12:1 “Wherefore” seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and [let us run with patience the race that is set before us,]
Wherefore means that since we have all these great witnesses of the “faith” in chapter 11!
[The Greek word “martoos” is translated as witness in this verse but the meaning is also of a martyr!]
To these Jewish believers, most of these men and women would have been “Heroes” to them.
We must not forget it is Our God that inspired the writing of His Word so it is God that is bearing witness for these heroes of the “faith”.
As we live out our lives, with Jesus as our example, do you think your name could have been written down in God’s Book because of your “faith”.
God saw that we of the New Covenant would need to learn endurance and patience from the Heroes of “faith” in the Old Testament.
When a marathon runner is practicing for the big race, they will used ankle weights to increase their endurance but when it comes race day, they will not be wearing any weights because they would only slow them down.
So, what are the weights that are hindering our service to the Almighty God? We need to remove them, so that we might win the race of our “faith”?
There are no losers in the “Race of Faith”!
BUT, we must remove everything that hinders our progress!
This can even mean we must remove some things that others think are good things.
Our choices cannot be between good and bad!
Our choices must be between better and best!
But, this surely means we cannot carry unconfessed sin!
And, it surely means we must remove all unbelief!
Remember what we have learned?
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
That word “faith” was used 21 times in chapter 11.
Faith Brings With It Endurance!
The Greek word “agon” used for our English word “race” means a contest that is intense.
Satan, the Devil is real and we can be sure that he is very serious about taking as many of God’s people to Hell with him as he can!
We are in a marathon race and not a hundred yard dash! We will need endurance!
That word weight also means we we must physically and mentally get in shape for this race.
We must have knowledge of the Word of God and be spiritually fit to get into this race.
This race is only on one course!
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
As Christians we are to run this race no matter the cost!
We cannot just drift along we must be a true competitor!
A Christian that gets into the race for God cannot ever be a looser:
1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
We cannot allow the sin of this world and the sin of unbelief to hinder us:
Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Every question we have of ourselves should not be about right or wrong, our main concern should be “How Does It Affect My Testimony?”
*****Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In Chapter 11 we saw many heroes of “faith” but to these Jewish believers many of these were actually national heroes to be honored and to look up to.
In our verse they are told to look to Jesus. Notice it does not say to Jesus Christ. By just using the name Jesus these people are told to just look at the man Jesus.
Jesus had always honored the children and many of those children were now adults and it can be said that some of these of the early church had actually met the man Jesus.
So they were told to look at the man Jesus, what He had stood for, what He had accomplished, how He had suffered being innocent and how He had died.
They knew of these things. Some of these things had happened in their own life times.
They knew of the resurrection and they had now believed because they were converts to the early church. So not only look upon Jesus as the Messiah but look upon Him as a man. An example “or the example” to follow much more so than all those Old Testament heroes.
Jesus is all our example of what it is to be a Christian!
Jesus is the “author” of our faith.
The Greek word “archegos” is used here which means Jesus is the “chief leader” and the “prince” of our “faith”!
Jesus pioneered Christianity!
Jesus is the Captain of God’s army!
Not only is He the “Author” but He is the “Finisher”!
The Greek word “teleiotes” is used here and in only one other place in the Bible.
This means Jesus was the “Perfecter” of our “faith”.
He was “The One” that in “His own Person” raised “faith” to it’s perfection!
Jesus is The One that walked in this world and set the highest example of “faith”!
The best example in the Old Testament that was given was in the time of Moses:
Num 21:6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Num 21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
Num 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, [Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole]: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
Num 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, [that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.]
Jesus said Himself:
Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
If we look to anyone or anything besides Jesus we have looked in the wrong direction!
Our Lord endured far more than any of the Old Testament heroes of “faith”!
It was a shameful thing for a Holy God to pour Himself in a body of flesh to redeem His people but it had to be done to restore mankind to the fellowship that God once had with Adam!
God gets His joy from fellowship with His greatest creation which is man!
Psa 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: [in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.]
Pro 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
It brought Jesus great joy to present His “Born Again” children to His Father:
Jud 1:24 Now unto him [that is able to keep you from falling] and [to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy],
And not one can ever fall again!
Don’t you just love the Word of God that tells us in so many ways that we were certainly lost but now we are found by “our Creator” who has also become “our Savior”!
*****Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Heb 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
This entire Book of Hebrews was given to these of the early church to teach them of the hope of looking forward by “faith”.
All those Old Testament heroes had looked forward. That is the principle of “faith”.
We must live for the future to be able to deal with the nasty here and now!
Just like Peter when we take our eyes of the Savior we will sink in this nasty world!
Mat 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
Mat 14:29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
Mat 14:30 [But when he saw] the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Another lesson to learn from this verse is that immediately when Peter asked, “the Lord to saved him and it happened at that very moment.
God does not have to think about it when a lost soul has repented and ask for forgiveness in faith!
Salvation happens immediately!
Mat 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, [O thou of little faith], wherefore didst thou doubt?
It is our lack of “faith” that hinders the fruit that God intended to come from our salvation!
*****Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
As a saved people, we have only one resource and that is Christ.
Christianity is based on the “Work of One”, Jesus Christ!
Not in any Temple!
Not in any ritual!
Not in any religion!
Not in any denomination!
That word “chastening” usually brings the thoughts of punishment but the true interpretation of the Greek word “paideia” [is that of tutoring, educating, and training that can come with some disciplinary action of the Lord.]
And the Greek word “elegcho” for “rebuke” really means [to convict and sometimes to convince] which means [our shame of failure] is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
God is not sitting in Heaven with a whip to correct us but He is sitting in Heaven with a loving guiding Hand of Correction!
The Christian experience is a long steady process that requires endurance. We must prepare our minds and our hearts for the long haul because, It Will Be Worth Every Mile Of The Trip!
*****Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
When we are suffering, it is easy to think that God does not love us.
In verse 5 we saw the word “children”. We now see the words “son” and the word “sons”.
None of these words refer to little children but they refer to adult children.
A parent that repeatedly chastens infant children is truly a monster.
Remember we are adopted into the family of God at any age!
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
And adult children require a different approach than babies.
We must all become mature adult sons and daughters who can be trusted with the responsibilities of life, where God has placed us!
Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Why do God’s people suffer:
1.) We do stupid things which shows our immaturity. We continue in our old sin.
2.) We suffer because we take a stand for Jesus. He suffered and so will we.
3.) We suffer because of unconfessed sin in our lives. We must repent as soon as we have sinned. If we refuse to deal with the sin in our lives God will deal with it!
4.) We will suffer in our flesh because of past sin. When we have smoked all our days, or have been addicted to alcohol, or drugs or the many other things that destroy our bodies and our minds we cannot and He will not heal us of these things. He will comfort us through these things.
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
5.) We will suffer sometimes because, we are in God’s plan and not our own and we are a tool in His hands and for His purpose. We simply do not know the big picture that God sees.
6.) We will also suffer for our “faith”! We will face many battles in the name of the Lord but we may not be victors in our own eyes. Again we do not see the big picture. God says to put on the “armor of God”. That should tell us we are going to war. Their are casualties in all wars!
7.) We will suffer last of all sometimes because, as children we require discipline at the loving hand of God!
*****Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
But if you are going through life all happy go lucky with no chastisement, thinking you are saved then you need to have a checkup at the altar. God says you are not in the family yet!
*****Heb 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
Whether or not you listened too by your earthly father, you had better listen to your Heavenly Father!
God disciplines in “His Wisdom and in His Love” that we might truly live!
Our Father will discipline us in severe ways sometimes!
And we should remember:
1Jn 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. [There is a sin unto death
: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
1Jn 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
I believe that there is a boundary for each Born Again child of God that we should not ever step over because it will mean our death. BUT, It does not mean we loose our salvation!
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Pro 3:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
*****Heb 12:10 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.
Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Any child who does not learn subjection to authority will never become useful in any family!
Any child of God that does not learn this early in their spiritual life are in danger of physical death!
We have proof of this in scripture:
1Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1Co 11:30 [For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep].
We can see that not being reverent to the things of God can lead to our death!
Our health can depend on how we serve Our Father who is in Heaven!
God will not allow any of His children to disgrace His good name beyond His purpose!
Our lesson skips a few verses down to verse 18.
God emphasizes in these verses to not get in despair and to not be discouraged when he allows things of discipline to happen in our lives.
In most cases it is the coward who gives up when things get hard!
Cowardice is contagious!
It takes courage to be a Christian!
It take courage to revive God’s people!
Pro 4:25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
Pro 4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
Pro 4:27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
It is better to repent and move on than “to wallow in our guilt”! We must remember we are still sinners saved only by God’s “Grace”!
Now let us continue:
*****Heb 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,
Heb 12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
Heb 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:
Heb 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
Do we really want to know the difference between “Grace” and “The Law”?
We see here a picture of the Law, a picture of the Old Covenant with Israel.
There were at least 2 million people that came out of Egypt with Moses. They were unorganized. They did not have the things with them to sustain the necessities of life. They were a traveling mob and very discouraged.
When they reached Mount Sinai and God showed His Power they were in great fear for their lives.
But verse 18 says to the child of God that Mount Sinai has been replaced with Mount Calvary!
A Born Again child of God we will never face Mount Sinai!
It is the cross and the shed blood of Jesus and our own “Faith” that will drive the Church!
*****Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
The Laws of Moses had their beginning at Mount Sinai.
The true Gospel of God would have it’s beginning in Jerusalem!
AND, Mount Sion represents the New Covenant of “Grace”!
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; [the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.]
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 [But Jerusalem (which is above is free), which is the mother of us all.]
Mount Zion is God’s Heavenly city!
This where the Lord dwells at this time and this is our eternal home! The blood of Jesus has given us a right to a place in this city.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also
Even after Lucifer and his angel followers were tossed out of Heaven there are still more angels in Heaven than can be counted!
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
This took place the very day Lucifer defied God.
The word “innumerable” is what is called a “Myriad”!
The “first born” child in the families of Israel inherited the birthright, BUT every Born Again child of God has a birthright in Heaven and so are called “the Church of the First Born”.
These are all the ones written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; [but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven].
There is a final judgment on all those that have persecuted “the Church of the First Born”!
The spirits of just men made perfect are those that have gone on before us!
1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, [the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God], being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
“Were it not for the blood” of the New Covenant we would not ever be able to enter into this Heavenly city!
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
There is an econumicle movement going on in the world right now, which means that everyone is going to the same Heaven even though they are traveling different paths.
This is an absolute lie of Satan. There is still only one way to Heaven and that is to be washed in the blood of Jesus! The “Blood” of the New Covenant!
Preachers are wrong when they refuse to preach on Heaven and the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
There can be no marriage counseling until you are married to Jesus Christ!
It is the truth that we had no life to commit to Christ Jesus until He gave us a new life!
If we are not looking up to Heaven we are looking to the wrong place.
Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
The “blood ” of Abel cried for vengeance!
The “Blood” of Jesus Christ calls for forgiveness, and cleanses the guilty conscience, and OPENS THE WAY TO HEAVEN!
*****Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.
We must pay close attention to the Holy Inspired Word of God:
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
We must hold on to this Gospel because it gives life!
God is still speaking to us today through His Word!
As God shook Mount Sinai and as the days grow closer to the Second coming of Christ Jesus, we will see more shaking of this world we live in!
The difference for the Christian is that we will one day live in an unshakable world!
Our God is a consuming fire!
A fire will not go out until all fuel has been consumed.
When judgment comes, God will perfectly cleanse this world of sin to the point of destruction. If not why would there be a New World, a New Jerusalem and even a New Heaven?
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
We cannot play games with God, by playing church.
Hag 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
Hag 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
There is a whole lot of this shaking going on right now!