Overview, One of over Bible commentaries freely available, this work deals with two of the most important books of the New Testament. Hebrews Overview, One of over Bible commentaries freely available, this work deals with two of the most important books of the New Testament. Hebrews 12 Commentary, One of over Bible commentaries freely available, this work deals with two of the most important books of the New Testament.
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The Demands of Faith.
Our present verse is a call to constancy in the Christian profession; it is an exhortation unto steadfastness in the Christian life; it is a pressing appeal for making personal holiness our supreme business and quest. In substance our text is parallel with such verses as Matthew This summarization of the Christian’s twofold duty is given again and again in the Scriptures: Analyzing the particular terms of our text, we find there Isaiahfirst, the duty enjoined: Hebrees, the essential grace which is requisite thereto: The opening “Wherefore” in our text looks back to Hebrews For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye hebreds receive the promise.
All of this had been copiously illustrated in chapter 11by a review of the history of God’s people in the past, who had exemplified so strikingly and so blessedly the a.w.punk, the trails, and the triumphs of a spiritual faith.
Having affirmed the unity of the family of God, the oneness of the O. If the saints who lived before the Incarnation, before the redemption was accomplished, before the High Priest entered the heavenly sanctuary, trusted in the midst of discouragements and trials, how much more aught we who know the name of Jesus, who have received the beginning, the installment of the great Messianic promise?
Herein we are shown that only then do we read the O. In Hebrews 11 we have had described at length many aspects and characteristics of the life of faith.
There we saw that a life of faith is an intensely practical thing, consisting of very much more than day-dreaming, or being regaled with joyous emotions, or even resting in orthodox views of the truth. By faith Noah built an ark, Abraham separated from his idolatrous neighbors and gained a rich inheritance, Moses forsook Egypt and became leader of Israel’s hosts. By faith the Red Sea was crossed, Jericho captured, Goliath slain, the mouths of lions were closed, the violence of fire was quenched.
A spiritual faith, then, is not a passive thing, but an active, energetic, vigorous, and fruitful one.
A. W. PINK COLLECTION AN EXPOSITION OF HEBREWS
The same line of thought is continued in the passage which is now before us, the same branch of truth is there x.w.pink view again, only under a figure—a figure very emphatic and graphic. This is one of henrews number of figures used in the N. Believers are likened to shining lights, branches of the vine, soldiers, strangers and pilgrims: Very solemn is that word in Galatians 5: The principal thoughts suggested by the figure of the “race” are rigorous self-denial and hebgews, vigorous exertion, persevering endurance.
The Christian life is not a thing of passive luxuriation, but of active “fighting the good fight of faith! I am afraid that in this work-hating and pleasure-loving age, we do not keep this aspect of the truth sufficiently before us: The charge which God brought against Israel of old applies very largely to Christendom today: The “race” is that life of faith and obedience, that pursuit of personal holiness, to which the Christian is called by God.
Turning from sin and the world in penitence and trust to Christ is not the finishing-post, but only the starting-point. The Christian race begins at the new birth, and ehbrews not till we are summoned to leave this world. The prize to be run for is heavenly glory. The ground to be covered is our journey through this life.
Overview – A.W. Pink’s Commentary on John and Hebrews
The track itself is “set before us”: The rules to be observed, the path which is to be traversed, the difficulties to be overcome, the dangers to be avoided, the source and secret of the needed strength, are all plainly revealed in the holy Scriptures. If we lose, the blame is entirely ours; if we succeed, the glory belongs to God alone. The prime thought suggested in the figure of running the race set before us is not that of speed, but of self-discipline, whole-hearted endeavor, the calling into action of every spiritual faculty possessed by the new man.
In his helpful commentary, J. Brown pointed out that a race is vigorous exercise.
Christianity consists not in abstract speculations, enthusiastic feelings, or specious talk, but in directing all our energies into holy actions. It is a laborious exertion: It is a regulated exertion: It is progressive exertion: That word “run” then presupposes the heart eagerly set upon the goal.
That “goal” is complete deliverance from the power of indwelling sin, perfect conformity to the lovely image of Christ, entrance into the promised rest and bliss on High. It is only as that is kept steadily in view, only as faith and hope are in real and daily exercise, that we shall progress along the path of obedience.
To look back will cause us to halt or stumble; to look down at the roughness and difficulties of the way will discourage and produce slackening, but to keep the prize in view will nerve to steady endeavor. It was thus our great Exemplar ran: But let us now consider, secondly, the means prescribed: While sitting at our ease we are hardly conscious of the weight of our clothes, the articles held in our hands, or the cumbersome objects we may have in our pockets.
But let us be aroused by the howlings of fierce animals, let us be pursued by hungry wolves, and methinks that none of us would have much difficulty in understanding the meaning of those words “let us lay aside every weight! The fact is that in most quarters there has been, for many years past, a deplorable lowering of the standard of Divine holiness, and numerous infractions of God’s righteous law have been wrongly termed “failures,” “mistakes,” and “minor blemishes,” etc.
Anything which minimizes the reality and enormity of sin is to be steadfastly resisted; anything which tends to excuse human “weaknesses” is to be rejected; anything which reduces that standard of absolute perfection which God requires us to constantly aim at—every missing of which is a sin—is to be shunned.
In other words, this dehortation is a calling upon the Christian to “mortify the deeds of the body” Romans 8: There are two things which racers discard: Probably there is a reference to both of these in our text: Everything which requires us to take time and strength away from God-appointed duties, everything which tends to bind the mind to earthly things and hinders our affections from being set upon things above, is to be cheerfully relinquished for Christ’s sake.
Everything which impedes my progress in running the race which God has set before me is to be dropped.
But let it be carefully recognized that our text makes no reference to the dropping of duties which we have no right to lay aside.
The performing of real and legitimate duty is never a hindrance to the spiritual life, though from a wrong attitude of mind and the allowance of the spirit of discontent, they often become so.
Many make a great mistake in entertaining the thought that their spiritual life is being much hindered by the very things which should, by Divine grace, be a real help to them. Opposition in the home from ungodly relatives, trials in connection with their daily work, the immediate presence of the wicked in the shop or office, are a real trial and God intends they should be—to remind us we are still in a world which lieth in the Wicked one, to exercise our graces, to prove the sufficiency of His strengthbut they need not be hindrances or “weights.
This is a serious mistake, and a murmuring against God’s providential dealings with us. He shapes our “circumstances” as a helpful discipline to the soul, and only as we learn to rise above “circumstances,” and walk with God in them, are we “running the race that is set before us. While the “weights” in our text have no reference to those duties which God requires us to discharge—for He never calls us to any thing which would draw us away from communion with Himself; yet they do apply in a very real sense unto a multitude of cares which many of God’s people impose upon themselves—cares which are a grievous drag upon hebgews soul.
The artificial state in hebrees many people now live, which custom, society, the world, imposes, does indeed bind many heavy burdens on the backs of their silly victims. If we accept that scale of “duties” which the fashion of this world imposes, we shall find them “weights” which seriously impede our spiritual progress: By “weights,” then, may be understood every form of intemperance or the immoderate and hurtful use made of any of those things which God has given us “richly to enjoy” 1 Timothy 6: Yes, to “enjoy” be it noted, and not only to use.
The Creator has placed many things in this world—like the beautiful flowers and the singing birds—for our pleasure, as well as for the bare supply of our bodily needs.
This should be borne in mind, for there is a danger here, as every where, of lopsidedness. We are well aware that in this age of fleshly indulgence the majority are greatly in danger of erring on the side of laxity, yet in avoiding this sin, others are in danger of swinging to the other extreme and a.w.oink “righteous over much” Ecclesiastes 7: Each Christian has to decide for himself, by hebgews honest searching of Scripture and an earnest seeking of wisdom from God, what are “weights” which hinder him.
While on the one hand it is wrong to assume an haughty and independent attitude, refusing to weigh in the balances of the sanctuary the conscientious scruples and prejudices of fellow-Christians; on the other hand it is equally wrong to suffer any to lord it over our consciences, and deprive us gebrews our Christian liberty.
More die from over eating than over drinking. Some constitutions are injured as much by coffee as by whiskey. Some are undermining their health by a constant round of exertions; others enervate themselves by spending too much time in bed. The Greek word for “weights” is “tumor or swelling,” so that an excresence, a superfluity, is what is in view.
A “weight” is something which we a.w.ink at liberty to cast aside, but which instead we choose to retain. It is anything which retards our progress, anything which unfits us for the discharge yebrews our God-assigned duties, anything which dulls the conscience, blunts the edge of our spiritual appetite, or hebfews the spirit of prayer. The “cares of this world” weigh down the soul just a.w.pino effectually as does a greedy grasping after the things of earth. The allowance of the spirit of envy will be as injurious spiritually hhebrews would an attendance at the movies.
Fellowshipping at a Christ-dishonoring “church” quenches that Spirit as quickly as would seeking diversion at the dance hall. The habit of gossiping may do more damage to the Spiritual life than the excessive smoking of tobacco. One of the best indications that I have entered the race is the discovery that certain things, which previously never exercised my conscience, are a hindrance to me; and the further I “run,” the more conscious shall I be of the a.s.pink and the more determined I Amosby God’s grace, to reach the winning post, the more readily shall I drop them.
So many professing Christians never seem to have any “weights,” and we never see them drop anything. Hebrewws, the fact Isaiahthey have never entered the race.
O to be able to say with Paul, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” Philippians 3: When this is true of us, we herews not find it difficult, but rather easy to obey that injunction, “Go from the presence of a foolish man or woman when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge” Proverbs It is true that each of us has some special form of sin to which we are most prone, and that he is more sorely tempted from one direction than another; but we think it is very clear from all which precedes our text that what the apostle has particularly in mind here is that which most seeks to hinder the exercise of faith.
Hebrewws the reader ponder John Ask of them what they have found in such cases to be their most a.w.pimk enemy; what hath had the most easy and frequent access unto their minds, to disturb and dishearten them, of the power thereof they have been most afraid; they will all answer with one voice, it is the evil of their own unbelieving hearts.
This hath continually attempted to entangle them, to betray them, in taking part with all outward temptations. When this is conquered, all things are plain and easy unto them. It may be some of them have had their particular temptations which they may reflect upon; but any other evil by sin, which is hberews unto them all, as this Isaiahthey can fix on none” John Owen.
But how is the Christian to “lay aside” indwelling sin and its particular workings of unbelief? This injunction is parallel with Ephesians 4: By heeding the exhortation of Hebtews 6: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Indwelling sin is to be “laid a.w.piink by daily mortification Romans 8: The good-ground hearer brought forth fruit “with patience” Luke 8: We are bidden to be “followers of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” Hebrews 6: