Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hebrews 12

12.3  weary and discouraged in your souls.   This probably describes a lot of us.  

12.4  "In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."   This verse from Hebrews 12 is always a painful reminder of what a spiritual wimp I can be. God give me the grace to struggle more!  This also speaks to how hard we are expected to resist sinning.  It is a pretty high standard.  It seems to say that until there is blood to show, we haven't really done anything extraordinary.


Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament
II.  The Assurance of the Love of God (12:5–13)
These Christians had forgotten the basic truths of the Word (5:12); and v. 5 tells us they had even forgotten what God says about chastening. The writer quoted Prov. 3:11ff and reminded them that suffering in the life of a Christian is not punishment, but chastening. This word “chastening” literally means “child-training, discipline.” They were spiritual babes; one way God had of maturing them was to put them through trials. Punishment is the work of a judge; chastening is the work of a father. Punishment is handed out to uphold the law; chastening is given out as a proof of love, for the bettering of the child. Too often we rebel at God’s loving hand of chastening; instead, we ought to submit and grow. Satan tells us that our trials are proof that God does not love us; but God’s Word says that sufferings are the best proof that He does love us!
When suffering comes to believers, they can respond in several ways. They can resist the circumstances and fight the will of God, growing bitter instead of better. “Why does this have to happen to me? God doesn’tcare anymore! It doesn’tpay to be a Christian!” This attitude will only produce sorrow and bitterness of soul. The writer argues, “We have had earthly fathers who chastened us, and we respected them. Should we not respect our Heavenly Father who loves us and desires to bring us to maturity?” After all, the best proof we are God’s children, and not illegitimate children, is that God disciplines us. The suggestion is made in v. 9 that if we do not submit ourselves to God, we may die. God will not have rebellious children and may take their lives if He must.
Then too the Christian may give up and quit. This is the wrong attitude (see vv. 3, 12–13). God’s chastening is meant to help us grow, not to beat us down. The correct attitude is that we endure by faith (v. 7), allowing God to work out His perfect plan. It is that blessed “afterward” of v. 11 that keeps us going! Chastening is for our profit that we might be sharers of His holiness, and our submission brings the most glory to His name.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament (710–711). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader 
 (12:5, 6) The writer now quotes from Proverbs 3:11, 12, exhorting his readers to take these persecutions as allowed of God for the purpose of chastening them. The latter word is paideia (παιδεια), which was used of the whole training and education of children. It speaks also of whatever in adults cultivates the soul, especially by correcting mistakes and curbing the passions. It speaks also of instruction which aims at the increase of virtue. The word does not have in it the idea of punishment, but of corrective measures which will eliminate evil in the life and encourage the good. Here, the persecutions were used of God in an effort to clarify the spiritual vision of the readers as to the relative merits of the First Testament and the New Testament, warning them against returning to the temple sacrifices and urging them on to faith in the Messiah as High Priest. The readers, in their action of leaning back towards the First Testament and by their avowed purpose of returning to it in order to escape the persecution, had forgotten the lesson of Proverbs.
    Translation. And you have completely forgotten the exhortation which was of such a nature as to speak to you as to sons, My son, stop making light of the Lord’s chastening. Stop fainting when you are being rebuked by Him. For the one whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives in His heart and cherishes.
Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader (Heb 12:4–5). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Word Studies in the New Testament
12.5. Ye have forgotten (ἐκλέλησθε). N. T.o. Common in Class., oLXX. The simple verb λανθάνειν means to escape notice; to be unseen or unknown. Middle and passive, to let a thing escape; forget. Some render interrogatively, “have ye forgotten?”
Speaketh unto you (ὑμῖν διαλέγεται). The verb always in the sense of mutual converse or discussion. See Mk. 9:34; Acts 17:2; 18:19. Rend. “reasoneth with you.”
My son, etc. From Prov. 3:11, 12. Comp. Job 5:17.
Despise not (μὴ ἀλιγώρει). N. T.o. LXX only in this passage. Quite often in Class. It means to make little of (ὀλίγος).
Chastening (παιδείας). Mostly in Hebrews. See on Eph. 6:4, and 2 Tim. 3:16.
12.6. He chasteneth (παιδεύει). See on L. 23:16.
Scourgeth (μαστιγοῖ). Not very common, but found in all the four Gospels. Hebrews only here. Quite often in LXX.
Receiveth (παραδέχεται). Admits to filial privileges: acknowledges as his own. Of receiving the word of God, Mk. 4:20: of receiving delegates from a body, Acts 15:4: of adopting or approving customs, Acts 16:21.
Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word Studies in the New Testament (Heb 12:5–6). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Word Pictures in the New Testament
Ye have forgotten (ἐκλελησθε [eklelēsthe]). Perfect middle indicative of ἐκλανθανω [eklanthanō], to cause to forget, old verb, here only in the N.T. with genitive case as usual. 

Reasoneth with you (ὑμιν διαλεγεται [humin dialegetai]). Present middle indicative of διαλεγομαι [dialegomai], old verb to ponder different (δια- [dia-]) things, to converse, with dative. Cf. Acts 19:8f. The quotation is from Prov. 3:11f. 
Regard not lightly (μη ὀλιγωρει [mē oligōrei]). Prohibition with μη [mē] and the present active imperative of ὀλιγωρεω [oligōreō], old verb from ὀλιγωρος [oligōros] and this from ὀλιγος [oligos] (little) and ὡρα [hōra] (hour), old verb, here only in N.T. 
Chastening (παιδειας [paideias]). Old word from παιδευω [paideuō], to train a child (παις [pais]), instruction (II Tim. 3:16), which naturally includes correction and punishment as here. See also Eph. 6:4. 
Nor faint (μηδε ἐκλυου [mēde ekluou]). Prohibition with μη [mē] and present passive imperative of ἐκλυω [ekluō] (see verse 3).
Hebrews 12:6
Scourgeth (μαστιγοι [mastigoi]). Present active indicative of μαστιγοω [mastigoō], old verb from μαστιξ [mastix] (whip). This is a hard lesson for God’s children to learn and to understand. See 5:7 about Jesus.
Robertson, A. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Heb 12:5–6). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

Thru the Bible Commentary: The Epistles
The word chastening means something a little different from what we think today. We think that chastening is punishment. The Greek word is paideuo, and it means “child training or discipline.” You see, the Lord disciplines His own children.
  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons
[Heb. 12:6–8].
The question is sometimes asked, and it is a very pertinent question: Why do the righteous suffer? When illness confined me to my home and I spent most of my time flat on my back for about a month, I had a great deal of time to study, and I want to pass on to you what the Lord has shown me through my own experience.
Let’s put this down as an axiom of Scripture: God’s children do suffer. The Bible doesn’t argue about that—the Bible just says that it is true. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all” (Ps. 34:19). In the Book of Job we read, “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). The Lord Jesus said, “… In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And even Paul said, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12).
McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 52: Thru the Bible Commentary: The Epistles (Hebrews 8-13) (electronic ed.) (118–119). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures
 12:5–8. The readers also seemed to have forgotten the encouragement found in Proverbs 3:11–12, which presents divine discipline as an evidence of divine love. Thus they should not lose heart (cf. Heb. 12:3) but should endure hardship (hypomenete, lit., “persevere”; cf. vv. 1–3) as discipline and regard it as an evidence of sonship, that is, that they are being trained for the glory of the many sons (cf. 2:10 and comments there). All God’s children are subject to His discipline, and in the phrase everyone undergoes discipline the writer for the last time used the Greek metochoi (“companions, sharers”), also used in 1:9; 3:1, 14; 6:4. (Lit., the Gr. reads, “… discipline, of which all have become sharers.”) In speaking of those who are not disciplined and are thus illegitimate children, he was probably thinking of Christians whose disloyalty to the faith resulted in their loss of inheritance (i.e., reward) which is acquired by the many sons and daughters. (In the Roman world, an “illegitimate child” had no inheritance rights.) What such Christians undergo, the author had shown, is severe judgment. On the other hand believers who undergo God’s “discipline” are being prepared by this educational process (paideia, “discipline,” lit., “child-training”; cf. Eph. 6:4) for millennial reward.
Hodges, Z. C. (1985). Hebrews. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (Heb 12:5–8). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Verse 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin - The general sense of this passage is, “you have not yet been called in your Christian struggles to the highest kind of sufferings and sacrifices. Great as your trials may seem to have been, yet your faith has not yet been put to the severest test. And since this is so, you ought not to yield in the conflict with evil, but manfully resist it.” In the language used here there is undoubtedly a continuance of the allusion to the agonistic games - the strugglings and wrestlings for mastery there. In those games, the boxers were accustomed to arm themselves for the fight with the caestus. This at first consisted of strong leathern thongs wound around the hands, and extending only to the wrist, to give greater solidity to the fist. Afterward these were made to extend to the elbow, and then to the shoulder, and finally, they sewed pieces of lead or iron in them that they might strike a heavier and more destructive blow. The consequence was, that those who were engaged in the fight were often covered with blood, and that resistance “unto blood” showed a determined courage, and a purpose not to yield. But though the language here may be taken from this custom, the fact to which the apostle alludes, it seems to me, is the struggling of the Saviour in the garden of Gethsemane, when his conflict was so severe that, great drops of blood fell down to the ground see the notes on Matthew 26:36-44. It is, indeed, commonly understood to mean that they had not yet been called to shed their blood as martyrs in the cause of religion; see Stuart Bloomfield, Doddridge, Clarke, Whitby, Kuinoel, etc. Indeed, I find in none of the commentators what seems to me to be the true sense of this passage, and what gives an exquisite beauty to it, the allusion to the sufferings of the Saviour in the garden. The reasons which lead me to believe that there is such an allusion, are briefly these:
(1) The connection. The apostle is appealing to the example of the Saviour, and urging Christians to persevere amidst their trials by looking to him. Nothing would be more natural in this connection, than to refer to that dark night, when in the severest conflict with temptation which he ever encountered. he so signally showed his own firmness of purpose, and the effects of resistance on his own bleeding body, and his signal victory - in the garden of Gethsemane. 
(2) the expression “striving against sin” seems to demand the same interpretation. On the common interpretation, the allusion would be merely to their resisting persecution; but here the allusion is to some struggle in their minds against “committing sin.” The apostle exhorts them to strive manfully and perseveringly against; sin in every form, and especially against the sin of apostasy. To encourage them he refers them to the highest instance on record where there was a “striving against sin” - the struggle of the Redeemer in the garden with the great enemy who there made his most violent assault, and where the resistance of the Redeemer was so great as to force the blood through his pores. What was the exact form of the temptation there, we are not informed. It may have been to induce him to abandon his work even then and to yield, in view of the severe sufferings of his approaching death on the cross. If there ever was a point where temptation would be powerful, it would be there. When a man is about to be put to death, how strong is the inducement to abandon his purpose, his plans, or his principles, if he may save his life! How many, of feeble virtue, have yielded just there! If to this consideration we add the thought that the Redeemer was engaged in a work never before undertaken; that he designed to make an atonement never before made; that he was about to endure sorrows never before endured; and that on the decision of that moment depended the ascendency of sin or holiness on the earth, the triumph or the fall of Satan‘s kingdom, the success or the defeat of all the plans of the great adversary of God and man, and that, on such an occasion as this, the tempter would use all his power to crush the lonely and unprotected man of sorrows in the garden of Gethsemane, it is easy to imagine what may have been the terror of that fearful conflict, and what virtue it would require in him to resist the concentrated energy of Satan‘s might to induce him even then to abandon his work. The apostle says of those to whom he wrote, that they had not yet reached that point; compare notes on Hebrews 5:7
(3) this view furnishes a proper climax to the argument of the apostle for perseverance. It presents the Redeemer before the mind as the great example; directs the mind to him in various scenes of his life - as looking to the joy before him - disregarding the ignominy of his sufferings - enduring the opposition of sinners - and then in the garden as engaged in a conflict with his great foe, and so resisting sin that rather than yield he endured that fearful mental struggle which was attended with such remarkable consequences. This is the highest consideration which could be presented to the mind of a believer to keep him from yielding in the conflict with evil; and if we could keep him in the eye resisting even unto blood rather than yield in the least degree, it would do more than all other things to restrain us from sin. How different his case from ours! How readily we yield to sin! We offer a faint and feeble resistance, and then surrender. We think it will be unknown: or that others do it; or that we may repent of it; or that we have no power to resist it; or that it is of little consequence, and our resolution gives way. Not so the Redeemer, Rather than yield in any form to sin, he measured strength with the great adversary when alone with him in the darkness of the night, and gloriously triumphed! And so would we always triumph if we had the same settled purpose to resist sin in every form even unto blood.

Verse 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation - This exhortation is found in Proverbs 3:11-12. The object of the apostle in introducing it here is, to show that afflictions were designed on the part of God to produce some happy effects in the lives of his people, and that they ought, therefore, to bear them patiently. In the previous verses, he directs them to the example of the Saviour. In this verse and the following, for the same object he directs their attention to the design of trials, showing that they are necessary to our welfare, and that they are in fact proof of the paternal care of God. This verse might be rendered as a question. “And have ye forgotten?” etc. This mode of rendering it will agree somewhat better with the design of the apostle.
Which speaketh, unto you - Which may be regarded as addressed to you; or which involves a principle as applicable to you as to others. He does not mean that when Solomon used the words, he had reference to them particularly, but that he used them with reference to the children of God, and they might therefore be applied to them. in this way we may regard the language of the Scriptures as addressed to us.
As unto children - As if he were addressing children. The language is such as a father uses.
My son - It is possible that in these words Solomon may have intended to address a son literally, giving him paternal counsel; or he may have spoken as the Head of the Jewish people, designing to address all the pious, to whom he sustained, as it were, the relation of a father. Or, it is possible also, that it may be regarded as the language of God himself addressing his children. Whichever supposition is adopted, the sense is substantially the same.
Despise not thou the chastening of the Lord - Literally, “Do not regard it as a small matter, or as a trivial thing - ὀλιγώρει oligōreiThe Greek word used here does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. The word rendered here “chastening” - παιδεία paideia- and also in Hebrews 12:6-8, and in Hebrews 12:9, “corrected” - παιδευτὰς paideutas- does not refer to affliction in general, but that kind of affliction which is designed to correct us for our faults, or which is of the nature of discipline. The verb properly relates to the training up of a child - including instruction, counsel, discipline, and correction (see this use of the verb in Acts 7:22; 2 Timothy 2:25; Titus 2:12), and then especially discipline or correction for faults - to “correct, chastise, chasten;” 1 Corinthians 11:32; 2 Corinthians 6:9; Revelation 3:19. This is the meaning here; and the idea is, not that God will afflict his people in general, but that if they wander away he will correct them for their faults. He will bring calamity upon them as a punishment for their offences, and in order to bring them back to himself. He will not suffer them to wander away unrebuked and unchecked, but will mercifully reclaim them though by great sufferings. Afflictions have many objects, or produce many happy effects. That referred to here is, that they are means of reclaiming the wandering and erring children of God, and are proofs of his paternal care and love; compare 2 Samuel 7:14; 2 Samuel 12:13-14; Psalm 89:31-34; Proverbs 3:11-12. Afflictions, which are always sent by God, should not be regarded as small matters, for these reasons:
(1)The fact that they are sent by God. Whatever he does is of importance, and is worthy of the profound attention of people.
(2)they are sent for some important purpose, and they should be regarded, therefore, with attentive concern.Men “despise” them when:
(1)they treat them with affected or real unconcern;
(2)when they fail to receive them as divine admonitions, and regard them as without any intelligent design; and, (3)when they receive them with “expressions” of contempt, and speak of them and of the government of God with scorn.It should be a matter of deep concern when we are afflicted in any manner, not to treat the matter lightly, but to derive from our trials all the lessons which they are adapted to produce on the mind.
Nor faint … - Bear up patiently under them. This is the second duty. We are first to study their character and design; and secondly, to bear up under them, however severe they may be, and however long they may be continued. “Avoid the extremes of proud insensibility and entire dejection” - Doddridge.

12.29  Don't ever remember seeing or hearing this was someone's favorite verse.  Curious...  :o)