Hebrews 12:11-15
Heb 12:11 (KJB)
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.
The present - To be near, at hand , or present
Grievous - Pain, sadness, to affliction
Yieldeth - Renders, return, or recompense
Exercised - Having been trained
None of us view chastening or discipline as joyous when it is at hand. The term “for the present” does not deal with time but it speaks of the fact that the discipline of God is at hand or present in our life. As humans we view discipline as painful, which it can be depending upon the type of discipline God has in view. It differs with each of His children. What would work on one could destroy the other. The whole idea of discipline is not for God to show how much power He has over us, because we know and He knows. It is for the express purpose of correction of the sin in our life. It is designed to bring us back into the righteous paradigm of the Christian walk. Once we return to righteous living, we will once again experience the peace of God in our life. However, returning to a righteous lifestyle may take longer than departing from one. The truth is that it is easier to gain weight than it is to take it off. This is why God uses the term “exercised” because it carries with it the idea of an athlete training in the nude as they did back in Ancient Greece. This means that the athlete relied totally upon their ability to perform without any false strengthening measures or shortcuts. This is what God does for us, He does not allow us to take shortcuts or gimmicks as He works completely with us as His children. This way He trains us as He is disciplining us and when we are trained it has a lasting effect. It causes us to remember what we went through to return to our normal, obedient Christian life.
Heb 12:12 (KJB)
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
Lift up - Strengthen or restore
Basically this passage is teaching that the early Hebrew Christians were slothful in their Christian walk and in their prayer life. The writer is also teaching them that they need to encourage each other when someone has fallen or is near to falling. It is time for them to rebuke their slothfulness and be as zealous in the Christian walk as they were in the Mosaic system when they obeyed the feasts and the sacrifices. This verse also reveals that if a person’s hands hang down, they are unable to do anything to defend themselves against an enemy nor are they able to take the offensive in the Christian walk. If the hands hang down and the knees are feeble, it shows an all around weakness of character. This is why they are being chided for being in this position. They are Christians now and are supposed to be walking testimonies not targets for the enemy. This is also apropos for today because many Christians are in a mummified state and are not doing their part in the Great Commission. This is why we are to lift up or strengthen our hands and knees and that is done by studying the Scriptures and performing our Christian duty without hesitation while keeping our eyes focused on the Lord.
Heb 12:13 (KJB)
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Straight - upright or in a straight way
Lame - A word describing the disability of a lower limb resulting in inability to walk
Be turned out of the way - Put out of joint or dislocated
Here we have the solution to spiritual healing, that is, to come back from living in disobedience. We are to pursue the “straight paths” which is the Gospel itself. (Isa 40:3-4 KJV) The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. {4} Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: Isaiah 40:3-4 described the ministry of John the Baptist as found in Matthew 3:3. The true Gospel will straighten us out whenever we have turned aside from the straight path. John the Baptist’s ministry was the beginning of the preaching of the true Gospel and his message had stung people. This is what the true Gospel does, it stings us to bring us back on the straight paths. True healing is spiritual healing to cause us to walk in obedience once again. While God does heal physically, it is spiritual healing that is the essential for a proper Christian walk.
Heb 12:14 (KJB)
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Follow - Pursue as zealously as one who persecutes
It is incumbent upon the Christian that we are to pursue, with a great zeal, peace and holiness. When any Christian walks in disobedience, there is no peace in their lives. They are as the unbelievers who walk consistently in a life of no peace. Every Christian is to walk in obedience unto the Lord because Holiness is the description of the Christian walk. Holiness means that we are separate unto the Lord. (Mat 5:8 KJV) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Purity of heart means a Christian is walking in holiness because an adulterated heart means there are several things mixed in and therefore it is not a purely dedicated heart unto the Lord. Not only are we to live that holy life unto the Lord, but we are to seek peace with all people. (Rom 12:18 KJV) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Living in peace with each other is a great characteristic of the Christian walk. Those who do not seek to live in peace and holiness are giving evidence that they are not saved and are counterfeit Christians of which we must be aware.
Heb 12:15 (KJB)
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Looking diligently - Oversee or care for
Fail - Lack
Springing up - grow up
Defiled - Stain, pollute, or soil
A word of exhortation is given to those who are in charge of the congregation. Those who oversee or care for the Christians are to investigate any who seem to be walking contrary to the Scriptures. This may give an indication that a person does not have salvation as they are lacking the grace of God. There may have been some among the Hebrew Christians who faked being saved to try and bring them back under the Mosaic law. Those who are not saved may become the root of bitterness which may affect the Christians in the church and cause them to have bitterness in them with all the accompanying things such as anger, rage, or slander are all characteristics of the unsaved and that is why the leaders in the church must ferret them out before it affects the entire congregation. Bitterness can pollute a congregation in very little time and that is why the unbelievers must be escorted out or else their satanic influence may destroy an entire congregation.