Desire God’s Discipline (Hebrews 12:1-11)

(For accuracy of transcript, please refer to audio file)

This morning we’re taking a break from our study of the Book of Ephesians. For today and next Sunday we will be looking at the Book of Hebrews. Since this is our miniseries in Hebrews, particularly Chapter 12, so let me give us a brief background of this book before we go to our passage this morning, which is found in the tail end of the letter. The author of the Book of Hebrews doesn’t name himself in the letter. The recipients were not clearly identified, although we know it is clear that the author knows his audience well. We read certain verses in the book or in the letter where the author describes them in some detail. Now the early church believed that this letter was intended for Jewish Christians and hence the traditional title of the book, Hebrews or to the Hebrews. The main reason for this assumption is because of the many Old Testament references throughout the book, which we can infer that the audience would have understood or were expected to understand those references well. So they must be Jewish Christians or Christians who were familiar with mosaic sacrifices and rituals and the law. Some of the key themes of the book are, the Supremacy of Jesus over Angels over Moses and over the law. Another one is, Jesus as a High Priest of a better Covenant. At another key theme in the book is, Faith and Endurance in the Christian Life. This is the emphasis of our text this morning and next Sunday. Now in Chapter 10 versus 32 to 36 the author tells us why he had to teach about faith and endurance in this letter. These verses tell us something about the original recipients. They were a group of suffering believers, and this letter seeks to encourage them in their affliction. Let me read that for us, Hebrews 10:32-36, “But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach, an affliction and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which is a great reward for you have need of endurance so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what is promised.”