Hebrews 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,

BESET - 2139. euperistatos, yoo-per-is'-tat-os; from G2095 and a der. of a presumed comp. of G4012 and G2476; well standing around, i.e. (a competitor) thwarting (a racer) in every direction (fig. of sin in gen.):--which doth so easily beset.

Strong's says that in the derivatives of this word (G4012) is the meaning, "with respect to . . . circumstance." These definitions give the impression that, because of our fallen nature, sin is just standing around waiting for an opportunity to hinder us in our race toward holiness from every direction. This goes very well with what I said in Part 2 regarding God working ALL THINGS (even ALL CIRCUMSTANCES) to our good:

"Not only is God's call holy, but it is to lead to a life of holiness from the time we accept the call of God on our lives. You can be a cook, a street cleaner, a rich businessman, a preacher, whatever, but God's call is the same to all: be holy for He is holy. The same is true for God working all things to our good, that good being to be conformed to the character of Christ. The cook, the street cleaner, the businessman, and the preacher each have their own particular set of personal problems, but God says it doesn't matter what the problem is because He is going to use those situations to conform you to the character of His Son. Thus, God's work is the same in all, even though everyone has a separate, unique set of problems. The result of His work is that we walk as Jesus walked, being holy in all we do. How different our problems should seem to us in this light. When we realize these things, we realize, too, that God works all things to our good for His, not our, purposes. His purpose: he predestined that all who would believe would be without blame and holy before Him in love."

Everyone has their unique set of problems and their unique circumstances and in ALL circumstances and ALL these problems, Paul says sin is standing around in all directions to trip us up. God is going to work ALL THINGS to our good when our purpose in life is to be holy as He is holy, but also sin is there in ALL THINGS to trip us up. It is in these times that we are afforded the opportunity to work out our salvation in fear and trembling by not yielding to unrighteousness, but to righteousness. With sin trying to beset us from every direction, ALL our circumstances are brought down to the very purpose of God: be conformed to the character of the Lamb of God by yielding your members to righteousness. Thus, the writer to the Hebrews encourages us with these words:

Hebrews 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.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Jesus alone was sinless, but endured the sinners of His time. Paul says, CONSIDER HIM. We, having our sinful nature yet with us, are called to endure, to stay the tides of sin, to not "be wearied and faint in our minds" in our battle against it. The Hebrews writer goes on to say, after all,

Hebrews 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

What happens when we become wearied by sin's pressure on our minds and hearts? What happens when we don't seem to have the strength to "lay aside every weight" (v. 1) of it? Sometimes the temptations and burdens get overwhelmingly heavy, and the writer said its like a weight on us, putting pressure on us to find some unholy way to get rid of the burden of the moment, even if its just to give up and give into it:

WEIGHT - 3591. ogkos, ong'-kos; prob. from the same as G43; a mass (as bending or bulging by its load), i.e. burden (hindrance):--weight.

We all know what this describes. We have this burden or this sin, and this massive weight bends and bulges and shifts this way and that way in our minds and hinders us in our walk of holiness and our growth towards maturity. But, God exhorts us to "Look unto Jesus. Look to the Lamb. Look to His word and hear His Spirit and be holy for I am holy. Be conformed to the image of the Lamb now, in this circumstance, because you have not yet shed blood that you should fall under it." And if that isn't enough to encourage us to walk in holiness, the writer warns,

Hebrews 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:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

The word "scourge" here is the same word Jesus used about Himself:

Luke 18:32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

In other words, God is not afraid to use the whip on us (nor the rod - see Luke 12 in the footnote below), to allow circumstances to come into our lives that will chasten us until we decide to walk in holiness. God has given us His holy Son as our sacrifice, He has called us to holiness, He has given us His word which is holy and He has given us His Holy Spirit to make holiness a reality in our lives. But if we get stubborn in our sin or excuse it or don't do what we know we are to do, the writer says we leave God no alternative but to chasten us, not so much because He's angry, but because of His love for us as sons:

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

And the writer goes on to describe the benefits of receiving a "whipping" from the Lord:

Hebrews 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?

"we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather . . ." When our earthly fathers chastened us, we got reverent toward them pretty quick, but they did it for their own pleasure:

Hebrews 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; . . .

What does "their own pleasure" mean? It means sometimes they chastened us according to the mood they were in. Or, maybe they chastened us because we were being bothersome or annoying them. Or, maybe they chastened us out of a mean temper. Some even chastened us out of a love and concern to bring us up in the way we should go. Not so our Heavenly Father. His purpose for chastening us is singular and doesn't depend on His mood of the moment. He has a definite purpose when we force Him to chasten us:

Hebrews 12:10 . . . but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

God chastens the believer for one reason: "that we might be partakers of his holiness." Period. And it all comes down to Ephesians 1:4, again, that he predestined all who believe to be holy and in love before Him. Or, as the writer to the Hebrews puts it: "that we might be partakers of his holiness." Or, as it is stated another way in Romans 8:28-29: God works all things to our good, meaning, He works all things and all circumstances to conform us to the image of His Son. This is described in the next verse in Hebrews:

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.

In His deep desire to have sons conformed to the image of Lamb, God then encourages us to stand up, be strengthened, look to the holy Lamb and love the truth above all things and accept the central purpose for your life: be holy as He is holy. And Scripture exhort us: make straight your path, quit drooping, get out of your self-pity, get going, you're not bleeding yet:

12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 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;
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

End of Part 5.



Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Introduction: Tribulation Preparation: Called To be Holy
Part 1: God Is Holy And His Purpose For Us Is Holiness
Part 2: God Works All Things To Make Us Holy
Part 3: God brings About Our Progressive Sanctification Through His Word
Part 4: The Holy Spirit Works For Our Sanctification
Part 5: God Chastens Us For Our Sanctification
Part 6: Our Working Out Sanctification In Christ Has An End
Part 7: Our Christian Life: It Begins And Ends With Holiness
Part 8: Being Made Holy (Like Him) When He Comes
Part 9: God Shall Judge The World In The Beauty Of His Holiness
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