The Warning Passages in Hebrews Part 5: The Failure to Heed His Speaking in Hebrews 12:25-29 -- By: Thomas Kem Oberholtzer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 146:581 (Jan 1989)
Article: The Warning Passages in Hebrews Part 5: The Failure to Heed His Speaking in Hebrews 12:25-29
Author: Thomas Kem Oberholtzer


The Warning Passages in Hebrews
Part 5:
The Failure to Heed His Speaking in Hebrews 12:25-29

Thomas Kem Oberholtzer

Pastor
Victoria Bible Church, Victoria, Texas

The fifth and final warning passage in Hebrews is 12:25–29. This exhortation is set against the backdrop of the superiority of the New Covenant in Christ over the Mosaic Covenant. The emphasis of this passage is on living in obedience to God’s Word so as not to lose eschatological reward. The readers will have a part in the coming kingdom, but only those actions accomplished in obedience to the Son will be rewarded.

The Relationship of Hebrews 12:1-24 to 12:25-29

Hebrews 12:1–3 begins by encouraging readers to learn from the example of the Old Testament witnesses spoken of in 11:1–40. In Hebrews 11 the readers were exhorted with a variety of Old Testament examples to live by faith. Jesus was set forth as the supreme Example, being the ἀρχηγός (“author” or “pioneer,” 12:2; cf. 2:10) of the readers’ faith.

In 12:4–11 the readers were reminded that they had not suffered to the extent Christ suffered. They had forgotten the Old Testament admonition from Proverbs 3:11–12, which teaches that the discipline of the Lord is an expression of a loving Father for His erring children. For the readers to mature in Christlikeness, they must endure sufferings (cf. Heb 2:10). Discipline is designed by God to produce the fruit of holiness and righteousness in His children (12:10–11).

The discipline of the readers appears as a divine corrective for their dullness of hearing and spiritual immaturity (5:11–6:20). This

educational process moves from lesser to greater intensity, as seen in the terms ἐλέγχω (“to reprove”), παιδεύω (“to discipline”), and μαστιγόω (“to scourge”). God imposes discipline on His children to produce His desired effect. A final form of discipline for a continually disobedient child of God may be the loss of physical life (You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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