Hebrews 12: Commitment and Correction

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 152–153

Hebrews 11 contains many stories of people who demonstrated faith in Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 12 Paul explained how having such faith should inspire us to trust in the Lord. Allowing the Lord to correct us and staying committed to the end of our lives are two important ways we can show our faith and trust in Him. Having been inspired by the stories and examples in Hebrews 11, look in Hebrews 12 for how you can apply what you learned.

Understanding the Scriptures

Hebrews 12

Compassed (v. 1)Surrounded 
Cloud (v. 1)Number, group 
Beset (v. 1)Trouble 
Despising (v. 2)Paying no attention 
Chastening, chasteneth, chastisement, chastened (vv. 5–8, 10–11)Scolding, correcting 
Scourgeth (v. 6)Punishes 
Bastards (v. 8)Children born to unmarried women (considered a vulgar term today); Paul used this term to show they were not legitimate sons of God because they did not follow Him. 
Reverence (vv. 9, 28)Respect, obedience 
Subjection (v. 9)Willing to obey, under the control of 
Grievous (v. 11)Sad, grief 
Feeble (v. 12)Weak (can also symbolize fear) 
Intreated (v. 19)Asked with feeling, pleaded 
Mediator (v. 24)One who intervenes between two people to make (or restore) peace and friendship or to ratify a covenant 

Hebrews 12:18–21—The Mount

These verses refer to the experience of Moses and the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. The Israelites were so afraid and unworthy that they refused an opportunity to go up onto the mount with Moses and enter into the presence of the Lord.

lightning striking a mountain

Hebrews 12:22—The Heavenly Jerusalem

To read about the heavenly Jerusalem Paul mentioned in Hebrews 12:22, see the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 12:24—The Blood of Christ “Speaketh Better Things than That of Abel”

Abel’s death represented the end of mortal life. Christ’s death and resurrection opened the way to eternal life—infinitely better than what Abel’s death represented.

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Hebrews 12.

Activity A iconEnduring with Strength

  1. 1.

    In Hebrews 11 Paul listed many examples of faithful individuals. Read Hebrews 12:1–2 and list what Paul encouraged the Hebrew Saints to do to show their faith.

  2. 2.

    Explain how “looking unto” Jesus can help us finish “the race that is set before us” (the challenge of living faithfully until death). List two ways you could more fully look unto Jesus in your life.

Activity B iconThe Correction of a Loving Father

  1. 1.

    According to Hebrews 12:5–8, why should we be pleased when we receive correction or chastisement from Heavenly Father or His servants?

  2. 2.

    Name at least two ways Heavenly Father corrects us.

  3. 3.

    Explain how Heavenly Father’s corrections demonstrate His love for you, or give an example of a time when you felt the truthfulness of the ideas expressed in Hebrews 12:11.

Activity C iconOur Effect on Others

In Hebrews 12:12–14 Paul counseled the Saints to help and serve one another. Then in verse 15 he warned them that if they forgot how God had blessed them and allowed negative feelings to develop, their bad example would cause trouble for themselves and others. Write about a time when someone’s positive example of love, service, or kindness helped you want to be more righteous.