1. Christian Discipline, vv. 1-11. Education.
The Essentials for Success in the Race, 1-3.
Inspiration from others. Witnesses to the faith of past days, not spectators.
Preparation. “Lay aside every weight” – the flesh.
Sin which besets us, like closely clinging clothing. Determination – dogged endurance in a race. Observation - “looking unto Jesus”. The Cause and Crown, Commencer and Consummator.
Look away from all else, nothing obscuring the vision.
Consideration – reflect upon Him and His example.
Limitation, “ye have not yet resisted”, 4.
The Education of Sufferings, 4-11.
Discipline – its meaning. Training, correcting by a wise Father, Ps. 94. 12.
The members – sons, children. Discipline is a proof of Sonship, Heb. 12. 7, 8.
The method – scourging. A father does not chasten another man’s child.
The manner – lovingly, tenderly, 6.
The motive – for our profit, 10.
The ministry., 10-11, bringing patience, trust, sympathy.
The manifestation, 11. Afterwards, it produces fruit.
We may despise it, 5; avoid it, 4; faint under it, 3; or benefit by it, 11.
2. Clear Duties, vv. 12-17. Exhortations.
Self ward, 12-13. Be not despondent and discouraged. Unbelief desists from lifting up of weak hands. It decidedly ignores straight paths. The danger - “turned out of the way”, 13. The desire - “follow”, pursue like a hunter.
Manward, 14. Do not argue – follow peace and holiness; do not revenge yourself.
Godward, 15-17. Unbelief discards the grace of God, and is dominated by bitterness, and defiles the mind. Beware of falling short, of bitterness, of fornication and of profanity, 16. Uncurbed desires lead to unchecked demands.
3. Contrasted Dispensations, vv. 18-24. Examination.
The Terror and Majesty of Mount Sinai, 18-21. The past. Distance – not touched. Blackness and darkness, burning and tempest, 18. Consternation and fear, 19. Condemnation and terror, 20-21.
The Tenderness and Mercy of Mount Zion, 22-24. The present. Liberty - “ye are come”. Beauty - “city of the living God”. Company - “angels”. Unity and harmony -“church of the firstborn”. Purity - “just men”. Surety -“Jesus the mediator”.
4. Continual Danger, vv. 25-29. Exhortations.
Solemn possibility – refuse Him that speaketh, 25.
Sin’s peril – shall not escape, 25.
Special purpose – permanency and perfection, 27.
Secure position – kingdom that cannot be moved.
Spiritual privilege - “serve God”, priestly service.
Suggestions for Study.
Are you running the race? under discipline? in His school? helping others? What are our duties, aims and dangers? Note the glories of mount Zion and its obligations. Trace all the references to the warning word “lest”. Trace all the references to the exhortations “let us”.