1. The third section of Hebrews (ch.11-13) emphasizes "the superiority of the Christian faith." a. (ch.11) Faith is explained and illustrated. b. (ch.12) God's people are exhorted to persevere by: 1) running the race with "patience" (vs.1-3) 2) enduring God's chastening (vs.4-13). 2. (12:14-17) Various instructions are given that relate to perseverance. Discussion: I. (vs.14) GOD'S PEOPLE MUST PURSUE PEACE AND HOLINESS
A. Peace must be pursued (Romans 12:18; 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:13b). B. Holiness must also be pursued (1 Peter 1:13-16). C. Those who fail to pursue peace and holiness will not see the Lord (Matthew 5:8). II. (vs.15a) GOD'S PEOPLE MUST NOT COME SHORT OF HIS GRACE
A. It is possible for a child of God to fall from grace (Hebrews 3:12; 4:1). B. Reasons why some fall from grace include: 1. tribulation (Matthew 13:20-21) 2. seeking to be justified by the law of Moses (Galatians 5:4) 3. loving the world (2 Timothy 4:10a). C. The condition of those who come short of God's grace is described in Hebrews 10:26-31. III. (vs.15b) GOD'S PEOPLE MUST NOT BE TROUBLED AND DEFILED BY ANY ROOT OF BITTERNESS (Romans 12:17-21; Ephesians 4:26-27) IV. (vs.16-17) GOD'S PEOPLE MUST NOT BE LIKE ESAU
A. God's people must avoid: 1. fornication (Hebrews 13:4) 2. being profane. B. Esau was a profane person. 1. (vs.16b) He sold his birthright for a meal (Genesis 25:29-34). 2. (vs.17) Later, Esau was unable to receive the blessing reserved for the firstborn. a. Jacob received the blessing (Genesis 27:18-29). b. Esau was unable to receive it (Genesis 27:30-40).