Questions for Littles: To what mountain have we come (v22)? To whose city have we come? What else is that city called? Of whom are there an innumerable company there? What is the church there called (v23)? Where are they registered? Who is the Judge of all? What verdict has He declared about the spirits in the church of the firstborn? What else has been done to these just men? To whom else does v24 tell us we have come? Of what is Jesus the Mediator? What speaks better than the blood of Abel?In this week’s sermon text, we heard not only about the mountain to which we haven’t come (Sinai, apart from Christ); but, we also heard about the mountain to which we have come.
The flow of the chapter has been: “we’re surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses… and our Father is doing everything necessary to get us ready for glory… so we too should be making every effort toward holiness… since we have come not to Sinai but to Zion.”
God stirs us up in the pursuit of holiness by the greatness of these glorious worship services on the Lord’s Day.
First, it is not a mountain with smoke and fire at the top. It is not a touchable mountain that we are to stay away from, but a spiritual mountain upon which the Lord Jesus is taking us all the way to the top. And what we find there is a city where we belong.
It’s our Father’s city. And it’s full of angels, which this book already taught us are servants who minister to those who are inheriting salvation (1:14). And these angels are not assembled for war, but for a great celebration.
With whom else do we worship, when the Lord carries us by faith to heaven in the Lord’s Day Assemblies? The church of the firstborn. What we can’t see in English is that the word “firstborn” is plural. Here is something strange: everyone in Christ’s church has the status of a firstborn! This is a place of glory and honor for us!
It is also a place of security. The rights of the firstborn have been legally recorded in heaven. And God, the judge of all, has declared the members of this assembly to be just—officially “not guilty” in the court of God. In fact, the souls in glory have not just been forgiven, they have already been perfected. God’s salvation is sure, and it works!
This is the main message that we hear in Christian worship. To be sure, it is not the only message. As we will be reminded once again in v25, we are not to refuse Him who speaks. But, before we hear anything else, we are to hear His blood.
Abel’s blood was terrible news. God observed it. God responded to it. His justice refused to ignore it. These all indicated that God is a God of wrath against sin. Jesus’s blood, however, tells good news. And it does a better job of talking than Abel’s does. Whatever sin testifies against us, Jesus’s blood talks louder, testifying of our redemption.
How does your approach to Lord’s Day Worship take into account these glories?Suggested Songs: ARP95B “Today If You Will Hear His Voice” or HB29 “O Come, and Sing Unto the Lord”