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Monday, February 24, 2020

2020.02.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 12:18-29

Questions from the Scripture text: To what mountain do we come in corporate worship (Hebrews 12:22)? 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 (Hebrews 12:23)? 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 Hebrews 12:24 tell us we have come? Of what is Jesus the Mediator? What speaks better than the blood of Abel? Who is the Priest who leads that worship (verse 24)? Who is the Preacher who preaches in it (Hebrews 12:25)? What is He using that worship to prepare us to receive (Hebrews 12:25-27)? 
It is a wonderful thing that we get to hear the voice that is shaking heaven (Hebrews 12:22-26)!

And it is amazing that this wonderful hearing comes in something rather earthly and unimpressive—the plain speaking of God’s Word. This is why, as the apostle said of his own preaching in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 and 2 Corinthians 4:2–7, we ought to seek for plain preaching rather than that which is eloquent or clever. Because the heavenly power of preaching comes through most clearly when there is no earthly impressiveness in the way.

God’s speech at Sinai was impressive in an earthly way (Hebrews 12:18–21). But it only shook earth. Jesus’s preaching to us from heaven is unimpressive on earth—but it is not only shaking earth and heaven but also removing them (Hebrews 12:27). It is His way of preparing us for the unshakeable kingdom that we are receiving (Hebrews 12:28)!

But let us take the focus off what this does for us. In keeping with the spirit of the text, shouldn’t we rather focus upon Christ Himself? When we do so, we realize what a true act of worship it is to listen to, give ourselves to, and appreciate this kind of preaching (Hebrews 12:25a).

When we don’t demand the cleverness, or eloquence, or attention-grabbing stories or factoids or humor; but, we simply give ourselves to the explanation of Christ’s Word, because it is CHRIST’s Word, we are acknowledging His invisible but very real glory in heaven—AND in biblical worship on earth.

When we value unadorned preaching of Bible truths, we are saying, “we believe what Jesus says about His speaking right now, and we count Him and His worship more valuable and desirable than anything that would appeal even to unbelievers.” Of course, that’s also part of the glory of it. Genuinely receiving such preaching as the Word of God is something that comes by faith as a work of the Spirit (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
What happens during preaching in corporate worship? How will you glorify Jesus in it?
Suggested songs: ARP29 “You Sons of God” or TPH172 “Speak, O Lord”

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