Tuesday, September 29, 2020

2020.09.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 12:18–29

Read Hebrews 12:18–29

Questions from the Scripture text: How does Hebrews 12:18-20 describe the mountain that we have not come to? When the people heard the sound of the trumpet and the voice of the words, for what did they beg (Hebrews 12:19)? What had been commanded to do to a beast if it touched the mountain (Hebrews 12:20)? Who else said that he was exceedingly afraid and trembling (Hebrews 12:21)? To what mountain have we come (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? What are we to “see to” in Hebrews 12:25? What are we not to refuse? Where was the mountain from which God spoke before? Where is the mountain from which He speaks now? What two places is the Lord shaking with New Covenant preaching (Hebrews 12:26)? Since this is the last time, what are the only things that will remain when this age of preaching is done (Hebrews 12:27)? Who is receiving a kingdom (Hebrews 12:28)? What cannot be done to this kingdom? What must we have? What do we do by that grace? What three things does verse 28 tell us about the worship that we should be offering? What does Hebrews 12:29 tell us about our God?

Next week’s Prayer for Help comes from Hebrews 12:18–29 that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with For All the Saints.

This passage describes that glorious assembly that the Lord Jesus addresses from heaven. In it, our consuming-fire God (Hebrews 12:29) brings us near to Himself (Hebrews 12:22-23), having been sprinkled by His own blood (Hebrews 12:24), that we may worship Him with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28).

And here, He teaches us to rejoice over the innumerable company of angels (Hebrews 12:22) and that church of the firstborn that includes the spirits of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:23)—“all the saints who from their labors rest.” 

Here, we have evidence of the faithfulness of our God. Even after being justified through faith in Christ, they were sinners just as we still are. But the Lord kept them, and they have now been perfected. We, too, shall be perfected one day, and permanently enter into that assembly.

For now, however, we join with them once per week in what ought to be our greatest experience of Christian unity this side of heaven. That unity is forged through gospel simplicity. Singing Scripture, so that it is truly Jesus Who sings in the assembly (cf. Hebrews 2:12), and saints from all lands and all ages—and even in glory—would be able to participate from the heart. Hearing Scripture, so that we may know that it is truly Jesus Who speaks to us from heaven. Praying from Scripture, so that we may know that these are prayers that are offered up by our Mediator (Hebrews 12:24). 

These are the ordinary means by which He brought them to faith, grew them in the faith, and kept them in the faith. These are the means by which He brings us, grows us, and keeps us. And these are the means by which they worshiped Him, and we now worship Him together with them. This power and goodness of God, and unity of the church, is sacrificed whenever something manmade is added to His worship. Such personal or cultural preferences and traditions (preferences that got old) end up excluding Christians who could have gladly worshiped with us if we had simply stuck to the Bible, and unwittingly increasing the distance between our worship and that glorious assembly in heaven that we have opportunity to join. Perhaps if we thought more carefully about that assembly, and enjoyed more deeply Christ’s power and faithfulness toward them, it would help us worship the Lord more purely according to His Word.

What do you need the Lord to do for you that He has done for the saints in glory? How did He do it for them? How does this encourage you that He will do it for you?

Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH408 “For All the Saints”


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