Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part VI: The Response Of Faith To Christ's Superiority, Hebrews 11:1-13:19
H. Living By Faith Applied, Hebrews 12:1-13:25
4. The Exhortation To Live By Faith Out Of Deep Reverence For God
(Hebrews 12:18-29)
  1. Introduction
    1. Our Early American Puritan forefathers stressed a great reverence for God, but there has been a decline in such reverence to where it is often viewed to day as somewhat antique and irrelevant.
    2. In reality, though, we greatly need to revere God today! The author of Hebrews calls us to live by faith in God and His Word out of a deep reverence and a sense of accountability to Him in Hebrews 12:18-29:
  2. The Exhortation To Live By Faith Out Of Deep Reverence For God, Hebrews 12:18-29.
    1. As the Epistle to the Hebrews was written to Hebrew believers who were tempted to return to what was likely a Judaistic sect that idolized Israel's wilderness journey (Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 779), the author wrote Hebrews 12:18-29 to show the need for Christians to revere the Lord to avoid such apostasy.
    2. Accordingly, he claimed that as Christians, his Hebrew readers did not approach God like Israel did in the wilderness at Mount Sinai in all of God's terrifying displays of His judgment, Hebrews 12:18-21:
      1. The epistle's readers did not approach Mount Sinai that the lay Hebrew could not touch lest he need to be executed (Exodus 19:12 with Hebrews 12:18a), a mount that exhibited God's glory as it was topped by a blazing fire, darkness, gloom, a storm and the sound of a ram's horn and the voice of words so loud it terrified the people of Israel into wishing Moses and not God would speak unto them, Hebrews 12:18b-20a NIV, ESV, KJV. (Exodus 19:16-20; 20:18-19)
      2. The mount was so holy that if an animal touched it, it had to be stoned or thrust through with a dart, Hebrews 12:20b, and the sight of the Mount was so awesome, even Moses who was used to speaking directly with God (Numbers 12:6-8a) was afraid and trembled, Heb. 12:21 (citing Deuteronomy 9:19).
    3. Rather, the author's Hebrew Christian readers approached God on an even grander level, Heb. 12:22-24:
      1. Believers in Christ approach God in worship in the heavenly City of Jerusalem (Rev. 21), Heb. 12:22a.
      2. This city contains a company of remarkable parties, Hebrews 12:22b-24:
        1. It contains an innumerable company of godly angels (Hebrews 12:22b).
        2. It contains the general assembly and church of the Firstborn who are written in heaven, that is, deceased Christians, Hebrews 12:23a.
        3. It contains God, the Judge of all men, Hebrews 12:23b.
        4. It contains the spirits of just men made perfect, i.e., Old Testament deceased saints, Hebrews 12:23c; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Hebrews 12:23.
        5. It contains Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant "whose . . . blood does not cry for judgment as did Abel's but secures the acceptance of all New-Covenant persons," Ibid., B. K. C., N. T. , p. 811.
    4. Since God today speaks to us from the heavenly Jerusalem that is far greater in importance than Mount Sinai from which He spoke in judgment, we Christians today must not treat God's Word lightly or reject heeding it, for such disobedience will result in sure punishment from Him Who demonstrated His wrath at Mount Sinai with tremendous, inescapable force, Hebrews 12:25-26a.
    5. Indeed, citing Haggai 2:6, the author of Hebrews recalled the promise of God Who once shook the earth at Mount Sinai again to shake both it and the whole heaven, indicating a removal of the current creation to establish the eternal one, Hebrews 12:26b-27 with 2 Peter 3:10-13.
    6. If we Christians will receive a kingdom that cannot be removed as will this earthly temporary stage where the wilderness wanderings of Israel occurred, how much more then should we offer to God worship with reverence and awe, for our Christian God is a consuming fire Who can and will judge, Hebrews 12:28-29.
Lesson: The God of Old Testament Mount Sinai Who so graphically displayed His power, holiness and judgment, has provided us Christians a far grander stage of which we are a part, the Heavenly City. Accordingly, we must reverently worship Him and His Savior, Jesus Christ, to avoid sure punishment!

Application: May we Christians greatly awe and reverence our God, and worship Him accordingly!