Mid-Week Msg. – Hebrews 12:14-29, The 8th Study

Mid-Week Msg. – Hebrews 12:14-29, The 8th Study

 

NOTES

DOWNLOAD: Hebrews_12b

 

INTRO

We only covered vs. 1-13 of ch. 12 last week, so we’ll pick it up at v. 14 tonight.

The writer turns to wrap up the letter, he moves to a practical application of all the doctrine he spelled out in Chs. 1-10.

He’s brilliant shown the superiority of Jesus & The Gospel and bolstered the flagging faith of his readers who were being pressed to give up following Jesus to go back to the Judaism of their past.

In chl. 11 he reminded them of their heroes & what it was that mayde them heroic – their steadfast faith in God when it was hard.

He calls them to not just tell & enjoy their stories but to become a part of it – to step into it & embrace that same confidence in God.

Now we turns to kind of bullet-list several ways the Faith can & ought to be lived out.

What we find here will challenge every one of us.

14Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Pursue à peace. è Chase after it.

It’s a hunting word. It’s the concentration of a hunter stalking prey.

The goal here, the thing we’re to stalk is peace. = Relational harmony & concord.

The Greek word for peace means security & safety.

It describes a relationship between people who haven’t just ended hostility.

They’ve moved beyond that to mutual goodwill & a harmony that owns a sense of care & concern for one another.

In the NT, peace is a result of salvation.

Most people think of  “salvation” in mainly a religious sense.

Saved from sin, hell, the wrath of God. // Salvation is what gets them into heaven.

While the word salvation certainly includes all that,  that wasn’t it’s primary meaning to people of the 1st Century.

Salvation meant being rescued out of any threat or danger that imperiled your well-being.

AND deliverance into a place of security and wholeness.

If someone was kidnapped, their rescue & returned home was “salvation.”

When a sick person was healed & restored to health – they were saved.

When someone was thrown into prison for failure to pay their bills, & a wealthy benefactor paid their debts & delivered them from prison, they were saved.

When a nation was defeated in war, its people sold into slavery & the slaves were then liberated by another nation that conquered their conquerors, they were saved.

Salvation wasn’t a religious word.  It simply meant to be liberated from danger & brought into a secure place of wholeness à & peace.

Peace is the legacy Jesus secured for us as our Savior.

We’ve been liberated from the danger of God’s wrath into peace with Him.

V. 14 means that because that’s happened for you, & it’s happened for me – we ought to see it happen between us.

Salvation means we’ve been set free from a fallen lifestyle of selfishness that puts us at odds w/1 another.

We’re to demonstrate we’re saved by chasing after peace w/each other.

Pursue peace [he says] with all people,

If there’s trouble w/others, it must not be because we started it, contributed to it, or stoke it by refusing to make peace. // Romans 14:19 says –

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

Some things make peace. Others break it. / Some of the things that break peace are –

  • Gossip
  • Criticism
  • Hostility
  • Envy & Jealousy
  • Provocative body language
  • Rude gestures
  • Sarcasm
  • Charged words

Things that make for peace include

  • Giving the benefit of the doubt: Not looking for offense
  • Not being thin-skinned.
  • Humility.

1 Corinthians 13:7 • Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Refuse to be offended or to give offense.

Now: There’s an important exception to all this.

We are to “pursue peace w/all.” It doesn’t say we are to be at peace w/all.

The fact is, there are some people w/whom we can’t be at peace with because they won’t be at peace w/us.

They require that to be at peace w/them would mean to set ourselves at odds w/God; we can’t.

Romans 12:18 • If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

There will be some who make themselves our enemy & set themselves against us no matter what we do.

We’re not to be at peace w/them because we’d have to compromise our call to holiness.

We can’t be hateful toward them, hurling verbal fireballs.

We must be respectful & do our best to keep the door to peace open.

We’ve mentioned this before but in light of what this says, I need to bring it up again.

There are some Christians perpetually in the mode of stirring up strife where-ever they go.

They are spiritual arsonists.

Many arsonists are compelled to light fires because they feel powerless.

But when they start a fire, & it’s responded to by firetrucks & firefighters, and dozens of people come out to watch, they feel powerful because what they did effected the actions of so many people.

If something valuable burns, even better because their actions led to great cost.

Spiritual arsonists run around setting relational fires because when they see turmoil & people getting emotionally worked up, they feel empowered.

They stir up strife as a way to control others.

They will start a whisper campaign of gossip & make people choose sides.

They take some minor, petty thing & blow it all out of proportion so they can set people against one another, then they stand back & rub their hands in glee as they watch the war unfold.

God has some shocking things to say about this in Proverbs 6:16-19

16 These 6 things the Lord hates, Yes, 7 are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, [then it gets bad] Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans [conspiracies], feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.

Chances are, someone hearing this study is that person; someone who sows discord among others; a spiritual arsonist.

Problem is, they’ve done it so long, it’s so much a part of their identity, they don’t see it.

This is the perpetual, chronic gossip. It’s the perennial critic.

Sometimes it’s the quiet, reserved man who acts meek & reserved but in reality he’s watching & plotting; looking for the right moment to whisper to someone a word of discontent or suspicion about someone else.

We’ve had a couple of these guys at Calvary over the last 30 years.

They seem so meek & gentle. It’s a mask they wear to get people off guard.

Then they launch their attack, light the fuse on some bomb they’ve set & stand back to watch it blow up by setting 2 friends against each other.

Jesus died to bring peace w/God, & peace w/1 another. // We must chase after it.

The writers goes on –

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

We are to stalk holiness as well.

This is a process that leads to a state. // The process is sanctification, the state is purity.

Just as we chase after peace in our rel. w/1 another, we must chase after purity in our rel. w/ourselves.

What traits or characteristics are honored today?

  • Fame
  • Power
  • Wealth
  • Beauty
  • Talent
  • Style
  • Humor
  • Coolness

How about Purity? Not so much. // When people think of purity they think of synonyms like . . .

  • Innocent
  • Naïve
  • Inexperienced
  • Simple
  • Unsophisticated
  • Novice
  • Virgin
  • And worst of all à Boring

Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were pure.

Please don’t picture them as cavemen; brutish, dull, sloped heads w/thick brows & covered w/hair.

They were created in the glorious image of God and as David said, a little lower than the angels.

So don’t let the evolutionary idea of man distort your idea of what Adam & Eve were like.

They were the only human beings, besides Christ, to be without sin, and before ANY of the effects of sin had marred the creation, they were something august and majestic to behold.

They were innocent, naïve, & inexperienced – in regard to sin & its tragic consequences.

But if you & I tried to carry on a conversation w/them we’d be blown away by the depth of their wisdom & use of their God given faculties.

When they ate of the forbidden fruit, all that changed. // It’s called The Fall for a reason.

The forbidden fruit was from a Tree called The KNOWLEDGE of Good & Evil. = They gained knowledge alright.

They lost their innocence & replaced it w/guilt.

Naïveté was replaced by sophistication. Inexperience became experience.

Simplicity was cashed in for confusion & complexity.

And both Adam & Eve would have given anything to go back to the simple, inexperience of naïve purity.

There are some things it would be better we didn’t know. Not all knowledge is good.

Some knowledge can become a weapon capable of massive damage; like the knowledge of how to split an atom.

Knowledge does not equal wisdom, as history hammers home.

We must not allow the world’s disgust w/purity to alter our determination to pursue it.

I don’t care to be sophisticated if that means I have to be aware of every perversion & debauchery that’s out there.

I don’t need to know the various names of cigars.

I don’t need to know the difference between scotch & bourbon.

I don’t want to know how to grade caviar or the difference between a shot glass & a shooter.

I want to remain as naïve & inexperienced as possible about the various kinds of pornography.

Millions of women across the US & Europe have felt the need to read explicitly pornographic novels; the 50 Shades books, for no more reason than they top the bestseller list & are concerned their friends have read them and they don’t want to be out of the loop.

I want to be known as narrow when it comes to my ideas about morality & right & wrong – because I want others to known precisely where I stand – that I stand on what God says.

My life is only as wide as this book!

Does our pursuit of purity mean that we’ll miss out on the fun in life? No way!

The life of faith is a far greater adventure than a life defined by the world.

We will miss some of the carnal pleasures the impure enjoy, for a season, but we’ll also miss out on the pain, sorrow, & ultimately the death sins always reaps.

How sweet was the forbidden fruit to Eve after she swallowed? Sweet in the mouth; sour in the belly.

That’s sin! That’s impurity.

We must pursue holiness!  Because w/o it, no one will see God!

Careful now à W/o what? = Holiness, or the pursuit of it?

It’s the pursuit of holiness that’s in view here.

In Christ, we already are holy, positionally, legally.

But practically, there has to be movement toward moral purity.

That’s the proof we’re positionally holy.

Being born again issues in a new life & new orientation toward living that will result in a pursuit of holiness.

No pursuit, no new life. // And no new life – no heaven, no seeing God.

In Matthew 5:8 Jesus said –

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

2 things we’re exhorted to pursue, to chase after here – peace & purity.

Do we pursue peace and holiness by sitting back and taking a nap?

Is this an active or a passive thing we’re called to here?

There’s an ad on the radio for a diet concoction that sounds very interesting.

You stop eating 3 hours before bedtime and then take a tablespoon right before you go to bed.

It’s supposed to burn fat away while you sleep!  Wow – how killer!

Forget dieting and workouts – now you can sleep your way to a new slim, trim you!

We love things to be easy and effortless!

Speaking of which –  now they have an easy way to get that totally ripped, rock-hard look.

Once you’ve slept off the surface fat, you can tone and shape your muscles by electronic stimulation.

You put on these little pads with wires coming o0ut of them to a little box.

Plug it in and they fire electrical jolts into the muscles, causing them to contract.

So now you can drink your fat-stripper and plug-in your muscle machine and you’re all set!

In our age of ease when we have high tech appliances that do almost all the labor of living for us we want to find some way to automate our spiritual growth as well.

I wonder if we’ll start seeing Bible memorization pills at the Christian bookstore or on the Internet.

Maybe we’ll soon see CD’s you can play while you sleep that implant virtues like patience and gentleness.

Friends – we can’t sit back and be passive about spiritual growth – it won’t come that way.

The Word tells us to PURSUE! To chase after peace with others and holiness toward God.

15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;

It’s possible for someone to make a profession of faith but for their faith to be merely a “said” faith and not real.

Jesus told the parable of the seed and the soils.

Some seed fell on soil that was shallow, and other that was filled with weeds..

The seeds germinated but the plants quickly withered in the sun or were choked out by the strangling vines.

This was a picture of aborted spiritual life.

It was a half-hearted and insincere response to the work of the Spirit.

The writer is calling on his readers to look around their fellowship and make sure everyone is making genuine progress in grace – that no one’s Christianity is in name only and lacks the commensurate evidence of grace.

The best way to know if a person has been touched by God’s grace is to ask if they are gracious!

A graceless life is just that – without grace!

Grace, by its very nature changes me – it transforms me.

If I have received grace, then I will bestow it, show it, live it.

The writer now moves to speak of one of the most important ways grace will be manifest in the lives of those touched by it . . .

lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Just as in v. 14 with the word “pursue” being understood as applying to both peace and holiness, so “Looking carefully”  applies to both grace and bitterness.

We must be on diligent lookout for any root of bitterness.

The author paints a word-picture of a noxious weed whose roots lie dormant underground and then spring up to kill the ornamental flowers and plants.

Right by our front door we have some roses and a ground cover of miniature iceplant.

Last year I noticed that a weed started growing up through the iceplant, so I tried to yank it out.

I thought I had gotten it all – but it came back, more wide-spread and higher!

So I attacked it again, but it would not go away. So this last time I sprayed it with weed killer.

The iceplant where I sprayed all shriveled and died but the weed is healthier than ever.

I’ve come to realize the only solution is to yank out the iceplant so that I can get to the roots of the weed.

Bitterness is the result of a settled unforgiveness.

When someone offends or hurts us, we have a choice, we can let go and forgive, or we can hold on and treasure that hurt.

Now we know that the Word of God is absolutely clear on this – we MUST forgive.

It’s part of the foundational prayer the Lord taught the disciples – “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Then, immediately after teaching them this, He went on to elaborate – “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  [Matthew 6:14-15]

Forgiveness is a channel that must remain open on both ends.

When we refuse to forgive and treasure up the hurts and offenses committed against us, it turns to bitterness – and bitterness will quickly kill all affection and love.

And it’s called “bitterness”  for good reason – it sours a person’s whole spirit and life.

Unforgiveness toward even one person will poison you and make trouble across the board.

It leads not only to spiritual problems but physical problems as well.

Look at what it says – 

[Looking carefully] lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Bitterness is a sinister and noxious spiritual weed and will grow up to produce a harvest of seeds that may very well ruin many lives.

Just as we delight in God’s ready forgiveness of us – we must quickly let go of the hurts done to us.

We must keep a short list!

16[Again we add – Looking carefully]lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

The writer has told us to be on the lookout for those who’ve fallen short of God’s saving grace, for any root of bitterness, and now for those among us who are just plain lost and living a lifestyle that is a moral embarrassment!

Are there people in the church today, who call themselves Christians, who are practicing sin that is clearly outside the pale of acceptable morality? Of course!

Here the writer speaks specifically to those who are involved in sex outside of marriage and other lifestyle issues that lie outside the realm of godliness.

That word “profane”  comes from the Greek word meaning “outside the temple” and refers to any and everything that’s ungodly in orientation.

The writer gives us a quick character sketch of a profane person in the example of Esau.

Here was a guy, the firstborn son of Isaac, who was willing to cash in his spiritual inheritance for a bowl of lentil stew!

God had made the greatest promise of all history to Abraham – we find it in Genesis 12.

He promised Abraham the land of Israel

He promised to make Abraham descendants into a mighty nation who would occupy that land.

And then He promised to bring the long sought for Redeemer through those descendants.

This 3-fold promise is the foundation and the basis of all of the rest of human history.

Isaac was the son of Abraham through whom that promise was to be realized.

Isaac’s wife Rebekah had twins – the first born named Esau, the second was came out hard on his heels was Jacob.

As the firstborn, the Abrahamic Covenant belonged to Esau – all the promises God made to Abraham passed to Isaac and then to him – but he cared nothing for them!

One day, returning from hunting and famished, he came into the camp and approached his brother Jacob who envied his brother’s position as the firstborn.

Jacob was making a pot of stew and Esau demanded a bowl – but Jacob refused.

Esau pleaded and Jacob suggested he turn over the birthright in exchange. Esau agreed!

Let’s say you’re the son or daughter of a famed archaeologist who did extensive work at Qumran in Israel and with the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered there.

When your father died he left you his collection of artifacts gathered from years of research.

One of them is a 4 foot high ceramic pot stuffed full of ancient scrolls.

You remember your father saying something about them being from the Dead Sea Scroll collection.

You decide to have a garage sale one day and someone sees the pot and offers you $50 for it.

You look at the pot –  consider how much pizza $50 could buy and say, “Deal!”

Not only have you just done something really foolish, you’ve also shown your disdain for the work of your father and the vast worth of his work.

You whole sense of priorities and value are completely out of whack.

This is what Esau did – he showed his utter disdain for the spiritual treasure which was his inheritance and his father’s and grandfather’s legacy.

He placed more value in a bowl of macaroni and cheese than in the spiritual reality of the covenant that undergirds all of history.

A bird in the hand is not worth two in the bush if the bush belongs to you!

Now, here’s the rub – when Esau came to realize that he’d traded in his inheritance for a bowl of stew and that the blessing that ought to have been his had been given to his brother, he broke down and wept.

But they weren’t sincere tears of repentance – he was only sorry for what he had lost, not for the shallowness of his own soul that had led to his loss.

The writer is telling his readers to not be fooled by the insincere tears of the profane.

There are those in the Church who like Esau, are numbered with the family of God, but who in fact are lost.

Though they call themselves Christians, they live lives centered on the flesh.

They are ungodly and immoral – and when their sin finds them out, as it inevitably will, they weep and cry and lament the trouble their sin has caused them.

They make a good show of repentance – but as soon as the trouble lifts, they’re right back to their sin.

The writer is saying that we need to confront such people and tell them they are playing the part of Esau.

Tears are not enough –  there must be change!

The spirit must take priority over the carnal.

Our inheritance in Christ must be more important than a bowl of macaroni and cheese, or a pair of Calvin Klein’s, or a faster more powerful computer, or whatever our insatiable flesh demands.

Now we come to a new section.

After the several exhortations of the first 17 verses of chapter 12, we have a passage which aims at reminding us of what our spiritual inheritance is.

The writer paints another picture, this time of the nation of Israel after the Exodus, gathered at the base of Mount Sinai – where God came down and manifest His glory and majesty before them . . .

18For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20(For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

We have two mountains here: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion.

It was at Sinai that God gave the law and it was on Zion that the City of Jerusalem was built.

Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, Mt. Zion is a symbol for Heaven.

The earthly City of Jerusalem, which was built on top of Mt. Zion, represents the dwelling place of God and His people.

The writer is drawing a stark contrast here between Judaism and Christianity.

You see, though the people spent an entire year at Mt. Sinai – they didn’t really live there – that wasn’t the place God had ordained for them to settle down.

They were merely camping out – until the law had been given and set up in their national life.

Their real destination was the Promised Land, with its capital at Jerusalem.

The law was given in the desert, while they were enroute – but the destination was a permanent settlement in the place of Promise.

The writer is saying that by virtue of their faith in Christ, his reader have come home.

The Judaism of their past was temporary, but now they’ve arrived at the destination and purpose of the law, to guide them to Christ.

Therefore, they ought not retreat to the desert of the law.

Now he warns them . . .

25See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they

Meaning the Jews of the Exodus who heard God speaking from Mt. Sinai –

For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26whose voice then [at Mt. Sinai] shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

If God was serious in the establishing of the law, which was only temporary and meant to lead people to the fulfillment found in Christ, then how much more serious is God when He calls people to repentance and faith in His Son?

The writer is making a classic a fortiori argument here – from the lesser to the great.

If a lesser thing is true and bears consequences, then how much more true is this greater thing and its consequences?

The writer is straightforward in telling them that a dramatic change has now come in God’s plan of Redemption.

The Mosaic Law, with its emphasis on the temple, the priesthood and the sacrifices, is passing away.

Christ has fulfilled it – and now what’s required is faith in Him.

In v. 26 he quotes Haggai 2:6, which speaks of the very end when all of creation is shaken and disintegrates – leaving only that which is secure in Christ left standing.

But it’s the first part of v. 25 that the author makes his strongest point!

The words are dramatic and emphasized.

If we could use modern technology and computer graphics to portray what he’s saying we would put the words, “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks”  in 72 point, boldface, italics and underline, in bright red and followed by a hundred exclamation points.

This is his real point – God has spoken; we must heed Him!

In fact, the book began with this – Hebrews 1:1-2

1God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.

God has spoken.  He’s spoken in and through His Son Jesus Christ who IS God!

We must be ultra careful that we do not refuse Him but that we heed and respond to what He says.

When Elizabeth Barrett became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage.

Elizabeth, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them and longed for a reconciliation. 

After 10 years she received a huge box in the mail containing all the notes she had sent. 

Not one had been opened! 

Although these “love letters” have become an invaluable part of classical English literature, it’s really pathetic to think that they were never read by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s parents. 

Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed.

All of us are alienated from God because of sin but He has provided a way of reconciliation. 

The Bible is His love letter telling us all about it.

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.

28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29For our God is a consuming fire.

Verse 29 drives us back to vs. 18-21; let’s read them again . . .

18For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20(For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

One of the most notable manifestations of the presence of God on the top of Mt. Sinai was fire and lightening.

In the book of Exodus we read that Moses told the people to get ready for the appearance of God by washing their clothes, consecrating themselves and putting away any questionable thing.

Then, on the 3rd day of consecration, God descended in glory and majesty on the top of the Mt.

There was thundering and lightening, the ground shook and the clouds roiled and boiled.

A fierce fire like a furnace chewed at the stones on the top of the Mt. and a loud trumpet blast pierced the air, causing all the people to tremble in terror.

In v. 29, the writer wants to remind his readers that although God’s Plan of Redemption has now changed  – God HIMSELF has not changed!

The ritual aspects of the Law of Moses have been fulfilled in Christ – but this doesn’t mean that God is any less holy or that His demands have abated.

God is still Holy, and the fire that consumed the top of the Mount still consumes today.

During the 2nd Century, a heretic named Marcion came to power in Asia Minor who did much damage – in fact, he split the Church in two.

Though he was excommunicated early on, his heresy lasted for 2 centuries and occupied much of the attention of the church fathers as they fought for orthodoxy.

In essence, Marcion taught that the God of the OT and the God of the NT were two separate and distinct Gods.

He said the God of the OT was a mean-spirited and angry deity while the God of the NT was a gracious loving God.

He taught that Christians ought to have nothing to do with the OT and produced his own version of the Bible that contained only an edited version of the Gospel of Luke and some of Paul’s epistles, also highly edited.

Marcionism died out by the end of the 4th Century, but experienced a revival in the 19th when Liberalism born.

The Holiness of God was submerged under the idea of the Universal Fatherhood of God and the Universal Brotherhood of Man.

God’s love and grace were emphasized at the expense of His righteousness and holiness.

God was turned from a consuming fire into a heat lamp meant to warm cold hands and hearts.

The writer of Hebrews is careful to remind his readers that while God’s plan has changed – God Himself remains unchanged.

The Consuming Fire of Mt. Sinai burns on – but now on Mt. Zion, the Mount they’ve been privileged to come to through faith in Christ.

We must not fear the fire – but rather come all the way in to it that it may consume and burn away all that within us that is unworthy of the presence of God.

Jesus Christ has gone before us to make sure that the fire will not destroy us but rather purify us – and make us holy.

So he says in v. 28 – 

28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

At Mt. Sinai, the people couldn’t even touch the mountain. 

Boundary markers were set up to mark off the perimeter and to make sure no one violated the holiness of the sacred place.

But now – we’re invited to ascend the holy mountain of God’s presence through faith in Christ.

We’re invited to embrace the grace of God and come into the very presence of the Holy.