Feb 272016
 

Word of GodHebrews 12:12-21

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,

  • This follows talking about the chastisement
  • The idea is to strengthen ourselves – not our neighbor – not physical frailty.

 

13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

  • Smooth paths – so you don’t trip
  • When the emperor would come to town, you would smooth the road – remove all rocks and bumps.
  • Isaiah &John the B talk -For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”

14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

  • What is a roadblock to striving for peace with everyone?
  • It depends on me AND the other guy.
  • Are there road blocks in striving for holiness? No, It only depends on me.
  • Again, we are not all God’s children – we are all God’s creation
  • But to be God’s child you must be born again.

15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

  • “no one fails” = no one falls short
  • “root of bitterness” = unforgiving.
  • An unforgiving Christian is a contradiction of terms – Matt 18 speaks of forgiveness – how many times to forgive 70×7.
  • Forgiveness does not equal reconciliation – although it could lead there.
  • Forgiveness is not a choice – it’s not a feeling, like I will when I feel like it.
  • Forgiveness is for your benefit.

16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

  • To pursue holiness is obvious.
  • I find this fascinating what is comparable – as one sin to another.
  • Why was Esau unholy? Selling the birthright – the gift of God.
  • This is the will of God that you refrain from sexual immorality.
  • But we don’t – we are all sexually immoral at times – if only in our minds and we are all unholy and continually sell our birthright … by the deeds we do.
  • This is where we all get stuck in the Romans 7 situation.

17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

  • Was he seeking the repentance or was he seeking the blessing?
  • What is the “it”? This is what makes this passage so difficult.
  • Gen 27:34 Esau says “bless me – me too, my father”
  • Gen 27:36 “haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”
  • Surely Esau will get what he wants … won’t he?
  • Luke 13:23-24 “And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

Even though there is still another chapter, this is really the concluding thought. The remainder of Ch 12.

18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest

19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.

  • Not a temple – but a mountain – an altar.
  • Think about this – Not how can a holy, right and just God send people to hell BUT…
  • How can a holy, right and just God allow us into heaven?
  • Mt Sinai is the place where God tried to keep people at arm’s length.

20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”

  • Is our God that terrifying?
  • No, our God is a God that comes to us in Grace and Forgiveness – In Jesus Christ!!
  • But if you return to Temple Judaism, that is a description of the God you will face.
  • If you do not believe, you need a God of salvation or you will face the terrifying God.
  • Come with Christ as your mediator or come naked and totally exposed.

21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”

  • But this is the God of Mount Sinai
  • We want and need the God of Mount Calvary.
  • A note to something we should study one day is the purpose of the 3 mounts in the Bible – Sinai – Zion & Calvary.

 

  4 Responses to “The Weekend Word”

  1. the root of bitterness versus grace… i need to think on this some more as i’m seeing that grace and forgiveness are not interchangeable terms, but is there forgiveness without there first being grace? … can we be self righteously dismissive in saying we are forgiving? implying that we’re sitting over here all clean because we forgave? too bad about the other guy or worse, we grit our teeth telling ourselves that being forgiving while we just go as if we’re disposable and they’re using us?
    i suspect we need to better understand these three terms and how to apply them to ourselves… or it could just be me… 🙂 but i think we can fool ourselves on this… thinking, thinking….

  2. oh, MLD’s given a good, good lesson this week IMO

  3. Yes, very good lesson.

  4. A Lutheran definition of Grace:

    “◾The “fatherly, divine goodness and mercy” of God. His gracious favor and undeserved love. It moved Him to create us out of nothing and to save us while we were still sinners, and it still moves Him today to provide us with “daily bread” and to give us the gifts of salvation for Jesus’ sake.

    “◾God’s gracious attitude in Christ now revealed through the preached Word and the sacraments to create faith, so that sinners may be forgiven and justified by faith.

    “◾God’s response of love to the fallen world on account of Christ. It is God’s acting in love on account of Christ’s death for sinners.

    “◾Reflects a change in God’s relationship to the world. What was once condemned in Adam is now accepted by God in Christ.

    “In summary, Grace is favor Dei propter Christum (the favor of God for Christ’s sake). Grace is not a substance that Christians use to work out their salvation along with God (Roman Catholicism). Grace is not given apart from or alongside the Word and the Sacraments (Reformed Christianity). Grace is forgiveness offered in and made operative for believers in the Word and sacraments. On that account preaching, baptism, communion, and absolution are called and are in fact the means of grace.”

    – David M. Juhl

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