Friday 30 October 2020

Bible Book:

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God. (v.15)

Hebrews 12:1-24 Friday 30 October 2020

Psalm 9:1-11


The theme running through this letter to the Hebrews is how God’s covenant with Jewish people in the Old Testament contrastswith the new covenant established by Jesus Christ for the good of all people. In chapters of this letter that we have already studied this week, the new agreement or covenant enabled by Jesus is where human energies should be focussed. Faith based on countless rules and laws is replaced with faith based on a living, ongoing relationship with Christ; an encounter every day with Jesus who loves us enough to go to the Cross for our sake. The difference that makes to our lives depends on the extent of our faith.

There are so many themes in today’s chosen verses. Some of us will have heard many a sermon based on a number of texts drawn from Hebrews 12, but today we focus on two that illustrate the change to a new understanding when we are in relationship with Jesus. First is “the sin that clings so closely” (v.1) and it is used here to describe not one particular wrongdoing or temptation, but the state of not “looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (v.2). The chapter goes on to describe how important it is to be “disciplined” in one’s faith, but the writer also points out the importance of being,“surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (v. 1). Basically, if we are in a living relationship with Jesus, we cannot possibly be in a state of sin!

 Secondly, this relationship will result in “holiness”, described as “shared” in verse 10 and disciples are asked to engage with it in verse 14: “Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” If we are in this new covenant with Christ, it is bound to have an impact on those around us – they will see aspects of Jesus through us. John Wesley talked much about about both personal and social holiness. They are inextricably linked. As  17th-century philosopher Blaise Pascal said, "The serene beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world next to the power of God.”

 May we all be on a journey travelling from old to new understandings.


To Ponder:

  • As we think of individuals who radiate holiness for our own journey, are there other people today who need us to share God’s holiness with them? Remember them in prayer and action.
  • Ponder these words from hymn 378 in Singing the Faith:

      “Father of everlasting grace,
        your goodness and your truth we praise,
        your goodness and your truth we prove.”

 Enjoy today living with Jesus and your neighbours.

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