Hebrews 12: 4-29 – The World Behind the Text

This week we are going to be looking at Hebrews 12:4-29, especially verses 14-17.  We’ve been talking this month about staying the course and running the race that God has for us in this time. We’ve talked about stewardship, service, and being a part of the body of Christ.  Today we are looking at the world behind the text of this passage. 

It is interesting to me that this passage is fully immersed in the concepts of the Old Testament.  All of Hebrews is, of course, but it is that part in verse 14 – Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord – that speaks to the foundation on which this is based.  When you go back in the Torah in the Old Testament, you see that holiness was an essential part of what the people were to aspire to and be marked by.  Here we are reminded that we are to do just the same thing, without holiness (and here is also mentioned peace) we will not see the Lord. 

The author of Hebrews is trying to help us to understand that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Just as the people were marked by holiness in the Old Testament, we are much the same for God has not changed. But holiness for us is not defined by obedience to the law but is marked by faith.  Hebrews 11 shows the many saints of the faith that have gone before and they pursed holiness peace, which is birthed by faith.  

Today, we continue that same journey, but like these, through faith.  This passage is squarely within the stream of faith and holiness. These saints led the way, now we pick up the banner. 

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