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 in front of the text, what does it mean to us today?
I think we see a couple of things that we have hit upon this week. First, we see that holiness and peace are linked. When I am growing closer to God in my life, I am going to know more peace, more peace with others, with God, and with myself. Holiness produces peace because sin produces discord. You can know peace when you are dwelling deep in God’s love.ac
Second, we see that we need to be looking out for each other. The question that Cain asked God, “am I my brother’s keeper” is answered, yes. I am my brother’s keeper. I have a responsibility to look out for the ones who are walking beside me. Now, that doesn’t mean that I am responsible for their choices. I can’t control what it is that you do. I have no control over that. But I control how I act towards you, how I pray for you, how I can for you. I have a choice over that. I want to encourage you and help you in your faith. That is part of what we do.
And we see that this holiness (Christian growth and faithfulness, i.e. loving God with all we are and loving our neighbor with all we are) is not a passing part of our faith, but we are told that without it we will not see the Lord. Our faith doesn’t stop at conversion, but that is the start of our faith journey in many ways. We called not just to “get saved” but to grow daily in the Lord. It isn’t just enough to have a knowledge of who God is, but we are called to bend all our lives to God. That is holiness. That is our call and our purpose.
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