Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hebrews 12:18-13:25 - The Church = Heavenly Jerusalem/Bride of Christ · Steve Gregg



The writer of Hebrews says the Christian Church is the Heavenly Jerusalem or Mount Zion, agreeing with Paul in Galatians 4 and with John in Revelation 21, which also tells us the Church is the Bride of Christ.

He once again explains that the New Covenant has replaced the old and we are receiving the Kingdom of God. Chapter 13 is filled with many miscellaneous exhortations as he wraps up his letter.


Hebrews 12:18-13:25

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Glorious Company


18 For you have not come to the mountain that[a] may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness[b] and tempest, 19 and 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[c] or shot with an arrow.”[d] 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”[e])
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to 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, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.


Hear the Heavenly Voice


25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. 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, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake[f] not only the earth, but also heaven.”[g] 27 Now 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.

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


Concluding Moral Directions


13 Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; becontent with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”[i]So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”[j]

Concluding Religious Directions


Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about[k] with various and strange doctrines. For it isgood that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.


Prayer Requested


18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. 19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.


Benediction, Final Exhortation, Farewell


20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you[l] what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

22 And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words.23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.

24 Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.

25 Grace be with you all. Amen.


Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 12:18 NU-Text reads to that which.
  2. Hebrews 12:18 NU-Text reads gloom.
  3. Hebrews 12:20 NU-Text and M-Text omit the rest of this verse.
  4. Hebrews 12:20 Exodus 19:12, 13
  5. Hebrews 12:21 Deuteronomy 9:19
  6. Hebrews 12:26 NU-Text reads will shake.
  7. Hebrews 12:26 Haggai 2:6
  8. Hebrews 12:28 M-Text omits may.
  9. Hebrews 13:5 Deuteronomy 31:68Joshua 1:5
  10. Hebrews 13:6 Psalm 118:6
  11. Hebrews 13:9 NU-Text and M-Text read away.
  12. Hebrews 13:21 NU-Text and M-Text read us.