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Two Mountains

Text: Hebrews 12:18-24
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: March 25, 2007

Our passage contrasts two mountains, Sinai and Zion, which symbolize the Old and the New Covenants. The first mountain is terrifying, like a scene out of “The Lord of the Rings”, or the “Night on Bald Mountain” animation in “Fantasia”. The second mountain, Zion, is a place of celebration and safety. Where are you dwelling?

Our author uses this powerful illustration to review many of the great themes of the book of Hebrews. That which is heavenly and invisible surpasses that which is earthly and visible. The New Covenant enables us to draw near to God in a way which was impossible under the Old.

The original readers had come to Zion, but were living as if they were in the shadow of Sinai. Many struggling believers act as if they are lost, having forgotten where they have come.

Watch Out!

Text: Hebrews 12:15-17
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: March 11, 2007

Spurgeon said:

One feels most happy when blowing the trumpet of jubilee, proclaiming peace to broken hearts, freedom to the captives & the opening of the prison to them that are bound. But God’s watchman has another trumpet which he must sometimes blow…For thus says the Lord, “Blow the trumpet in Zion & sound an alarm in my holy mountain.”

While much of Hebrews has focused upon the good news of what Jesus has accomplished for us, our author also gives some of the strongest warnings in Scripture against apostasy (turning away from the faith). In this message I plan to expound three warnings from Hebrews 12:15-17.

  1. Watch out lest anyone come short of the grace of God.
  2. Watch out, lest a root of bitterness springs up causing trouble.
  3. Watch out lest one of you becomes immoral and godless like Esau.

Here are a few questions for you to consider.

  • What does it mean to come short of God’s Grace?
  • What is the root of bitterness? I confess that after studying this text, I realized that I had misunderstood the meaning of the root of bitterness.
  • How does Esau exemplify the apostasy against which we are being warned?

Pursue Holiness

Text: Hebrews 12:14b
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: March 4, 2007

This Lord’s Day I plan to cover the second half of verse 14 as we consider what it means to pursue holiness.

One of my reasons for focusing on this phrase is that I have observed that believers have different ideas about what it means to pursue holiness which are reflected by their response to our text, “Pursue the sanctification (holiness) without which no-one will see the Lord.” Some hear a text like that and say, “Good. I love preaching which strongly exhorts me to work harder at my spiritual duties.” For such people the measure of a good sermon is how convicted they feel afterwards. Others hear such a text and declare, “All the holiness I need is found in Christ.” People like this are uneasy when pointed applications and exhortations are made.

Where is the balance to be found?

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