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Hebrews 12:18–29

“Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (vv. 28–29).

Second Corinthians 3 has much to say about the glory of the new covenant, emphasizing the permanence of this glory and its superiority to the old covenant’s glory. Of course, 2 Corinthians 3 is not the only chapter in Scripture where we find teaching on glory. From start to finish, the Word of God tells us about the glory of God and the practical ramifications that flow from it. In order that we might have a fuller understanding of the Bible’s presentation on glory and how it should shape our lives, we will now pause our studies in 2 Corinthians and base our next several days of devotions on messages by Dr. R.C. Sproul drawn from the Ligonier teaching series The Power and the Glory and Themes from Ecclesiastes.

One area of Christian faith and practice greatly shaped by an understanding of God’s glory is corporate worship. When we have a proper understanding of divine glory and what is happening when we enter worship along with the people of God, our gatherings to praise the Lord cannot help but be transformed. Hebrews 12:18–29 is a key passage for understanding new covenant worship as a response to the glory of God.

The author of Hebrews contrasts our new covenant worship with what happened at Mount Sinai when God met His people to deliver His law. That meeting happened on earth, as described in Exodus 19, and it was attended by fire, darkness, gloom, and tempest. On that occasion, the people had to maintain a certain distance lest they be destroyed by God’s holiness (Heb. 12:18–21). However, as the book of Hebrews makes clear, the atoning work of Jesus has changed how the Lord meets with His people. Now we enter heaven itself, for we come to the “heavenly Jerusalem . . . and to the spirits of righteous made perfect.” We gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in His heavenly abode with the angels and with the saints of all ages. We may not always sense this in our corporate worship services here on earth, but we are actually in the presence of God and His glory.

In light of this, what should our response be? Hebrews 12:28 tells us: we should “offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” Our corporate worship services should be appropriately weighty, designed to show the Lord the reverence He deserves. We must come to give Him the best we have to offer, respecting His awe and glory.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

When we come to corporate worship, it is vital that we come not to be entertained but to show the Lord reverence and awe. We are meeting with the Sovereign who loves us and who is worthy of all the honor and glory we can ascribe to Him. Let us keep the Lord’s glory in our minds as we come to worship so that we will have the awe that is appropriate to entering His presence.

For Further Study
  • Leviticus 26:2
  • Psalm 29:1–2
  • Matthew 27:45–54
  • Revelation 15:2–4

From Glory to Glory

The Glory of God through Man

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From the August 2021 Issue
Aug 2021 Issue