“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29, HCSB).
In Part 1 of this meditation on grace, we saw how the Hebrews writer assembled an argument showing that God’s grace demonstrated to us through Christ is superior to the Old Testament law and temple worship because Christ was its culmination.
So, the new covenant is superior to the old because now we enter into God’s presence through a relationship or covenant based on receiving His grace through Christ (what the Hebrews writer called approaching Mt. Zion), not on adherence to the law (what the Hebrews writer called approaching Mt. Sinai).
When we receive God’s grace through believing in Christ as our Savior, we must hold on to it! And then, the grace of God becomes the source of our strength for serving God and His Kingdom.
Although the Hebrews writer has argued that God’s grace is superior to Old Testament law, in his final analysis in Chapter 12 he notes that while God’s grace abounds, He is still the God of the Old Testament—a consuming fire! This reference to God’s attributes comes from Deuteronomy 4:24: “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
So, we should hold on to God’s grace through a loving, covenantal relationship with Him. Yet, we should serve God with reverence and veneration as those who recognize His awesomeness and sovereignty.
The character of God has not changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The big difference is that He has fulfilled His redemptive plan in Christ. So, the same reason for fearing the displeasure of God under the old covenant is the same one under the new.
God doesn’t tolerate sin now more than he did then. And His anger towards sin is just as much to be feared as we approach Mt. Zion as it was at Mount Sinai!
The sovereignty of God can best exert its rule and reign over our lives when the grace of God is manifested in our lives!
But that’s not always easy to do…
Sometimes we cannot seem to gain victory in our own life experience. Although we can see Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and destruction, it doesn’t seem to penetrate our own lives and lifestyles.
But by holding on to grace, and the rights of God’s enabling grace, we can claim Christ’s victorious life for our own!
Jesus is the victorious One and all I have to do is look to Him, cling to Him, hold on to grace, and His victory becomes mine in all that I do!
“As it is, we do not yet see everything subjected to him. But we do see Jesus” (Hebrews 2:8-9, HCSB)