Life Rooted in Christ - New Covenant Worship (Heb. 12:18-24)
Life Rooted in Christ (3): New Covenant Worship
Hebrews 12:18–24 - “For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. . . .22 But you have come to Mount Zion ...”
Life rooted in Christ requires a number of spiritual disciplines as we have seen, especially Trust and Obey. We must “Put on Christ” and “Walk by Faith.” One of the most important congregational disciplines is biblical, faithful Lord’s Day Worship.
The Necessity of Worship - Worship is the first commandment. Gathering with the new covenant assembly (10:24-25) on the First Day of the week, celebrating the Eucharist (Acts 20:7; 1Co. 11:20) demonstrates that we have faith in Lord who died for this. Faithfulness to the Lord requires corporate worship (including our children), including the sacraments. Take Action: You must be in attendance and intentionally engage in the Lord’s Day service. Come on time. Prepare on Saturday (with a Sabbath meal or devotions). Encourage the brethren in worship (10:24-25).
The Necessity of New Covenant Worship - The new covenant prophecies and fulfillments identify the “Mount Zion/Tabernacle of David” with the unveiled new covenant assembly (Is. 16:5, Amos 9:11, Acts 15:16-18). “But you have processed to Mount Zion . . . in solemn assembly for the festival, with the Church of the Firstborn . . . to the new covenant Mediator, Jesus, and to [His] covenant blood” (GS translation). This is a central fulfillment of the patriarch’s hope desire for a “City” (ch. 11). We come to that City in new covenant worship. Take Action: Apply the blood by confession, by receiving and granting forgiveness, by praising God, by giving, by letting go of malice and resting in Christ’s peace, by rejoicing at the Table.
The Necessity of New Covenant Renewal - If we have a right practice of worship, then it will affect the rest of life. Here is the Order - God calls – we gather and respond in praise. God cleanses – we confess and are forgiven. God consecrates – we listen, and respond in prayer and offering. God communes – we eat at God's Table. God commissions – we go out to serve. How is this affecting your life? The Application - God calls – do we gather with God's people throughout the week? Praise – do we sing and praise God during the week? Does praise characterize us? God cleanses – have we become a confessing and forgiving people? Are we keeping short accounts? When was the last time you confessed to someone? Forgave someone? God consecrates – do we love listening to the word, and does it move us to pray and give? God communes – how are our table manners throughout the week? Hospitality, fellowship, etc.? are we more hospitable, or less? God commissions – Are we bolder, clearer, more faithful?
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more