Our God Is a Consuming Fire
18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
This warning given in this passage, essentially that we must not refuse Christ rather hold fast to the grace of the gospel and serve God with reverence and fear. This warning falls on the back of the previous exhortation.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
What are we selling our birthright for
Sin The fulfilment of the flesh
Worry because we can’t trust God
We think that someone is stealing our peace but the truth is we are using it as a currency to purchase something else and whatever it is it’s not worth our birthright.
Lift up the hands that hang down, follow after peace and holiness, don’t sell you birthright because this new covenant is not like the old covenant. In fact it is better in every way. and He goes on to elaborate on the differences beginning with...
Mount Sinai vs. Mount Sion
Mount Sinai vs. Mount Sion
1. Physical Mountain
18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
2. It was a terrible sight
10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. 12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. 14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. 16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. 18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. 20 And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. 21 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. 22 And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them. 23 And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. 24 And the Lord said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the Lord, lest he break forth upon them. 25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.
Even Moses, who was their mediator, was terrified
21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
It is a spiritual mountain which cannot be touched
It’s a beautiful sight
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
The Mediator is Christ And His Blood speaks better things
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Able’s blood cries out for Justice, The blood of Christ satisfies Justice
Able’s blood cries out condemnation, The blood of Christ cries out liberation
Able’s blood cries out for vengeance, The blood of Christ cries out Grace
Able’s blood cries our you’re guilty, But the blood of Christ cries out your are forgiven
Do Not Refuse Him
Do Not Refuse Him
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Don’t refuse the grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is spoken from Mount Sion. Why? He’s just reminded us of the terrible sight of mount Sinai and the quick execution of judgement to those who refused the word that came from mount Sinai. God gave them a law that they could not keep and yet if they refused it was death. How much greater will be the punishment of those who would now refuse the word of grace?
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
In the giving of the Law His voice shook the earth but in this word that is spoken in the gospel in the blood of Christ this word has shaken the earth and heaven so much so that those things that were made that were earthly cannot remain. The old covenant, the tabernacle that was made with hands the earthly priesthood are shaken by the voice of God in the proclamation of the Gospel so that only the things which cannot be shaken the kingdom of God the priesthood of Christ the heavenly tabernacle, these are all that remain. Therefore..
Hold Fast to Grace
Hold Fast to Grace
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
“Let us have” or rather let us hold fast to this grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We return to this underlying theme Hold fast to you profession. hold fast to you faith in Jesus. Don’t even consider neglecting it.
Because by this grace which is by faith we may serve God acceptably. There is no acceptable service to God outside this grace which is by faith. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. God is not please by our feeble attempts at righteousness which is without faith. Yet by faith in Jesus Christ we can pursue holiness and peace and righteousness and it is acceptable to God. Not because we are righteous in our deeds but because we have inherited the righteousness which is by faith in Christ Jesus.
He then concludes this chapter with a sobering reminder
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Something that has not changed from the old covenant because this is an immovable eternal fact God is the same yesterday today and forever. The same terrible God of Sinai is the same God of the Gospel of grace. And if we do not have this grace the we will face the consuming fire who is our God and we will be consumed. It is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
If you do not have this grace, if you have not put you faith if Jesus Christ then there in nothing right now between you and the almighty God. You are hanging from a thin thread over the pit of hell and that thread could break at any moment. I beg you, do not refuse the grace offered though Jesus Christ, accept the blood of Christ as payment for your sins, repent and hold fast to grace. Do it quickly before you must stand before our God who is a consuming fire.
For those of us who have this Grace let us hold fast to it. We need to open our eyes and see this great salvation and see what God is doing in our life. We need to pursue peace and holiness and stop selling our peace and joy.