B i b l e   S t u d y




Rev. Ronald C. Purkey claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

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November 19, 2017


SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 12:14-15, 18-29


KEY VERSE: 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. (Hebrews 12:28-29)


INTRODUCTION: The key word in Hebrews chapter 12 is “endure”; it is found in Hebrews 12:1 (translated “patience”), 2-3, 7, and 20. The word means “to bear up under trial, to continue when the going is tough.” These Christians were going through a time of testing (Hebrews 10:32-39) and were tempted to give up (Hebrews 12:3). None of their people had yet been called to die for Christ (Hebrews 12:4), but the situation was not getting any better.


To encourage their trust in Christ, the writer of Hebrews reminded the readers of three encouragements that would help keep them going and growing:


·        The Example of the Son of God (see Hebrews 12:1-4).

·        The Assurance of the Love of God (see Hebrews 12:5-13).

·        The Power of the Grace of God (see Hebrews 12:14-29)


I. MAKE EVERY EFFORT. (Hebrews 12:14-15)


A. Be Peaceful.


(Hebrews 12:14) Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.


1. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness.”


Be encouraged and be at peace with all men; that is, with all who will let you be at peace with them. There are some people who just won’t be at peace. Follow peace with all men—with all Christian men. We should make this one big cross-country race where there are a lot of us running the Christian life together.


2. “And holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”


If that means that I have to produce holiness, then I am going to give up, because I haven’t any holiness. But, oh, the peace that I have which came through the blood of Christ! “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).


INSIGHT: If we have any holiness, it is because Christ has been made unto us righteousness -- He is our righteousness. If we get into the presence of God it will be because Christ died for us. That is encouraging, my friend. It makes us want to get out and run the Christian race.


B. Be Diligent.


(Hebrews 12:15) 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.


INSIGHT: “Looking diligently” has in it the thought of direction. And what is that direction? “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith …” (Hebrews 12:2).


1. “Lest any man fail of the grace of God.”


The word here for “fail” means simply to fall back. In other words, a believer must keep his eyes on the Lord Jesus, not on men. If he doesn’t keep his eyes on Christ, he is apt to get to the place where he does not ask for the help of God.


INSIGHT: God has a tremendous reservoir of grace, and He wants to shower it upon His children. He is prepared to do that, and He is able to do that. Christ paid the penalty for our sins, and God is rich in mercy, rich in grace, and He wants to expend it upon us.


The problem is that many of us do not avail ourselves of His grace. We are talking here about reality -- something that you can go to God for and lay hold of it. That is the glory of it all, and that is the message of the book of Hebrews. God will help you!


2. “Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”


One rotten apple in a barrel spoils all the others. We need to ask God for His grace to endure whatever we are going through, and not become bitter toward any one or toward any circumstances.


II. ACCESS TO GOD. (Hebrew 12:18-24)


A. The contrast between the Old and New Covenant.


(Hebrews 12:18-21) 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:).


The contrast is made between Moses and Christ, Sinai and Mt. Zion, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. When the Law was given at Sinai, fear and terror ruled, and the mountain was covered with smoke and fire. When God spoke, the people trembled.


Today, we have a spiritual experience greater than that of Israel’s at Sinai, for we have (1) a heavenly priest, (2) a heavenly home, (3) a heavenly fellowship, and (4) a voice speaking from on high that gives us a message of grace and love.


B. The description is of the blessings in the New Covenant.


(Hebrews 12:22-23) 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.


Mt. Zion is the heavenly city (see Hebrews 13:14; Galatians 4:26), in contrast to earthly Jerusalem, which was about to be destroyed. There are three groups of people in the heavenly city: (1) the host of angels, who minister to the saints; (2) the church of the firstborn (see Hebrews 1:6); and (3) the OT saints.


INSIGHT: “Made perfect” (see Hebrews 12:23) does not mean that believers in glory are now in their perfect resurrection bodies. It refers, rather, to the OT saints who now have a perfect standing before God because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 10:14; 11:40).


Anyone who believes God’s Word and trusts in the Lord (as did the OT saints) goes to heaven; but the perfection of God’s work did not come until Christ’s death on the cross. (It means that they were saved on credit, and that credit was paid in full on Calvary by Christ.)


C. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant.


(Hebrews 12:24) 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.


1. “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.”


How could these people go back to an earthly city (about to be destroyed) and an earthly temple (which would also be destroyed), earthly priests and earthly sacrifices? The blood of Jesus Christ has taken care of everything!


Abel’s blood cried out from the earth for vengeance (see Genesis 4:10), but Christ’s blood speaks from heaven for salvation and forgiveness. This is God’s grace! Jesus Christ is a minister of grace.


2. “To the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”


The New Covenant is a covenant of grace. God’s grace does not fail, though we may fail of His grace (see Hebrews 12:15) because we fail to appropriate it.


Esau is the illustration of one who despised spiritual things and lost the blessing. (“Profane” means “outside the temple” or “worldly, common.”) Esau failed of the grace of God because he would not repent (see Hebrews 6:4-6).


III. UNSHAKEABLE. (Hebrews 12:25-29)


A. The Lord will shake things up.


(Hebrews 12:25-27) 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.


1. The Jews.


None of us likes to have things shaken; we enjoy stability and security. But God was already shaking the Jewish economy and was about to destroy the temple in Jerusalem.


2. The Church


The material things would have to go so that the spiritual realities might take their place. God was building a new temple, His Church; and the old temple would have to be removed.


3. The Prophet.


The writer quotes Haggai 2:6 to show that one day God will shake the world itself and usher in a new heaven and earth. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land” (Haggai 2:6).


INSIGHT: The admonition of verse 25 does NOT regard our eternal destiny. “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” (Hebrews 12:25). As with the other exhortations in Hebrews, it deals with God’s chastening in this life, and not judgment in the next.


B. The people will cry for grace.


(Hebrews 12:28-29) 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.


“Wherefore” (verse 28) introduces the practical application: “Let us have grace.” How do we receive grace? (1) At the throne of grace, where our eternal High Priest intercedes for us. (2) We must serve God, not old laws and customs. We go to the throne of grace when we humbly pray to our Lord. We must always remember that God answers prayer!


When the Grace Period Ends
By Dave Branon


“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” – Titus 2:11


It’s a good thing our local library gives a grace period before it starts charging for overdue books. My family checks out books by the dozen, and sometimes we forget to get them back on time.


Recently one of my daughters passed the grace period -- by more than 3 weeks. When I went to pay the fine, I asked if we could get credit for the grace period and pay just for the days after that. I was told, however, that once the grace period ends, the full penalty is due.


According to the Bible, we live in the age of grace. God is withholding His judgment because He does not want anyone to perish. But someday the period of grace will suddenly be over and it will be time to “pay the fine” for the wages of sin.


During this age of grace, we have to acknowledge our sinfulness to God and put our faith in Jesus Christ, who has already taken the complete penalty on Himself. But if we die without receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, or if He returns and we’ve rejected Him, the “grace period” will be over and we will be judged for our sin.


Have you asked Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and to be your Savior? If not, don’t wait. No one knows when the grace period will end.


Don’t expect to have tomorrow
what is offered you today;
Jesus asks you now to follow --
trust in Him and don’t delay.
-- Sper


 -- Adapted from Dave Branon, Our Daily Bread, July 30, 1994


CONCLUSION: What have we learned in our Bible study today?


·        Christians belong to the Lord.


 In the OT the people of Israel had a frightening experience of law at Sinai (see Exodus 19), but our experience at Mount Zion is one of grace and glory. We are citizens of the heavenly city and will one day fellowship with patriarchs and angels -- and the Lord!


·        Christians must run the race.


If God is shaking things in your life, listen to the Bible (God’s Written Word). You will discover the things that cannot be shaken, and you will run the Christian race to the end


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “God’s offer of saving grace is available for a limited time only.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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