Study Guide
by David Chadwell

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Lesson Eight

Principal Text: Hebrews 12:18-29

The author of the book of Hebrews provides a basic contrast between God's objectives in Judaism and His objectives in Christianity by contrasting the events at Mount Sinai with the events at Mount Calvary.

David Chadwell's perspective: The book of Hebrews was written to Christians who were spiritually mature, who made great sacrifices for Christ, and who showed great faith in Christ [Hebrews 10:32-39]. They became so discouraged that they were seriously considering renouncing Christ to eliminate their distress. They no longer associated with Christians [Hebrews 10:19-25]. They decided to return to the practices of Judaism and worship the same God they worshipped in past devotion to Christ. The point made (through progressive evidence) in Hebrews 1-12 is this: if you leave Christ, you leave God. Everything God did in Israel was in preparation for what He would do in Christ.

  1. Hebrews 12:18-21

    1. How was the Mount Sinai experience described in verse 18?

    2. What sounds did Israel hear (verse 19)?

    3. For what did they plead (verse 19)?

    4. What frightening commandment did they receive (verse 20)?

    5. How did Moses react to that sight (verse 21)?

  2. Exodus 19:10-19

    1. How were the people to prepare for God's appearance (verse 10)?

    2. When would God come to the mountain in everyone's sight (verse 11)?

    3. How did they set the mountain "off limits" to the people (verse 12)?

    4. If a person or an animal touched the mountain, how were they to be executed (verse 13)?

    5. When were they to gather at the base of the mountain?

    6. What preparation requirement did Moses declare in verse 15?

    7. Describe the scene as given in verses 16 and 18.

    8. What did the trumpet sound do (verse 19)?

The experience of Mount Sinai was to cause an idolatrous, rebellious people to listen to and obey God because they were terrified.

  1. Hebrews 12:22-29

    1. By Christians coming to Mount Zion, what do they approach according to verse 22?

    2. Who else do they approach according to verse 23?

    3. What is said about Jesus in verse 24?

    4. According to verse 25, why must Christians not refuse Jesus who speaks through his blood?

    5. God's voice did what at Mount Sinai? What will His voice do the next time (verse 26)?

    6. What do you think that the shaken things are in verse 27?

    7. What cannot be shaken (verse 28)?

    8. How should Christians react (verses 28 and 29)?

God appeared in terrible manifestations at Sinai. He appeared in love at Calvary. People made sacrifices at Sinai. God made the sacrifice at Calvary. What God does for Christians vastly exceeds what God did for Israelites. To reject His power at Sinai was disastrous. To reject His love at Calvary is the most serious mistake that can be made.

At Sinai God asked Israel to keep their distance. At Calvary God invites us to come close to Him. The human motivation at Sinai was fear. The human motivation at Calvary is love.

Obviously, what God did at Calvary and at Sinai were radically different approaches to people.

David Chadwell

God's Contrasting Approaches Study Guide (lesson 8)
Wednesday evening Bible class, Spring Quarter 1999
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Copyright © 1999
Permission is granted to freely copy and distribute with text unchanged, including author's name.
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