Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;Hebrews 12:28(NASB)
While Galatians was a book that was written to warn Gentiles not to be lured into legalistic, Jewish practices, the target audience of Hebrews was predominantly towards Jewish converts to Christianity in the early Church.. who were being lured back into Jewish legalism.
Both books are equally relevant to Christians today who are continually being enticed back into the legalistic practice of the pre-Cross dispensation of Law... rather than appreciating that we are members of the Body of Christ in this post-Cross dispensation of grace.
Throughout the epistle of Hebrews, Christ is identified as superior to prophets, priests, kings, and angels. His ministry as our great High Priest is matchless, while the offering of Himself on the Cross is unsurpassed in history and infinitely superior to the blood of bulls and goats, which were simply a type of Him Who was to come.
The danger of falling into Jewish legalism, both then as now, is that the Person of Christ is rendered inconsequential, while His sacrificial work on the Cross is pronounced irrelevant.
Judaism is a works-based salvation, while Christianity is a grace-based salvation. In this sort of Jewish legalism, I contribute to my own salvation by what I do, whereas in biblical salvation, Christ did it all. I do not have to contribute good works-of-the-law to be saved. I am saved by believing what Christ has done for me on the Cross.
In any form of legalism, I have to add to Christ's work by doing something or by keeping some legalistic requirement. Biblical salvation however, is gained by grace through faith in Christ's sacrificial work. I am saved by grace alone... through faith alone... in what Christ has done alone - with nothing added.
Christ has a more excellent Name, a superior Ministry, and is the single Mediator of a better covenant which was ratified through His shed blood on Calvary. And it is by faith in Him that we have received a kingdom which cannot be shaken and an inheritance that is kept for us in heaven.
How foolish therefore, to cling to religious rituals, denominational rites, and legalistic regulations in the hope that they will secure our heavenly home, rather than clinging to the Cross, and hoping in Christ - in Whom are the words of eternal life. How wise to praise our good and gracious God with prayers of gratitude and hymns of thanksgiving for all that He has done for us.
May we recognise what Christ has done for us, and with grateful praise and a thankful heart, offer up ourselves in service to God as a living sacrifice - a holy offering that is pleasing to the Lord. May our gratitude and praise become an acceptable service to Him - knowing that our eternal salvation and heavenly calling, depends on what He has done - for us.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ. Thank You that His kingdom can never be shaken and that in Christ I have an inheritance in heaven. Accept my humble praise and everlasting gratitude for all that Christ has done for me, and may my life be acceptable in Your sight. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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