Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 12

Citizens of the New Jerusalem

Hebrews 12:23

Here is a good reason why Christians can approach Godís home without fear. Godís home is a great city, and they are citizens of that city. In that city, there is a joyful sacred holiday.

The author described the city in Hebrews 12:22; there is a longer description in Revelation chapters 21 and 22. Next, the author describes the inhabitants of the city.

He has already mentioned the angels. They are Godís special servants, but, by his command, they also serve Godís people (Hebrews 1:14). There are a vast number of angels.

Here, the author calls Godís people Ďthe first-borní. Really, that word means the eldest (first) son in a family. The first-born son had special rights in a family (Hebrews 12:16). But here, all Godís people are called Ďthe first-borní because all the citizens in Godís city have special rights. And they have those rights because of their relationship with God, their Father.

God is present there, and he is their judge. A judge does not merely punish evil people. A judge must also save (rescue) people from their evil enemies. And this is what has happened here; God has saved his people.

They are the people whose names God has recorded in heaven. There can be no mistake. God knows the people who are his (Daniel 12:1; Luke 10:20; John 10:14; Revelation 21:27). Their bodies may die, but their spirits will always live. They are not righteous (completely good) because of their own works, but because God has declared them righteous (Romans 4:1-8). He makes them perfect (Hebrews 11:40). These wonderful things happen only because Jesus, Godís Son, died for them (Hebrews 12:24).

Next part: The blood of Abel and the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 12:24)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.