Summary: Grace Is Greater Than The Law – Hebrews chapter 12 verses 18-29 – sermon by Gordon Curley. PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


• (1). Mount Sinai: the mountain of fear (vs 18-21).

• (2). Mount Zion: the mountain of faith (vs 22-24).



• If there is one word in the English language that is sure to cause a debate when spoken,

• It is the word is “greatest.”

• In fact, you can take almost any two people,

• And you can always stir trouble by using this simple word.

• i.e. Ask a football fan who was their teams greatest player;

• And they will debate one another for hours.

• i.e. Ask two car enthusiasts what is the greatest car ever made;

• And they will eagerly debate their opinion.

• i.e. Whether it’s the greatest politician, the greatest singer or song,

• i.e. The greatest movie ever made?

• i.e. The greatest preacher or hymn ever written.

• There is something about that word “greatest”

• That stirs something inside of us,

• And we will passionately defend our point of view.

• TRANSITION: One of the themes of the book of Hebrews is “The greatest”

• And when compared to the competition, the answer is always Jesus!

• i.e. Jesus Greater Than Angels (1:4-2:18)

• i.e. Jesus Greater Than Moses (3:1-6)

• i.e. Jesus Greater Than Aaron (4:14 to 5:10)

• i.e. Jesus Greater Than Melchizedek (7:1-17)

And because Jesus is ‘The Greatest’ and has achieved through his death & resurrection the greatest rewards;

• In the second half of this letter the writer talks about:

• A Greater Covenant (8:1-13)

• A Greater Sanctuary (9:1-28)

• A Greater Sacrifice (10:1-22)

• The Greatest Principle: Faith (11:1-40)

• The Greatest Encouragement (12: 1-13)

• The Greatest Activity: Worship (13:10-21)

Now this morning I have been asked to speak on:

• Hebrews chapter 12 verses 18-29.

• Which I am going to title ‘Grace Is Greater Than The Law’.

• There are 613 commands or laws in the first five books of the Bible,

• These five books are also known as the books of the law,

• Because they contain the laws and instruction given by the Lord through Moses;

• To the people of Israel.

• The most well-known of these laws are what we call ‘The Ten Commandments’

• As found in Exodus 20:1-17, and then at Deuteronomy 5:4-21.


• There is a great book called: ‘The Year of Living Biblically:

• One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible.’

• By A.J. Jacobs.

• He is not a Christian but a Jew;

• And took on the challenge of trying to follow every single rule in the Bible;

• As literally as possible.

• The book is insightful, challenging and at times very funny,

• And read through the eyes of a Christian;

• It will make you appreciative of all you have in Christ.

• TRANSITION: Every believer in Jesus Christ is not under Law;

• But under grace!

• And believe me, being under grace is so much greater than being under the law!


• In an old Dennis the Menace cartoon,

• Dennis and his little friend Joey are leaving Mrs. Wilson's house,

• Their hands full of cookies.

• Joey says to Dennis, "I wonder what we did to deserve this."

• Dennis answers, "Look, Joey. Mrs. Wilson gives us cookies not because we're nice,

• But because she's nice."

• TRANSITION: I think of that cartoon as a simple picture of grace:

• God saved us not because we were nice and deserved it;

• But because he is nice and he loves us!

Some critics of the bible try to make out the Bible teaches two Gods:

• An Old Testament God who is a God of wrath and terror;

• And a New Testament version God who is a God of love & forgiveness.

• Whenever I hear that I wonder if they have read a Bible!

• All the characteristics/attributes of God revealed in the Old Testament;

• Are also revealed in the New Testament.

• The difference (if difference there be);

• Is the work of Jesus on the cross fulfils certain Old Testament situations;

• And the outcome, the result of that is New Testament blessings.

• In these verses before us this morning;

• We do not have two different Gods,

• But the same God.

• And the writer brings to our attention;

• The old way people used to approach God by the Law and self-effort;

• And the new way made possible through faith in Jesus Christ.


• The writer in this letter to the Hebrews is going to teach his readers by contrasts:

• We quite often when confronting an unfamiliar object,

• Set it against the familiar.

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