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You have come to Mount Zion

In Hebrews 12:18, Mount Sinai stands as a representative for worship under the Law, and thus the location of this worship is first the tabernacle and later the temple. In contrast, worship for a Christian takes place on “Mount Zion, even the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (12:22). These synonymous terms refer to the heavenly city, the place where God himself dwells, which is made clear by the groups of participants there: joyful angels, “the assembly of the firstborn,” God, and “the spirits of the righteous made perfect” (vv 22–23). The term ekklēsia, translated “assembly” in verse 22 likely refers to the common sense of New Testament “church” and thus designates post-Pentecost believers, while the latter phrase describes Old Testament saints now “made perfect” by the atonement of Christ’s blood.So the company of worshipers in this heavenly scene includes angels, New Testament Christians, and Old Testament believers. Here in this heavenly city God actually dwells; the worshipers come to him rather than him coming down to them as in the Sinai experience and his presence in the tabernacle and temple.

By the Waters of Babylon, p. 125.

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Cutlure, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and three children.

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