Letter to the Hebrews. Message 34
Paul set forth how we are reflect the Person of Jesus Christ to the world, living out our lives for Him with accuracy, preciseness, correctness. Paul gave us some characteristics which we can us to examine ourselves by as he concluded this letter. We have described –
3. The Manifestation of Fidelity. Hebrews 13:1-17
The believer’s fidelity to God is noted by his –
a. Reputation. Hebrews 13:1-6
We should be known for our –
1). Love. 13:1
With the Lord Jesus Christ as our foundation and His character as our guiding principle, the following characteristics should flow naturally from the believer through our relationship to Him (Vine and branches) to others. We should know the great influence love has on all relationships. The Holy Spirit led the writers of the Scriptures to focus heavily on believers having love for God and for one another –
Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Our pattern in life is the Lord Jesus Christ. He told the disciples –
“…follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” On another occasion He said “… I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” He told them “…As the Father has sent me, even so send I you.” Peter told us “…leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:…”. Each of these statements has its own context but each statement instructs us in this one thing – Jesus Christ our Saviour is our example of living out that salvation!
The Lord used the Apostle Paul to command us in this matter “Let brotherly love continue.” We must look to the Lord in order to be obedient to this command.
a). Jesus loves those who rejected Him.
Remember how during His final visit to Jerusalem, His heart was touched as He considered their future –
Luke 19:41-42 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
And a few days later with great compassion he called out –
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
b). Jesus loves those that did not know of Him.
1 John 4:9-10 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
c). Jesus loves those that did not believe Him or encourage His ministry.
John 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.
Those closest to Him in His personal life did not believe in Him at first, but following the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection they were serving Him – James being the pastor of the church in Jerusalem and Jude being the writer of the book of Jude. We might feel perfectly justified in telling off those that would come to us later and say, Hey, you were right.
Jesus loves them and is ready to act upon His love when they come to Him and confess “Lord, you are right and I was wrong. I believe that you are God and the Saviour of all who will come to you believing that you gave your life and the cross, that you were buried, and three days afterward, you took your life back and rose up from among the dead. Will you please forgive me and save me?
d). Jesus loves those that love Him.
John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
John 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
Love is a determined action. If we say that we love God, which we should because of His love of us, and also because of the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, Who loves Him, our response to that love should be obvious according to His Word – “If ye love me, keep my commandments…”
Therefore, by loving Him, our responsibility is –
To love those that reject Him, and us as His servants. Treat them as you would any condemned person, knowing that the execution of the sentence against them is near. What they have on this earth is the best they will ever experience. Their day of reckoning is coming. Also, pray for their repentance and salvation. The Lord revealed His heart when He stated in Ezekiel –
“As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live…”
To love those that are without knowledge of Him.
“Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
2 Corinthians 10:16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you…
To love those that know Him. Determine to love them. How can we do this. By giving ourselves to help them to know Him better and love Him more. As we have already been exhorted in this letter – “ye that are strong receive the weak” and also –
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Pray for them
Provide for them when they are in need
Prevent them from sin
Provoke them to good works
Realize that as the children of God, no matter what we were religiously, what we are culturally, where we live geographically, where we stand educationally or economically, we are brothers and sisters in Christ – we are His family and are expected to act as such that we might be called after Him – Christians.
We have His message to take into the world – that they might be saved.
We must work together to accomplish His purpose!
Today, do you realize that God loves you? You personally.
Today, will you trust Him, calling upon Him for salvation.
If you are saved, will you return His love to Him and then through Him to a world that does not know Him?
“If ye love me, keep my commandments”. Have you?