Jun 2, 2024. Hebrews 13:1-6

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EXEMPLARY CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOR. Hebrews 13:1-6. 5/26/2024. #47.

1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. 4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. 5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

1. They will know you are in Christ by these things

                a. Several epistles end with a list of holy traits & habits that should be exhibited by believers (Romans 12, 1 Thessalonians 5, Galatians 5, Ephesians 5, etc.)

                b. Not only is Christian doctrine important, but moral behavior that demonstrates our faith is as well

                c. Hebrews lists five traits of a believer: brotherly love, hospitality, concern for those imprisoned for their faith, sanctified marriages, & contentment 

                d. All five traits are proactive & require genuine trust

                e. Hebrews spent 12 chapters persuading his readers to let go of the Old Testament Law to embrace Christ completely

                                a1. Now, he assumes they are true believers

                                a2. By demonstrating Christian behavior, they give evidence that they are truly in the faith

2. An active love

                a. The first three traits indicate an expanding circle of love: to brethren; to strangers; to prisoners

                b. Love within the body of Christ is essential

                                a1. John 13:34 Christ used it as the #1 evidence of being a disciple (love one another)

                                a2. 1 Corinthians 13:13 Paul called love the first virtue

                                a3. James 2: James stated love must be shown

                                a4. I John 4:7-16 John states that those who do not love others do not know God at all

                c. Even though love begins within the body of Christ, it spreads out from there

                                a1. Entertaining strangers is more than being polite or courtesy to them

                                a2. In Bible times, Christians took in traveling strangers, particularly poor Christians

                                a3. Hospitality rather than hostility toward strangers allows Christ to work through us

                                a4. God often sends people our way (divine appointments) to give us a message from Him (Genesis 18 even a disguised angel)

                d. Remember the prisoner (Matthew 25 especially, believers imprisoned for faith)

                                a1. Remember in thoughts, prayers, & visits

                                a2. Voice of the Martyrs started to focus on those in foreign lands imprisoned for their faith

                                a3. Treat them as if you are a fellow prisoner

3. Honorable marriage

                a. Genesis 2:24 God sanctified marriage

                                a1. The only legitimate intimacy is through a bond of marriage (designed for life)

                                a2. Fornication, homosexuality, adultery, polygamy, or any other sexual relationship is sinful & will be judged

                b. What happens in the marriage bed is honorable & God had designed marital intimacy to be pure, pleasing, &  productive

4. Be content

                a. Several places in scripture urge us not to covet

                                a1. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 godliness with contentment is great gain

                                a2. Matthew 6 having food & raiment, be content

                b. No matter what situation we are in, the Lord is always with us, so we have nothing to fear

                c. Romans 8:28 the Lord is always here to help

                d. What can man do to me?

                                a1. Romans 8:31-39 if Christ is for me, who can be against me?

                                a2. The Lord has our backs & allows nothing in our lives that He will not use for His glory

Key passage:  1 John 4:7-167 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.