1. Calls to love in Christian Living (Heb 13:1-4) The Christian life is described as a call to love. God loves us and sent His son to us. Jesus loves us and He gave His life for us. We must love Jesus and love the brethren. How can the Christians practise the love of Christ in our daily life? Our study of Hebrews Chapter 13 brings us valuable lessons on the “Wholesome Christian” and how we may live “the abundant life in Christ”.
This is a 4-fold love that Christians are called to live. We are commanded (a) to love our brethren (Heb 13:1) (b) to love the stranger (verse 2) (c) to love the afflicted (verse 3) and (d) to love our spouse (verse 4). We are reminded on the primacy of love (1 Cor 13:13). Jesus commands us to love (Jn 13:14). For God’s attribute is love, so must we practice love in our life (1 Jn 4:16, 20).
2. Practice of Faith (Heb 13:5-8)
The Apostle Paul defines faith. “Now faith is the true substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1). Faith then is a confident assurance and connection of our heart. But the experience of this faith is in outward and visible works of faith. If we confess that we have faith, then that faith is testified by works of faith. Elijah is an example of faith. But he is described as “a man subject to like passions as we are.” (Js 5:17).
Thus we must exercise personal faith (Heb 13:6) and corporate faith (verse 7). A life of faith is possible because Jesus promises us His help. “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” We also can have confidence in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, “The Lord is my helper.” When Christ gave His command, He also promises us His help. He is certainly the unchanging Christ.
3. Perseverance in Faith and Love (Heb 13:9-13)
For Christian life we experience trail and testings of our faith. But do not be discouraged. We have the examples of God’s deliverance. From Dan 3:18-19 the 3 friends of Daniel were delivered from the fiery furnace. What is most amazing is their steadfastness that if no deliverance came, they will not sin in vanity to idols. Amazing faith and love for God was demonstrated.
Testings of our faith may come in the form of false and malicious doctrines. But we must not succumb to these doctrines. Our hearts must be established with grace (Heb 13:9). We have the Holy Spirit of discernment. We know that we are saved, not by keeping the law or abstaining from “meals”. We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9). Jesus was crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem, so as blood brought sons of God, we also bear the reproach of Christ Jesus outside the gate.
4. Living the Abundant Life in Christ (Heb 13:14-19)
What a joy and a comfort to know that our citizenship is in heaven. However, while the Lord allows us the years to live on earth, we will make every hour count for Jesus. “So help us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”. (Ps 90:12)
How can we live a life in confession of our faith and love? The Apostle Paul instructs us “to do good and to communicate” (Heb 13:16). Praise the Lord for Moriah’s “Home and Foreign Missions”. Let every member be revived in the mission outreaches of the crowd.
5. Perfect in Faith and Love (Heb 11:20-25)
Paul’s benediction for us is the God whom we love and serve will empower us to be made complete in every good work, to do His will and to please Jesus for His glory.
We complete the study of Hebrews 13 with a sense of accomplishment. Our faith and love is made matured. The church is united in her purpose to glorify our Savior in the time that God has given us.
To God be the glory.
Rev Patrick Tan