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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Hebrews 13



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-- Hebrews 13:1-25 --

"Practical" is a word that best describes the teachings of Hebrews 13:1-25. Nothing could be more down to earth than, "Let brotherly love continue." (Hebrews 13:1) In life there are so many things that disturb and disillusion. Hence, we have the convincing words of Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

Our daily service to God involves such things as following the godly example of our elders. (Hebrews 13:7) The shepherds over God"s flock have the somber responsibility of watching over every soul of the Christians in their local congregation. The local church has the responsibility to obey the godly men who are striving to help them get to heaven. (Hebrews 13:17)

Hebrews 13:1-25 focuses on such powerful themes as: (1) Love among brethren and strangers (Hebrews 13:1-3), (2) Marriage God"s way (Hebrews 13:4), (3) The final judgment (Hebrews 13:4), (4) Learning to be content (Hebrews 13:5-6), (5) Elders among God"s people (Hebrews 13:7, Hebrews 13:17), (6) The unchanging Christ (Hebrews 13:8), (7) The damage done by false teachers (Hebrews 13:9), (8) Our right to worship because of Christ (Hebrews 13:10-13), (9) The continuing city we hope for (Hebrews 13:14), (10) Worship God in song (Hebrews 13:15), (11) The power of prayer (Hebrews 13:18), and (12) The grace of God. (Hebrews 13:25)

Verses 1-6

Remember these things -- Hebrews 13:1-6 : It is wonderful that brotherly love existed among these brethren. The writer admonished them to allow this love to continue. In a very forceful statement Peter wrote, "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." (1 Peter 2:17) Brotherly love and compassion for others is Christianity in action.

Marriage is a sacred ordinance of God. Just choosing to live together outside of marriage is sinful. Marriage must be in harmony with the laws of God and the laws of the land. According to God, marriage is a union between a man and a woman. God must be disgusted with our evil society that says a man with men or women with women is marriage. God said, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (Leviticus 18:22) Marriage will work only when it is built upon God and His word.

The Bible is filled with great and precious promises from God. None is greater than that of Hebrews 13:5-6 where God promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." This promise of God should lead to boldness, contentment, blessings and happiness.

Verses 7-11

React to certain people -- Hebrews 13:7-11 : God"s people must react to those around them and Him who is above them.

The greatest responsibility in the entire world is that of serving as an elder in the church. God took the mater of church leadership so seriously that he gave a number of very specific qualifications that must be met before one can become a shepherd over God"s flock. (1 Timothy 3:1-16, Titus 1:1-16) He likewise gave the church the responsibility to: (1) Remember her elders, (2) Follow their example, and (3) to obey them. If elders lead properly and the members lovingly they can answer to God "with joy and not with grief" for every soul. (Hebrews 13:7, Hebrews 13:17)

God"s people must likewise react properly to Jesus. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8) Jesus, our great high priest, is our hope and our help. He is our sacrificial lamb. (John 1:29) He is the heart of our hope and the hope of our heart.

The Hebrew writer spoke boldly of how we should react to false teachers. (Hebrews 13:9) Instrumental music, the role of women in the church, communion every Sunday and only on Sunday, how to interpret Scripture, praise teams and singing groups, and church leadership are only a few of the matters false teachers are dividing the church of Christ over the today. What ever happened to the plea, "We speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent?"

Verses 12-17

Recognize the important -- Hebrews 13:12-17 : A list of important Bible truths would have at its top the fact that Jesus died for our sins. (Hebrews 13:12) The Hebrew writer had earlier said, that Jesus "tasted death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9) This is a truth still almost beyond my comprehension.

On that list of important things would be heaven itself. (Hebrews 13:14) Christians seek that heavenly Jerusalem, where they shall worship God continually. Our condition in this world is very uncertain and unsettled. The permanent home of the faithful Christian is not Jerusalem, but heaven itself.

Christians are to offer a sacrifice to God, and none but God. They are not to sacrifice to created things, angels, or saints. The sacrifice we offer to God is the fruit of our lips. We do not offer the fruit of our fields, or of our flocks, but we offer the fruit of the same lips that confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Hebrews 13:15) We must speak forth the praises of God from unfeigned lips and thankful hearts.

We must do all within our power to communicate to the necessities of the souls and bodies of men. Our actions must go beyond just words. There must also be the sacrifice of good deeds. "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:10)

Verses 18-25

Respond to the exhortations -- Hebrews 13:18-25 : The writer asked and exhorted the brethren to pray for him that he could have a good conscience. (Hebrews 13:18) A good conscience is a conscience enlightened by the word of God, a conscience purified by the blood of Christ, a conscience universally tender of all God"s commands. We must be willing in all things to live honestly.

There are many glorious titles given to Almighty God in the Bible. None is more glorious or powerful than the expression, "God of peace." Jesus is also given the title, "the great Shepherd of the sheep." He is called this because Christians are His flock in the midst of wolves. They could never be preserved without the care and protection of this great Shepherd. Christians are exhorted to have respect and love both for the Father and the Son.

The writer encouraged these brethren to, "suffer the word of exhortation." (Hebrews 13:22) "Suffer the word of exhortation" refers to the heeding the counsels in this whole epistle. Christians must follow these practical exhortations to perseverance in the Christian religion amidst all the temptations which can easily lead to apostasy.

There is a solemn benediction at the close of this great letter. "Grace be with you all. Amen." (Hebrews 13:25) Let God"s grace continually work in you. Allow this grace to bring forth the fruits of holiness in your life.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Hebrews 13:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". 2014.

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