The Book of Hebrews – Heb 13:1-5 “Let brotherly love continue”

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Heb 13:1-5 “Let brotherly love continue”

Mat 3:8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

[Study Aired April 29, 2021]

Heb 13:1  Let brotherly love continue. 
Heb 13:2  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 
Heb 13:3  Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. 
Heb 13:4  Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. 
Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 

In order to “Let brotherly love continue” in the body of Christ, we must be actively about our Father’s business as Christ was (Luk 2:49). That is something we are assured will happen if we are His workmanship (Eph 2:10), being transformed by God (Rom 12:2) as Christ works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure within us (Php 2:12-13).

The book of Hebrews is all about that workmanship of God that is being accomplished through Christ, our high priest who is preparing the bride of Christ (Rev 19:7) to be kings and priests who will rule under him (Rev 20:6). That kingdom to come is given to God’s elect in earnest now (Eph 1:14)  as it is within us (Luk 12:32, Luk 17:21) where the author and finisher, “the chief corner” of our faith (Heb 12:2, Eph 2:20), is creating a fitly framed temple to the glory of God that will be used to save the rest of humanity (1Co 3:16, Oba 1:21).

Christ’s words in Matthew 7:21 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven”, remind us that God’s will requires God’s love to be shed abroad in our hearts today (Rom 5:5) as sons of God (1Jn 3:1, 1Jn 4:13, Rom 8:16) who are blessed to die daily and carry our cross as we are dragged to Christ (Joh 6:44). We are being given the power to submit to the will of God, through the strength God gives us through Christ and His body. The first fruits of God “shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” first, simply by virtue of the fact that God has purposed the order of salvation to unfold in this manner (Rom 8:9, 1Co 1:26, Heb 7:25, Rom 5:10).

We are collectively praying today “that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man (Col 1:27, Heb 2:3); that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Gal 2:20); to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend (Php 3:12) with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God” (Eph 3:16-19).

We have not because we “ask not” (Jas 4:2-3) so let’s come boldly unto “the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16) as Christ did for Peter (Luk 22:32, 1Jn 4:17), praying for our faith to never fail as we set out to do our Father’s will on earth as it is in done in heaven (Mat 6:10). Then we are assured, with God’s word, that if such a faith-filled prayer is granted, we can then know that “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen”  (Eph 3:20-21) is what we can anticipate will happen.

When we seek those things which are above, we are letting brotherly love continue, and as these following verses show us, our obedience to God’s commandments will make manifest in our lives the brotherly love that we want to continue in each other throughout our sojourn on this earth with lives that are hidden in Christ, longing to see this corruptible flesh put on incorruption (Col 3:1-17, 1Co 15:52-58).

I’ve underlined some of the key ways in which God is admonishing the bride of Christ to “let brotherly love continue” through His word!

Col 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek [Mat 6:33] those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

(To be hid in Christ is to be dead to sin or lying dead in the street  so we can be alive through Christ [Rev 1:17, Rev 11:9, Rom 6:11, Rev 21:6])

Col 3:4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

(We go from glory to glory when the Lord appears, which is the only way brotherly love can continue in the spirit of liberty God provides through Christ and His Christ [2Co 3:17-18, 1Jn 3:14]).

Col 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Col 3:11  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

[Letting brotherly love continue, described in the verses we read, is how we become part of the “all, and in all” which will one day all be subdued under Christ who will put “all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1Co 15:28)]

Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Col 3:15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful [Psa 107:31-32, Heb 13:15-16].

Psa 107:31  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psa 107:32  Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Heb 13:15  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Heb 13:16  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Col 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Col 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible [Rev 1:17, Rev 11:9, Rom 6:11, Rev 21:6], and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

(We are putting on words of eternal life now when we let brotherly love continue to the end that we can be found not having our righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith [Joh 6:68, Php 3:9])

1Co 15:54  So when this corruptible (Isa 1:4, Isa 4:1) shall have put on incorruption (Joh 6:68), and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 
1Co 15:55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 
1Co 15:56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 
1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 7:19-20, Rom 7:24-25)
1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. “Let brotherly love continue

Heb 13:1  Let brotherly love continue.

Here we are in the last verses of the book of Hebrews, and the main focus of this section of scripture is admonishing us how we ought walk in this world and conduct ourselves “in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1Ti 3:15).

1Ti 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Timothy reminds us that love tarries long (1Co 13:7, Heb 10:25, Mal 3:16) and that it takes time for us to be perfect, stablished, strengthened and settled through Christ (1Pe 5:10) so we can be a healthy contributing branch or pillar in the body of Christ. That is what our goal is for ourselves and each other as we run together as one body to win (1Co 9:24) this great prize of eternal life (Php 3:12-14). It is when we are converted that our entire life can be the most effective living sacrifice the Master will use (2Ti 2:20-21) for the strengthening of the sheep and lambs in this race (brethren Luk 22:32, lambs Joh 21:15, sheep Joh 21:16,  sheep Joh 21:17).

2Ti 2:20  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 
2Ti 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (1Co 3:12-13, 1Pe 4:12, Heb 12:6)

Heb 13:2  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 

All flesh is strange to God, meaning it is gentile and cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1Co 15:50). We don’t want to know each other any longer after the flesh, which to God is all gentile or ‘strange’ (2Co 5:16), and yet this verse is reminding us how we are to interact among each other and all mankind, as brotherly love continues with our neighbour (Mar 12:30-31), as we do unto others as we would have them do unto us (Mat 7:12). That doing unto others as we would have them do unto us is how we can and should “be not forgetful to entertain strangers.

There is a parable being given to us regarding Christ’s relationship with John at the end of John’s life, and Jesus was not with John physically to give him comfort but was ministering to him in the spirit with the words of life that he gave to the two disciples of John that he sent to Christ. So in this instance Christ was showing us that he did not need to know John after the flesh, and most importantly He did not neglect to help John by sending those two disciples, who are a type of the witness of God’s holy spirit, the word of encouragement that he desperately needed at this time of great trial in his life (Mat 11:1-6, Mat 10:19-20). We are like Christ (1Jn 4:17) in that regard as we are sent as he was to reveal His life to each other, not forgetting “to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Mat 11:1  And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
Mat 11:2  Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
Mat 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
Mat 11:4  Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
Mat 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Mat 11:6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Mat 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

God’s elect are commanded to do good unto all men, but especially to the household of faith (Gal 6:10) and many have shown us great kindnesses throughout our lives, for which we are grateful. So, “for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” also has its application to those whom God has used in this life for our sakes for whom are all things (2Co 4:15). The “angels unaware” can be both literal angels or messengers of God which we all are in God’s service.  We all have therefore at various times and in different ways “entertained angels unawares” and been ministered to by those angels who strengthen us (Luk 22:43). We are to do good to all men as we have opportunity knowing that God expects us to lavish the spikenard that represents God’s holy spirit upon the body of Christ, as we are that household of faith dying daily and in need of each other’s love and support in order to endure through this life (Mat 25:40, Joh 12:3).

Luk 22:43  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Joh 12:3  Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, (Joh 13:9-10) and wiped his feet with her hair: (1Co 11:7-8, 1Co 11:15) and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

Joh 13:9  Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
Joh 13:10  Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

1Co 11:7  For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman [the church] is the glory of the man.
1Co 11:8  For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

1Co 11:15  But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Heb 13:3  Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. 

Going back to Christ’s example with John the baptist, we see how our Lord remembered the bonds of John. This typifies for us how we are to be sent to each other and are to remember the tremendous importance of that communion which builds up the body in love (Heb 13:16, Eph 4:16-32).

Heb 13:16  But to do good and to communicate forget not: (“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers“) for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

These verses in Ephesians help us define how we are to remember those who are in spiritual bonds suffering adversity and how we can, through Christ, be changed into a people who are empathetic toward all suffering “as being yourselves also in the body” of that person who is suffering (Eze 9:4).

Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part (Eze 9:4, 1Th 5:12), maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 
Eph 4:17  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 
Eph 4:18  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 
Eph 4:19  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 
Eph 4:20  But ye have not so learned Christ; 
Eph 4:21  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 
Eph 4:22  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 
Eph 4:23  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (Psa 51:1-4, 1Jn 1:6-7)
Eph 4:24  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 
Eph 4:25  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

[Eph 4:25 Includes not lying to yourself but rather confessing your sins when God causes you to err (Isa 66:17) and asking for His power and strength to endure that chastening which we all must endure in order to be sons of God (Heb 12:6-7 , Pro 20:30)

Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 

Pro 20:30  The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly. 

Eph 4:26  Be ye angry, and sin not: (Joh 5:14) let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 
Eph 4:27  Neither give place to the devil. 
Eph 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 
Eph 4:29  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 
Eph 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 
Eph 4:31  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 
Eph 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. “let brotherly kindness continue“.

Heb 13:4  Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. 
Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

We’ll end our study off this week with these last two verses that truly explain the fruit that will manifest in the lives of those who are blessed to “let brotherly kindness continue.

God’s elect “have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle”, which we will be looking at in greater detail in the coming weeks, Lord willing (Heb 13:10). For now, let’s consider how we can provoke one another to love and good works in an undefiled manner, as our marriage to Christ is “honourable in all”, a “bed undefiled”. Just as the altar must remain undefiled and free from “whoremongers and adulterers” who “God will judge” (1Co 3:17). Just like the Corinthian fornicator whose actions of sleeping with his father’s wife symbolize for us this defilement of a bed and what we do when our way of life is covetous, not being content with the little or lot of faith which God gives us (Php 4:12-13).

Php 4:12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 
Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Whatever God gives us, it is given freely to be given to others. Our lives belong to him. “We are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:8, Rom 11:36, Mat 10:8). Otherwise we will find ourselves glorying in that which God is doing through us (1Co 4:7) as if we are doing it ourselves independent of Him (Php 2:12-13), even coveting a measure of faith that God never intended as He knows how a little faith can get the job done, or a lot of faith depending on what He has purposed in our lives (Php 4:12). Therefore we ought to be “content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee“, and yes, this has both a physical and spiritual application. The good news is that God will not leave us throughout this process of growing “in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”, and understands how to turn us into a fitly framed temple to His glory and honour (1Co 3:16, Eph 2:21-22, Rev 19:7).

2Pe 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 

Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 
Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. 

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

What exceedingly great and precious promises have been given to us to think upon (2Pe 1:4) so that we can be encouraged to “let brotherly love continue” by escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust that God has promised His grace will teach us to forsake (Tit 2:12).

Tit 2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

2Pe 1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust

I want to end our study like we started it by reminding us to make this prayer often for one another which is found in (Eph 3:17-19).

Eph 3:17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 
Eph 3:18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 
Eph 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 
Eph 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 
Eph 3:21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. 

Let us keep “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” and “let brotherly love continue.

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