Picture of Jesus showing compassion to a man

Keep It On!

Sermon Scripture

Hebrews 13:1-14

INTRODUCTION

The heart of the audience was to, potentially, turn back to their old way of life without Christ.

  • The author has been exhorting them to stay faithful and run the good race through:
    • Proofs, evidences, reminders, examples of faith, doctrine, inserting conviction, imploring, and exposing.

SERMON PURPOSE

Learning how to stay faithful to God for the rest of your life

  • It’s fairly easy to do well spiritually in the short term but fade out in the long run

This sermon contains 6 points from Hebrews 13:1-14 where the author exhorts us with practicals of how to stay faithful.

SERMON CONTEXT

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, (Hebrews 12:28; NIV)

  • Previously, the emphasis has been on loving God and worshiping him with awe.
  • The author shifts the focus to loving people.
    • An emphasis is being placed on loving God and loving people as the greatest commandment highlights.
  • He now focuses on teaching them the practicals for their lives.

1) Keep On Loving (v.1)

55 passages, in the New Testament alone, call us to love one another

  • Of all the things Jesus could have said as he gathered his disciples one last time at the Passover before he would be crucified, He emphasized the new command – Love One Another!
    • Love is emphasized so repeatedly, and we are told to keep on loving because it doesn’t take long for our love to wane.
      • Reasons why our love wanes are plenty…(hurt feelings, tough relationships,etc)
      • 1 Corinthians 13 – …love perseveres
      • Self love is the greatest threat to loving others.

Concerning love for the brothers, you have no need to have any one write to you: for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another, and indeed you do it. (1 Thessalonians 4:9; NIV)

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us: and we out to lay down our lives for our brothers…(1 John 3:16; NIV)

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end. (Hebrews 6:10; NIV)

  • Disciples must love one another as brothers and sisters
  • Disciples must also love the lost as Christ loved us when we were still lost

People admire talent and hard work, but they will only follow those who LOVE them. Jon Landis

We must Walk in love!

  • What would people say about you?
    • Are you loving?
    • Do you persevere or do you pull back quickly?
  • How can you love others more deeply?

2) Keep On Showing Hospitality (v.2)

Hospitable Christian leadership is described in:

Biblical (Greek) definition of hospitality:

  • philozenous = philo + zenophobic
    • Greek word for strangers/enemies
    • In the ancient world, all strangers were enemies
      • This mindset is bad for business
        • Lets make friends of strangers.
      • Hospitality has its roots in hostile.
  • Hospitality = making friends with enemies/strangers.
    • As Disciples, this is how we seek and save those who are lost

 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. (Luke 16:9)

Use your resources to make friends with eternal implications!

  • Aquilla & Priscilla took Apollos into their home to teach him the truth. Acts 18:24-26
    • Used their home not as an escape, but as a base in which to do ministry!

Who can you invite into your home to practice Biblical hospitality with?

3) Keep On Showing Concern (v.3)

This is the same principle already expressed in Hebrews 10:32

  • Help others as though their troubles are your troubles
  • Help others in their sufferings as though you are suffering

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26

  • We tend to be concerned about the things that directly involve us…
    • Its time to open our eyes to the big picture
    • We must show equal concern for one another
      • How do you show concern for others?
      • Do you show equal concern for everyone?
      • Do your brothers and sisters feel loved and encouraged by you?

Example: Husbands & Wives

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:7; NIV

  • We are expected to show concern & consideration for others in our lives.
    • When we don’t, it can hinder our prayers which hinders our relationship with God.

We need to build a culture that rallies to the needs of others rather than expects everyone to rally to them. Jon Landis

How can you show concern to one another?!

4) Keep On Being Content (v.4-6)

Discontentment

  • You can see it in others and in children
    • Not grateful for what they have
    • Always looking for something different
      • The grass is always greener or the other side…
  • This highlights that we can be the same way

Why highlight contentment when talking about the need to honor marriage and keeping the marriage bed pure?

  • Background: There was a wave of teaching that was forbidding people to be married and therefore taught celibacy
  • Honor marriage and its sanctity
  • God will judge the sexually immoral and the adulterer
  • Marriage is divinely ordained, and it should not be polluted by anything
  • Sexual Immorality and Adultery are different
    • Adultery: unfaithfulness by either party to the marriage vow
    • Sexual immorality: impurity, etc that goes against the word of God
  • God brings judgement upon those who are disobedient

5) Keep On Imitating (v.7-8)

The author mentions the idea of following your leaders 3 times in chapter 13.

  • v.17-to obey their leaders
  • v.24-convey the writers greetings to them
  • v.7 – called to remember their life and and imitate their faith.
  • Who are you imitating?
    • Have you communicated to them that you want to imitate their way of life/faith?

I’ve heard disciples say, “I don’t have any examples in my life. I’m in a situation where nobody can really help me.” Jon Landis

  • Besides the obvious pride in that statement, there is always a person to imitate!

Jesus is always available to be imitated and consulted.

  • He is always available and is completely unchanging!
  • Psalm 102:27; Hebrews 13:8 – He is the same yesterday and today and forever
  • Yesterday he offered up prayers and loud cries (Hebrews 5:7)
  • Today he represents His people in the presence of God as high-priest (Hebrews 4:15)
  • He lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25)

If His help, grace, his power, and his guidance are permanently at his people’s disposal; why should they lose heart? Jesus never needs to be replaced, and nothing needs to be added to his perfect work!

We need men and women to be worthy of imitation.

  • The older generation must lead the way!
    • We get fired up to see the Teens and Campus making faithful decisions and winning the world, but it is the older brothers and sisters that they should be looking up to.
  • Our marriages, parenting, faith, and perseverance need to be worthy of imitation!
    • Where the older men and women are walking with and teaching the younger!
    • We need to be the example for others while imitating others who inspire us!
      • Are you living a life worthy of imitation?
      • Are you reliable?
      • Are you passing on reliable qualities to the next generation? (2 Timothy 2:2)

6) Keep On Suffering (v.9-14)

Verse 8 reminds us that Jesus Christ does not change. Verse 9 transitions us into the idea that we must not be swept off our course from outlandish/strange teachings.

  • It transitions to this point, because if Jesus is the same, we should not be looking to “new ideas” or new waves of teaching. Ephesians 4:14
    • Jesus and His Word do not need to be changed.
    • We must bend to God.
    • God does not bend to us.

Verse 9 – “it is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not be eating ceremonial foods.” The author highlights that it is not sacrifices and special events that are meant to strengthen our resolve but grace!

  • He talks about the sacrifices that would be burned outside the camp.
    • These were the sin offerings…
    • We have the greatest sin offering, in Jesus, and he too was taken outside the camp
      • His blood is what gives us the opportunity to be holy.
    • Let us go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.
      • Going “outside the camp” is a biblical theme when transition and transformation occurred.
        • Israelites – out into the desert to be purified
        • John the Baptist – out to be purified,
        • Jesus – outside the camp in the desert – to be tested, and then to be killed.
      • We are called to step outside the camp

We must be strengthened in grace to continue to step out of the world and be willing to bear the same isolation and humiliation that He did.

  • Jesus gives us an incredible example worth imitating.
    • He was imitating his Father.
  • It is he who suffered and died for us.
  • The one who was worthy of praise, left everything and went outside the camp for us.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

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