BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
EVIDENCE OF FAITH
(Looking out for others)
The book of Hebrews concludes with a series of exhortations to Christians, and indeed, to all mankind, concerning how we should live a life of faith, here on earth. We are called to love and trust in GOD, and to continue to listen to, and respect those leaders who first introduced us to the LORD.
Here believers are called to live a life of love for their fellowman (verse 1). Christians should not forget to show hospitality to everyone, because you never know when you might be entertaining an angel (verse 2). We should even remember and pray for the freedom of those who have been incarcerated because of their zeal and work for CHRIST, with the same passion and frequency with which we pray for ourselves. And finally, we must bear each other’s burdens, as so to fulfill the command of CHRIST JESUS.
The epilogue of this letter to the Hebrews is distinguished from its body, in that, it contains specific admonitions that we should adhere to. It contains not only the writer’s personal comments, but also gives specific instructions suggesting how we can worship GOD in a more acceptable manner than we’ve become accustomed to. Verses 1-6 contains moral directions for us to follow, that would reflects our personal kindness to our brothers, to strangers, and, to those who are imprisoned. This passage also calls for sexual purity in marriage, and, for us to avoid monetary greed, being content with what the LORD is blessing each of us with, personally. Even if we have little on the material level, we still have GOD’s daily help, just as HE promises us.
These moral instructions are followed by some religious directions in verses 7-17. Here the writer reminds us that we are to not forget those religious leaders who first taught us the word of GOD, and, we are to always remember and consider all of the good that has come to us from their lives, and then finally, we are to trust GOD just as they do.
CHRIST JESUS is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, and we should not be distracted by any other strange, new ideology, or theology that comes down the pike. JESUS affords us with an altar from which no earthly priest can eat, and then, HE died outside the gates of Jerusalem to make us holy by the shedding of HIS OWN blood. HE was then raised from the dead by GOD the FATHER, so that HE could carry HIS OWN blood back to the Temple in Heaven, and then offer it, as a sacrificial payment for our sins.
We must therefore go out and be willing to suffer the same kind of disgrace and persecution that JESUS suffered for us, in route to, and on, the cross at Golgotha. The apostle John wrote in his third letter, which was a personal note to his friend Gaius, that, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4).
In Hebrews 13:17-19, the author of GOD lays down the duty and responsibility of the Christian congregation to its leaders, whom GOD has chosen. Obedience to its leaders is a duty of the congregation. And while a Christian church is a democracy, it is not a democracy that is taken to extremes. Obedience is not given to its leaders in order to gratify their sense of power and prestige, but rather, it is given so that, we who trust in GOD, can allow them to shepherd and care for those souls which GOD has appointed to them.
A true man of GOD recognizes his responsibility to GOD, and is accountable for his actions, right or wrong. Our obedience to our leaders is not a blind one however, and nor is it a surrender of our responsibility to obey CHRIST as LORD of the Church. We must, however, remain responsive to those, whom GOD has given us as guides, and allow ourselves to be influenced positively by them. Our getting to know GOD personally through HIS word gives us the ability to distinguish true men of GOD from those who are frauds.
Looking out for each other entails watching out and praying for others in the congregation in general, as well as for those on the leadership tier in the Church. In the spiritual sense, we truly are our brother’s keeper, and we are called to help each other guard against going astray. It is appropriate that leaders are called to watch over us, and, in the end, they must give an account to GOD, regarding how they fared as shepherds. But, in the same way, we are called to watch over each other, and, must also give an account to GOD, for our reactions concerning the needs of our fellowman, especially within the Church.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website