By Pastor Tom Davidson
We’ve reached the end of the book of Hebrews in our study. It ends with a series of final instructions. Most of Hebrews is given for the purpose of doctrine with the last two chapters emphasizing the duty of the believer in his practical existence. It certainly isn’t enough to only know the truth without obeying the truth. There are a number of different areas mentioned in this last chapter that pertains to the believer’s conduct. Here’s a list of those things that are mentioned:
–brotherly love, v: 1
–hospitality, v: 2
–sympathy with those in bonds, v: 3
–fidelity in the marriage relation, v: 4
–contentment, v: 5, 6
–submission to those in authority, v: 7, 8
–stability in the doctrines of religion, v: 9-15
–benevolence, v: 16
–obedience to those entrusted with office, v: 17
I just want to touch on a couple of these in this message; in verse four, we’re challenged to acknowledge and to maintain the sanctity of marriage. In recent years, marriage has been greatly cheapened. There is a frontal attack on marriage by the devil, the world and the flesh. If we lessen in our own minds the value and the true meaning and purpose of marriage, we’ll open our own marriages to “marriage failure.” There are many who so slowly are allowing ‘marriage plaque’ to build up on the heart of their marriage, not realizing that they’re preparing themselves for a marriage blockage. When the marriage is compromised by unfaithfulness, you’re inviting the fiery wrath of God to fall upon you. This kind of judgment should be avoided by every believer in preference to guarding and maintaining a wonderful and a holy relationship to the marriage partner that God has given us. Each of us should remind ourselves from the text: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” There’s no way to escape the warning that is given in our text, when a violation has taken place… Christians are called to be outrageously pure.
People will always come up with alternatives to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the first century there were the Gnostics, the Mystics, and the Judaizes. Today you can listen to trendy New Age teachings of all kinds. You can hear the enlightenment of self-proclaimed Gurus or the so-called realism of Secular Humanists. Remember the message of Hebrews – Jesus Christ is Greater! He is greater than the angels and the prophets. He is the greater man. Jesus is greater than Moses, the liberator. He gives us a greater rest. He is the greater Priest and King. He is the originator of a greater Covenant. And Jesus gave a greater Sacrifice … once and for all. The sacrifice of Jesus ended the Old Covenant. We no longer need to bring animal sacrifices to the altar in order to seek forgiveness for our sins. But there is still one sacrifice God requires from us.
When we praise God in song, we are offering the sacrifice of praise. When we confess His name by telling others about Him, we are offering the sacrifice of praise. When we love each other as brothers, we are offering the sacrifice of praise. We love Jesus Christ by loving each other. Jesus is the One who opened up for us a new and living way. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. This is the purpose of Hebrews being written so that we can clearly see how much better things we have as believers as we look to Jesus!