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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Hebrews 13

Verses 1-6

  1. Intro: A Community of Mutual Love
    1. The Christian’s life seems to be sketched out in its bearing on the believer’s relations withother people. Wycliffe
      1. Picture a Childs coloring book. With a black & white outline of a person on the page. Each of the topics he’s about to mention are like different crayon colors filling in the picture.
      2. As we go through these make a mental note, how filled in your picture is, or what colors are missing?
    2. Here the writer starts his Epilogue (vs.1-17).
      1. He moves from general admonitions to specific ones. Then he covers his personal comments & his farewell (18-25).
      2. The specific admonitions are broken up into 2 categories:
        1. Moral Directions (1-6). Religious Directions (7-17).
        2. Duties to God & duties to humanity.
      3. How are you & I going to influence a secularized society w/the value & power of Christian truth?
        1. Not w/our teachings necessarily…but by our lives.
        2. Where does the lackadaisical attitude come from that promotes, “as long as I’m saved” or “belong to a church”…I’m fine? What happened to divine duty?
        3. Who said, How we live doesn’t matter?
    3. We’ll start ch.13 from its launch from 12:28 (read).
      1. How do we serve/worship/lutreo God acceptably?
        1. W/reverence & godly fear & the reminder that our God is a consuming fire.
      2. Again, if we 1st have a proper love for God then we’ll have a proper love for His church & His world.
        1. Slide8a The life of brotherly love constitutes an essential aspect of the worship which Christians must render to God; without brotherly love, there is no authentic worship. This connection is confirmed explicitly in v.16.
    4. Outline: Loving, Caring, & Valuing People not Things.
  2. LOVING (1)
    1. Important points of morality & ethics.
      1. Morals describe what people do; Ethics describe what people ought to do. (R.C.Sproul)
      2. So he starts with giving us moral directions: we are to show personal kindness to our brothers, strangers, & prisoners. Then he reminds us of sexual purity. Lastly, teaches us we might have a little on the monetary level...but we have The Lord...and His help.
    2. BROTHERS (1) [φιλαδελφια- brotherly love]
    3. Jesus Himself said this would be the mark by which true Christians would be able to be identified…By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
      1. Not a love based on personal liking, but based on shared relationship. All Christians are members of one another because we share the life of Christ.
      2. Practically, Christians can check on other members to see if they are in need, & see to it their basic needs of food, shelter & clothing are provided.
  3. CARING (2,3)
    1. STRANGERS (2)
    2. Not only Philadelphia but also PhiloXenia. [φιλοζενια- hospitality]
      1. Not only a love for the brethren but also a love for strangers.
    3. Inns were often times miserable places.
      1. Aristophanēs (446-386 BC) a comic playwright of ancient Athens, wrote The Frogs,
        Dionysus asks Hercules if he can tell him, which Inn has the fewest fleas.
        Theophrastus puts inn-keeping on the level of running a brothel. (Kent Hughes; pg.209)
      2. Thus inns were not friendly or healthy places for Christians. Thus the need for Christian hospitality.
    4. Some OT saints were rewarded for their warm hospitable ways who ended up entertaining angels w/o knowing it.
      1. Like Abraham who extended hospitality to 3 strangers.
      2. Like Gideon who encountered an angel under the oak of Ophrah.
      3. Like Manoah who extended hospitality to the man who brought his wife wonderful tidings about the birth of a boy/Samson.
      4. The writer was showing how God prizes hospitality not saying, you might luck out & get an angel. Paul said, to be given to hospitality.
    5. This isn’t our modern practice of repaying entertainment by one’s friends, which isn’t wrong, it just isn’t what this is speaking of.
      1. It’s more like what Jesus said in Lk.14:13,14 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
    6. Personal Application: God places a great premium on opening our homes & lives to others.
      1. In someone’s home is where you really get to know them. How they treat their kids; pets; guests; each other. How their siblings get along…or don’t. And, whether Christ is in their home…or what place He is given in their home.
      2. If one of your pastors made a drop by visit, what temperature would he feel when he stepped into your home? [Icy? Warm? Hot? Nuclear?]
    7. PRISONERS (3a)
    8. This verse contains 2 further exhortations, each followed by a motive for action.
    9. This was referring to the believers like Paul that found himself in prison often.
      1. This is to feel empathy for them. Feel what the prisoner or the mistreated would feel. (i.e. Shame, hurt, loneliness, hopelessness)
      2. Identifying with them as if you were bound right to them.
      3. Christian persecution is taking place in 40 countries right now.
    10. VOM - A widow in India who was imprisoned for 15 days because of her evangelistic work has died of an apparent heart attack, leaving behind an 8-year-old daughter. Vani, 31, accused of kidnapping a teenage girl and forcing her to convert to Christianity. While in jail, Vani witnessed to more than 70 women, 14 of whom became Christians.

      She returned to the jail every two months for a regular court appearance, using her afternoons there to pray for the police officers and prisoners. A guard at the jail came to faith in Christ and invited Vani to her house to pray for her.
      1. Pastor Umar Mulinde, who was severely burned in a Christmas Eve 2011 acid attack by radical Muslims. He continues to wear specialized bandages on his face and will require more follow-up treatment and surgeries at a hospital in Israel. Pastor Umar lost his right eye in the attack and underwent extensive facial reconstruction.
    11. MISTREATED/ABUSED (3b)
    12. Physically abused, knocked around, assaulted. Emotionally harmed, injured, wounded.
      Sexually taken advantage of, molested, abused. [some trafficked, some prisoner in their own home]
      1. You have a body, you can empathize with them.
    13. Even the enemies of Christianity have noticed the practice of these virtues among Christians.
  4. VALUING PEOPLE NOT THINGS (4-6)
    1. MARRIAGE (4)
    2. They were in a society in which chastity & honor in marriage were commonly disregarded. (no different today)
    3. Marriage was dishonored in 2 extremes: Celibacy & New Morality.
      1. The idea that Celibacy is better than marriage. (regarding holiness)
        1. We’ve seen in our worlds headlines far too many times that Celibacy is not a safeguard against immorality.
      2. Traditional Marriage is Archaic, thus the New Morality is in vogue, which is no morality at all.
        1. Termed now…recreational or casual sex, or friends w/benefits.
    4. Remember, God was the One who conceived of sexual intimacy not Hugh Hefner.
      1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​God created it for the marriage bed...and it was good.
      2. The Father gave it to Adam, Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
      3. The Son honored marriage by performing His 1st miracle at a wedding.
      4. The Holy Spirit furthered honored it in Eph. 5 by using it to portray the relationship of Christ & His church.
        1. Thus marriage should be honored by ALL.
        2. The marriage bed, the sexual relationship should be an altar, where a pure offering of a couple’s lives is made to each other & to God.
        3. The bed undefiled: Its not just for procreation but also pleasure.
        4. Anything that is a loving act, a giving act, an agreed upon act is thus pleasing & acceptable to God.
          1. If you have sexual relation issues, may it become an altar of prayer for you & your spouse.
    5. Sexual purity is one of God’s absolutes.
      1. (msg) Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.
      2. God views infidelity as serious. [Note: He covers ALL immorality in 4b]
      3. We Christians are to be outrageously pure.
      4. Christian sexual morality was unique in the pagan world, it made it a source of wonder. May it become that again today.
    6. God will judge…both now & later.
      1. Make no mistake…to take up an adulterous lifestyle & remain unrepentant is to secure ultimate judgment.
        1. ​​​​​​​Judgment in the Future at the white throne.
        2. Judgment in the Present: Physically w/potential diseases. Mentally/emotionally w/guilt, shame & remorse. Relationally w/alienation, estrangement, hatred. And, Societally as it degrades a society, it’s jungle ethics, it often results in illegitimate children, or worse abortion. (Ibid; pg.218,219 adapted)
    7. MONEY (5,6) (or not money loving)
    8. Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr. An American televangelist, pastor, and the founder of the non-denominational World Changers Church International based in Fulton County, Georgia. Last year, Dollar’s private jet ran off the runway while landing in a UK airport. Fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt. But to replace the old jet, Dollar launched a fundraising campaign to get his followers to pay approximately $60 million for a new Gulfstream G650 jet. The jet he wants is the “fastest plane ever built in civilian aviation.” But after receiving immediate and intense backlash, Dollar ended hisfundraising campaign. [By Carlos Rodriguez, Happy Sonship blog, God is in a good mood, let’s join Him]
      1. The problem is not wealth. The problem is the love of money. I love money. So I have a problem with wealth.
      2. But I still want to judge him (and I have Bible verses to support those judgments) Yet, to judge him is to bring judgement on myself.
        1. It might sound ridiculous that Creflo “needs” a 65 million dollar airplane to preach the gospel. But it might also seem ridiculous to a father of 12 in Niger that I would “need” an iPad to preach my sermons, or an iMac to write my blog, or shoes to go for a walk.
        2. I don’t know where the line is, but it might be somewhere between people going to bed hungry and pastors going to bed inside their own aeroplanes.
    9. The writer here is not forbidding wealth, but the love of $. Covetousness.
    10. Wealth has its disadvantages: If it possess you, instead of you possessing it. If you trust in it. If you focus your thoughts & interests on it.
      1. Eccl 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
    11. True contentment comes from resting in God’s care.
      1. Which spills us into vs.5b...which can be interpreted, never, under any circumstances ever, will I leave you.
      2. Which pours us into the praise of vs.6.
      3. So what facts about God help to keep you from loving money?
        1. Slide21b God has promised never to forsake us(5b) God has promised to be our helper(6)
    12. So, Christian be content…because you...have...God.
    13. Next section, after Moral directions, is Religious directions.

Verses 7-16

  1. Intro:
    1. Title: Jesus Christ, eternally the same, eternally contemporary
    2. Outline: The Leaders & The Leader. Grace or Grub. Inside or Outside. Worship & Work.
  2. THE LEADERS & THE LEADER (7,8)
    1. (7a) Who leads you here at CM? Who speaks to you the word of God through teaching or counseling at CM? [that’s our pastoral staff, Kelly/women, all of our ministry leaders, etc.]
      1. Pray for your spiritual leaders. Thank you, for notes of encouragement, & paychecks for each of our staff. But the best thing that you can do for us is pray for us. As we speak to you, on behalf of God; you should speak to God on behalf of us.
    2. (7b) Whose faith follow - We’ll make mistakes, but overall we should have a good track record. You should see our faith in action. You should see our life matching our words.
      1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our church needs good leaders and it needs good followers. This provides both the harmony and unity God is looking for.
    3. (8) We sure live in changing times.
      1. Not long ago we used to have...The Motion Picture Production Code. This was the set of industry moral guidelines that was applied to most U.S. motion pictures released by major studios from 1930-1968. It is also popularly known as the Hays Code, after Will H. Hays. (who was a Presbyterian Elder)
        1. In 1968, after several years of minimal enforcement, the outdated Production Code was replaced by the MPAA film rating system (G,PG,PG-13,R,X,NC17).
      2. Cal Thomas [political columnist] wrote, For 35 years, the Motion Picture Production Code served as a moral guideline for American filmmakers. The code, to Slide9b which filmmakers were required to adhere, included this paragraph: "No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience shall never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil, or sin.”
        1. ​​​​​​​We all would agree…my how times have changed.
      3. We do live in such a changing environment.
        1. Our earth suits move from tight pink as a baby to wrinkly as we grow old. Our personalities either grow sweeter with age or grow sour. Our relationships w/others constantly change…for better or for worse. Our environment transforms before our very eyes (leaves on the trees, to a rivers banks). We marvel at the speed of change in the fields of electronics, medicine, technology.
      4. We laugh & weep, work & play…& then we’re gone.
        1. We’ve all heard the only thing that is sure…is change.
        2. Our souls long for something solid. And here we have the most firm rock-solid foundation found in all of scripture…read vs.8
    4. Jesus Christ, eternally the same, eternally contemporary.
      1. Our soul longs for stability, our heart for solidity. Our emotions for steadiness, our mind for soundness.
        1. God the father doesn’t change. God the Son doesn’t change. And God the H.S. doesn’t either.
        2. The writer of Ps.102 contrasts: Long ago You laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but You remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. But You are always the same; You will live forever. Ps.102:25-27
      2. God is unchanging in...His being, perfections, purposes, & promises. (Grudem Systematic Theology; pg.163 (taken from Berkof’s))
      3. Malachi said of God, For I am the LORD, I do not change. (3:6)
        1. He is immutable, He will not change. He is all-wise, He need not change. He is perfect, He cannot change.
      4. What can you & I treasure from this doctrine? It answers…Is it possible to have close fellowship w/God that people had during biblical days? And…
        1. ​​​​​​​Do you think God’s less willing to answer prayer today then He was in bible times?
      5. Jesus Christ, eternally the same, eternally contemporary.
  3. GRACE OR GRUB (9,10)
    1. ​​​​​​​(9) So if Jesus never changes then His truths surely won’t.
      1. We’re not exactly sure what their immediate problem was, but obviously they held to some sacred menu, thinking it would make them more spiritual then the rest
        1. It’s Grace…not foods. It’s Grace…not a certain day of the week. It’s Grace…not which gift the H.S. has gifted you with. It’s Grace… not how often you take communion. It’s Grace…not when you think Jesus is returning.
    2. Kent Hughes gives an analogy of grace being like rain descending upon us. But any that stand proudly, when grace falls upon them it drips away like rain from a statue. Yet like water flowing continuously to the lowest places of the earth, so the Grace of God continues to bring life, growth & nourishment to those lowly in heart.
      1. Thus w/the Pharisee & the Tax collector (explain Lk.18:9-14). Again if Grace was rain, then the one, was a cold dead statue & the other, a dry thirsty sponge.
    3. On one of my 1st trips to Belize, we went with the group out to dinner. Bob Marley our waiter comes over, I’m 1st. I order from the menu. I’ll have the hamburger. He responds, No man! I’ll have the fish. He responds, No man! (Now, John Gotz is bent over laughing at me, I’m not understanding) You simply ask what they have that day...& thats what you want.
      1. On God’s menu is 1 selection...Grace...if you try to order anything else...you have no right to eat. 10b
    4. The altar proclaims that God & man may meet. Lev.15, 5x’s w/insistent explicitness prescribes all sacrifices to be done there.
    5. The altar is the cosmic collision of a holy God & sinful man.
    6. The altar screams of sacrifice where God is pleased & alienated man is reconciled.
      1. Nothing in our universe is more important to us human beings than the altar, the place where God & men meet.
    7. We commemorate this altar this Friday, Good Friday, because this altar is the Cross.
      1. The Cross, the Hinge of History. The Cross, the Lightening Rod of Grace. The Cross, the last argument of God. Spurgeon
  4. INSIDE OR OUTSIDE? (11-14)
    1. ​​​​​​​On the Day of Atonement 2 animals were slain:
    2. A bull (for the priest & his family) & a lamb (for the rest of the people).
      1. The blood of both these sacrifices was taken into the Holy of Holies.
      2. Both carcasses were taken outside the camp & burnt.
    3. Jesus the ultimate Lamb sacrifice, was taken a few blocks outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem (north), & sacrificed there.
      1. Then, they needed to come to Him...out of the old Jewish system.
      2. Today, we must step outside the gates of religiosity or legalism or any man-made system to find Christ.
        1. This speaks to whatever is the religious establishment of the day. Whether of Judaism or of a distorted Christianity. (Ray Stedman; pg.154)
      3. Since he died outside the camp He has made Himself accessible to anyone in the world who will come to Him.
    4. (12,13) Soren Kierkegaard said, God creates out of nothing. Wonderful, you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: He makes saints out of sinners.
      1. Jesus planted His cross in the world so all the world could have access. And there He remains permanently available. Hughes
    5. (14) It’s like the horse that invariably comes home in less time than he makes on the journey away. He runs home w/a faster pace...when his face is toward home. [barn sour]
      1. 1. May there be joy in our hearts as we face our Fathers home & our resting place.VI. Slide19,20 WORSHIP & WORK (15,16)
  5. May we be like human sunflowers always seeking to face the light.
      1. Notice the expectation...that it is to be continually practiced. Constant spiritual activity.
        1. There is nothing occasional about the true-Christian life...it is continual.
      2. ​​​​​​​The fruit of the lips ought to be the overflow of the full heart. (Wycliffe Bible Commentary; pg.1426)
      3. The ancients argued that a thank-offering was more acceptable to God than a sin-offering. For when a man offered a sin-offering he was trying to get something for himself, while a thank-offering was the unconditional offering of a grateful heart.
      4. A. W. Tozer said, Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it’s 1 that the poorest of us can make & be not poorer but richer for having made it.
    1. (15) As Martin Luther said as he lay on his deathbed...between groans he preached... “these pains & troubles here are like the type that printers set. When we look at them, we see them backwards, and they seemed to make no sense & have no meaning. But up there, when the Lord God prints out our life to come, we will find they make splendid reading.” [so, praise & thanks given, even when we don’t understand]
    2. So to please God both worship & work are as important to have together as…a sail and a mast is, to a sail boat.
      1. They are a bloodless sacrifice and holy & well pleasing unto God.
    3. No other Altar. No other Sacrifice. No other Lamb. No other Hope. No other Cross. No other Calvary. No other hiding-place. No other blood. No other Name under heaven given among men by which we may be saved. His name is Jesus! Do you know Him?

Verses 17-25

  1. Intro: The Great Shepherd & His Under-shepherds
    1. The writer gives us another picture of Christ, in vs.20 as the Great Shepherd.
      1. Psalm 23 is the reminder to us as His sheep, that our path is not always beside the still waters, or in green pastures, but also through the valley of the shadow of death. Which includes any dark, dread or awful experience that we’re called to pass thru.
    2. Prayer: Lord, as our Great Shepherd, You care for, lead, & protect your flock. You will feed Your flock like a shepherd; You will gather the lambs with Your arm, And carry them in Your bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
    3. Listen for your part, my part & Jesus part.
  2. OBEY & PRAY (17-19)
    1. Here’s 2 very practical things you can do for church leadership…Obey & Pray.
    2. Story: A friend had a problem getting his son to clean his room. The son would always agree to tidy up, but then wouldn’t follow through. After H.S. the young man joined the Marine Corps. When he came home for leave after basic training, his father asked him what he had learned in the service. “Dad,” he said. “I learned what ‘now’ means.” (Obey)
    3. OBEY (17)
    4. Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive.
      1. If they are faithful to care for your soul & teach you the word, you have the responsibility to obey.
      2. In military terms submission can be described as a soldier under an officer. If the soldier begins to act on his own, & be independent of the others, he is guilty of insubordination & will be punished accordingly. [adapted, Martin Lloyd-Jones def]
    5. Some churches give their pastor too much authority.
      1. Problem todayabuse of this position.
      2. He’s God’s anointed – as they are blindly taken advantage of.
        1. This does not mean unqualified blanket obedience.
        2. That smacks of Jim Jones & his 900+ followers in 1978 that drank the cyanide laced Kool-Aid in Guyana.
        3. Or the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas As the self proclaimed messiah David Karesh led 80 to their deaths.
      3. Of course these leaders who take advantage of the sheep ignore Jesus own words, You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.
    6. Some churches give their pastor too little authority.
      1. Problem todaylack of respect for the position.
      2. The pastor used to be highly esteemed in his town/city. He was known as being an intellectual, faithful, holy.
      3. Now he has been reduced to a novice shrink; or an untrustworthy huckster just out for your money. Or one who peddles his latest religious wares (like a beautiful gold pendant with his name/ministry plastered all over it)
      4. Today, do to our ever-present Christian media, via radio & TV, what the average pastor receives after a sermon is, that was pretty good pastor, but when I heard pastor so & so teach it he brought out…
        1. His pastoral authority gets lost in the fog of the ever popular, ever articulate, & ever popular Radio preacher.5. So what is the proper balance? vs.17
    7. He is a leader…not a dictator who drives the sheep from behind. He is a shepherd who goes before & leads the way [Nehemiah, A servant who leads & a leader who serves]
      1. As has also been said, He who thinks he leads, and has no one following him, is only taking a walk.
      2. 1 Thes.5:12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake.
    8. They watch out for your souls [watch = to be w/o sleep] LKGNT
      1. Like the shepherds in Lk.2:8 who were watching over their flocks by night.
      2. They loose sleep over you. They are to be caring & conscientious shepherds over you.
    9. A church leader is to lead wisely & lovingly as those who must give an account. [yet, not to the congregation but to the Lord]
      1. Our relationship, is serious business for both of us. [so let’s make a deal...] :)
    10. Let them do so with joy and not with grief/groaning.
      1. Note…the responsibility for making the operations of a church a joy & not a burden, is placed on the congregation, not on their leaders.
      2. How can you as a congregation make it a joy?…glad you asked. What he said, simply obeying & submitting to all proper teaching & all biblical counseling you receive.
        1. Let’s be clear…I’m not suggesting this for our church…No God is demanding it.
      3. Does your conduct give your leaders reason to report joyfully about you?
    11. PRAY (18,19)
    12. Ask God to make His shepherds faithful & fruitful.
      1. Pray that we don’t get prideful when we succeed; nor get depressed when we fail.
    13. (18b) The writers conscience was clear, as was Paul’s when he said, Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. 2 Cor.1:12
    14. Opportunities: Pray for us...on Sunday morning (2nd service in room next to front office)
      1. Or, Men on Tuesday mornings (7-8am) [back door by gym, in worship room]
      2. How different the modern church would be if the majority of its people prayed for its pastors & lay leadership.
      3. Is it any wonder that Satan does his utmost to snatch that weapon from the Christian or to hinder him in the use of it? Andrew Murray
    15. Slide14 Obedience & prayer will be the 2 oars that will steer any church in the rt direction.
      1. Be respectful, supportive, be a cheerful team player.
  3. A PRAYER & AN APPEAL (20-25)
    1. This lovely benediction captures a number of the major themes of the epistle (e.g., peace, blood, covenant, resurrection, Shepherd, equipping).
      1. With such marvelous resources as these, who can excuse any failure to become the man or woman God intends you to be? (Ray Stedman; pg.158)
    2. A PRAYER (20,21)
      1. He asked for prayer & now prays for them.
    3. C. He extends Peace, Care & Promise to us.
      1. Slide17a PEACE - The God of Peace [5 times in the NT]
        1. Divine tranquility. His personal Shalom.
        2. Jer.29:11 I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of shalom and not of evil.
          1. And this promise of peace was given to the children of Israel in the beginning of the Babylonian captivity.
          2. Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.
        3. Slide17b No storm need to sink you Christian. Jesus said, Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
      2. CARE - The great (risen) Shepherd of the sheep
        1. ​​​​​​​There are 3 separate titles given to Christ, the Shepherd:
          1. The Good Shepherd who dies for the sheep [John 10:11; Ps. 22]
          2. The Great Shepherd who perfects the sheep [hear; Ps. 23]
          3. The Chief Shepherd who will come for the sheep [1Pet.5:4; Ps. 24]
        2. Dr. Bob Smith Philosophy professor at Bethel College in Minnesota makes a humorous point to his classes that sheep are the prima facie evidence against evolution. Sheep are so unintelligent & obtuse & defenseless, they could not have possibly evolved – the only way they could have survived is w/a shepherd.
        3. Jesus took this term & applied it to himself when he said, And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd.
          1. He lives not only to give us life but also to tend us (care/look after), so we may bring Him glory.
      3. PROMISE - Through the blood of the everlasting covenant. [an eternal promise]
        1. This was the blood-shedding Christ who made the covenant, procured the covenant, & sealed the covenant.
    4. (21) Believers who are motivated by legalism are always anxious to know what is expected of them.
      1. They want to do only what is necessary to make themselves look respectable.
      2. They crave specific rules so they can know precisely how to behave.
      3. They plod along hoping that someday their efforts will pay off. According to the NT such people are legalists; they are using the law to establish their righteousness. [Erwin W. Lutzer]
      4. Are you motivated by legalism or Love?
    5. Complete = equip, fix, make good, mend, set.
      1. The word includes 2 thoughts: the supply of that which is defective, and of the amendment of that which is faulty. Wescott, LKGNT
        1. The idea here is to repair things so they can be useful.
          1. ​​​​​​​Matthew uses it when they mend their nets.
          2. Paul uses it when he talks about restoring a brother (to set a bone).
      2. This beautiful request then is for God to mend & perfect His children w/everything good, thus equipping them to do God’s will.
    6. ​​​​​​​Every good work – A great artist attends to the minutest details. He’ll make it all do-able.
    7. We can not do His work nor His will until we are in Christ.
      1. In Christ - used 169 time’s in Paul’s epistles alone.
      2. Once we are in Christ we then can do His works through Him.
      3. Did you know, He has an eternally designed job description for each of us, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them [His love has you smothered & covered]
    8. AN APPEAL (22-25)
    9. (24) Know your leadership personally (not just me. I have a great team around me. Lay leaders)
      1. Be on good terms with them.
      2. Let nothing come between you & them [be honest, transparent, & nice]
        1. There will be issues (we’re human & we’re sinners), deal w/them.
    10. (25) Superior Grace from a Superior Savior.
    11. End - Painter Benjamin West (One of the first American artists to win a wide reputation in Europe; known as the American Raphael) tells how he loved to paint as a youngster. When his mother left, he would pull out the oils and try to paint. One day he pulled out all the paints and made quite a mess. He hoped to get it all cleaned up before his mother came back. But she came and discovered the mess. West said what she did next completely surprised him. She picked up his painting and said, "My, what a beautiful painting of your sister." She gave him a kiss on the cheek and walked away. With that kiss, West says, he became a painter.
      1. Every day you and I are trying to paint the picture of Jesus in our lives through what we say and do. But we make messes. The last thing we need is for someone to come along and say, "What a mess!" What we need is a kiss of encouragement. It's vital for life, it's vital for ministry, and it's vital for relationships.​​​​​​​
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Hebrews 13". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/hebrews-13.html. 2017.