Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


Christian Love


Hebrews 13:1-4


Introduction:

·         Hebrews 11 dealt with faith

·         Hebrews 12 deals with hope

·         Hebrews 13 deals with love

·         These are the final instructions of the letter as Paul turns to practical things. Here he outlines five instructions/distinguishing marks of the Christian life

 

I.                    Brotherly love- v. 1

a.      "Let brotherly love continue" (13:1).  For brotherly love to "continue," it is assumed that brotherly love already existed.

b.      Our Lord said in John 13:35, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

c.       First John 3:14 says, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."

d.      In the ancient Greek language of the New Testament, there were four words that were translated as love.

                                                              i.      Eros was one word for love. It described, as we might guess from the word itself, erotic love, referring to sexual love.

                                                            ii.      Storge was a second word for love. It referred to family love, the kind of love there is between a parent and child or between family members in general.

                                                          iii.      Agape was another word for love. It is the most powerful word for love in the New Testament, and was often used to describe God’s love towards us. It is a love that loves without changing. It is a self-giving love that gives without demanding or expecting re-payment.

                                                           iv.      But the word for love used in Hebrews 13:1 is philadelphia. This ancient Greek word spoke of brotherly friendship and affection. It is the love of deep friendship and partnership.

II.                  Christian hospitality- v. 2

a.      Maybe you’ve heard of the phrase “Southern Hospitality.” When I went to college in Tennessee, I was able to experience it firsthand! It’s something southerners pride themselves on, and is a nice part of their culture.

b.      Well we as Christians should always strive to be hospitable

c.       This is so important to God He even requires it of Church leaders! (I Tim 3, Titus 1)

d.      See Romans 12:10-13, I Peter 4:9

e.      In the ancient world, where “motels” did exist, they were notorious for immorality. It was important for traveling Christians to find open homes from other Christians.

f.        To truly fulfill this verse means not only to invite those who are already our friends at church over, but to seek out new believers, and visitors and extend friendship and hospitality to them too!

g.      So often in our churches we place a great emphasis on going soul-winning and being aggressive in handing out tracts and talking to the lost- when one actually comes into our church we don’t know what to do!

h.      When we are hospitable to others, we really welcome Jesus (Matthew 25:35, “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.), and perhaps angels. Abraham (Genesis 18:1-22) and Lot (Genesis 19:1-3) are examples of those who unknowingly entertained angels. One of the angels was the pre-incarnate Christ.

III.                Remember those in bonds

a.      This verse probably has first reference to those imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel. But it can also be extended to all who are in prison.

b.      Another way we show our Christian brotherly love is to remember, and pray for those who are imprisoned for the faith

c.       Matthew Henry says the phrase, "as being yourselves also in the body," refers not only to the natural body, but also to the mystical body.  In other words, we are all part of the same body, and under the same head.

d.      First Corinthians 12:26 says, " And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it."

e.      Chinese pastor wrongfully imprisoned in China for simply bringing Bibles across the border. His arrest and conviction seem to be a part of an ongoing crackdown on Christians by the Chinese government.

f.        "Pastor John has been unjustly targeted for his Christian faith and sentenced to seven years in prison," ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow said.

g.      A separate occasion- Chinese authorities have passed on a bill to pastor Jin Mingri after the government demolished his Zion Church in Beijing, one of the largest unofficial congregations in the communist country. The church was destroyed without any notice and officials sent Jin a bill for 1.2 million yuan, which equals around $170,000, The Guardian reported. “Before, as long as you didn’t meddle in politics, the government left you alone,” the pastor remarked. “But now, if you don’t push the communist party line, if you don’t display your love for the party, you are a target.”

h.      Incidents in North Korea, etc.

i.        Organizations like “Voice of the Martyrs” are one of the few places we can hear about persecution happening today all around the world!

IV.                Marital Love

a.      Now we move from those imprisoned to those who are married- and no they are not the same! “Wedlock is a padlock!” “With this ring, I be dead…”

b.      The bed undefiled: The Bible strictly condemns sex outside of the marriage commitment (fornicators and adulterers God will judge). But the Bible celebrates sexual love within the commitment of marriage, as indicated in The Song of Solomon.

c.       Ironically, King Solomon was a notorious adulterer- but God did judge him for it!

d.      Nehemiah 13:26 says, "Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin."

e.      This verse not only condemns sexual immorality, it also condemns asceticism.   For example, the RCC does not allow their priests and nuns and other workers to get married, but Hebrews 13:4 says, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled..."

f.        Satan wants to reverse God’s order- The enemy of our souls wants to do everything he can to encourage sex outside of the marriage bed and he wants to do everything he can to discourage sex inside the marriage bed. Christians must recognize this strategy and not give it a foothold.

g.      I Corinthians 7:2-5

Conclusion:

·         The marriage relationship is the highest earthly relationship God has created! It is no wonder why it is being attacked by Satan, and by worldly men!

·         If the marriages fail, homes will fail, and churches and society will crumble as well!

·         Ephesians 5:21-33- Marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ and the church (one flesh)- may we exalt Christ through something is practical as our married life!