“LET LOVE for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail]. (Hebrews 13:1 Amplified Bible)” The word for “love” is “Philadelphia” which means “love for brothers and sisters." In the ESV this verse is translated, “Let brotherly love continue.” This is not the best translation because the ending “ly” implies “like,” and the pastor is not telling us to try to act “brotherly” but is calling us to actual “brother-love.” We are not called to love as though we are brothers and sisters, but because we are brothers and sisters. Brother-love must continue because it was the telltale sign that they were kingdom people. The pastor in writing this sermon we call Hebrews, did not place chapter divisions within it. Chapter 12 ended with: “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29 Brother-love was a revealing sign that they were kingdom people. 1 John 3:14 says, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” Brother-love should be the natural outflow of a kingdom person, a follower of Jesus Christ. The Greek word for “continue” is “menō.” “Meno” means “abide,” and it was a favorite word for the apostle John. He says in John 15:4, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” Authentic brother-love is the outflow of a person who is abiding in Christ. The goal of the Christian is to nurture this grace of letting love pour out of their lives by yielding to the Holy Spirit when He gives opportunities to show brother-love. This is why the pastor is not saying to “make brother-love happen” but to “let it happen.” It is like a faucet that is turned on, we are not the source of the water coming through the pipe, but we have the choice to either shut it off or we can choose to allow it to continue to run through it. So let “brother-love” flow through us to each other because we have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. If we are genuine kingdom of God people, then we should be naturally attracted toward fellowship with other kingdom people. Hebrews 13 is a radical invitation to be a com-munity of grace, a community which is not based on race or family bonds but is based on the common life we share in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sermon Series: Hebrews “Faithfulness to the End”
Title: Radical Community of Grace Part 1
Passage: Hebrews 13
Reflection for Sunday: Read Hebrews 13
Application for Sunday: Read and reflect on Hebrews 13:1, Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11; 1 Peter 1:22-23; 2 Peter 1:5-9. One of the dan-gers, when reading the Bible, is to replace its ancient context with our modern feelings. We can’t allow our feelings about certain people interfere with what God is trying to tell us. The “brother- love” (philadelphía) in the Bible is about bearing each other’s burdens as Christ bore ours. Question: Who are your brothers and sisters? How can you better help carry the burdens of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” - Romans 10:9
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,” 1 Timothy 2:1
Call to Worship: “Shout for joy to God, all the earth; 2 sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! 3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. 4 All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah Psalms 66:1-4
Pray for our church: Gracious Father, we pray that You will bless us in our worship today. Help us to leave behind every worldly thought and care, as we enter Your sanctuary. As we wait before You, may we receive instruction from Your word and inspiration from Your Spirit, so that we may be strong for battle and for duty. Help us today in our ministering to others. May we be enabled in our own home to give to each other the blessing of love and peace. Help us to carry comfort to some sorrowing one, cheer to one who is discouraged, and sympathy to one who is in distress. We give ourselves to You for a Sunday of blessing, love, and peace. May our home receive new divine influences from above. May this be a shining day in the story of our lives. And we will give the praise and the honor to You forever. Amen. (Taken from Tim Challies)
Pray for those in local, state, and national offices.
Pray for our partners in Spain
Panta ta Ethne (Matthew 28:19 “all nations”): Bushi in Mayotte