March 17, 2010
1 LET LOVE for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail].
1. They had this brotherly love among them and they should take care to retain it.
2. And remember that he who professes to love God should love his brother also.
2 Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood — being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it. [Gen 18:1-8; 19:1-3.]
1. In those early times, there were very few public inns or houses of entertainment, and it was an act of charity and mercy to receive, lodge, and entertain travelers.
2. Entertain angels: as did Abraham and Lot, and the outcome of which was the good they received by entertaining such.
3 Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are ill-treated, since you also are liable to bodily sufferings.
1. Those Christians in prison who suffer imprisonment for the testimony of Jesus.
2. Feel for them as if it were you in their circumstances, knowing that you, being in the body may be called to suffer as they because you are liable to fall under the same evils.
4 Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous.
5 Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,[I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down ( relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] [Josh 1:5.]
1. Don’t covet what another man has, for this is the spirit of robbery; be content with what God has given you.
2. A covetous man is never satisfied, and if not checked it increases year after year making covetousness the vice of old age.
3. I will never leave you: These words were spoken to Joshua, (Josh 1:5: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you, I will not fail you or forsake you.)
a. These word were spoken by David to Solomon, (1 Chron 28;20) “David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, will be with you; He will not fail you, nor forsake you.”
4. The apostle in referring to the same promises, because the New Covenant gives us even more confidence in these matters than the Old Covenant.
5. The Greek for: “ NO, I will not leave thee; no, neither will I not utterly forsake thee” is stronger in meaning than that expressed by the language of the Old Testament.
6 So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me? [Ps 27:1; 118:6.]
1. God is omnipotent, man’s power is limited; however strong man is, he can to nothing against God Almighty.
7 Remember your leaders and superiors in authority [for it was they] who brought to you the Word of God. Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith ( their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, and their leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness).
1. Remember those who first taught you; they were faithful to God, they suffered persecution, and for the testimony of Jesus died a violent death.
2. God never left them, or forsook them so that they were happy in their afflictions, and glorious in their death.
3. Carefully consider this: Act as they did; keep the faith, and God will keep you.
8 Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).
1. As in past times as it is now, there is no way to the father but through the blood of Jesus; either actually shed, or significantly typified; today He is the lamb newly slain, and continues to appear in the presence of God for us and will be such in the future
2. This Jesus was witnessed by those who first taught you; they have departed this life and are with the Lord: Remember Him, remember them, and keep the faith to the end.
9 Do not be carried about by different and varied and alien teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established and ennobled and strengthened by means of grace (God's favor and spiritual blessing) and not [to be devoted to] foods [rules of diet and ritualistic meals], which bring no [spiritual] benefit or profit to those who observe them.
1. Do not apostatize, permit yourselves to be carried off from Christ and His doctrine.
2. Teaching that blend the law and the Gospel: to bring in Levitical sacrifices and institutions in order to perfect the Christian system.
3. Ceremonial foods: signifying the sacrifices of the Levitical institutions: Meat is used in the original language because the offerers were permitted to feast upon them after the blood had been poured out before the Lord.
4. No spiritual value for them because they neither took away guilt or cleansed the heart.
10 We have an altar from which those who serve and worship in the tabernacle have no right to eat.
1. The Christian altar is the Christian sacrifice, which is Jesus Christ.
2. To these privileges , they who continued to offer the Levitical sacrifices, had no right.
11 For when the blood of animals is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin, the victims' bodies are burned outside the limits of the camp. [Lev 16:27.]
1. Some of the animals offered according to the law as a sacrifice was eaten by the offerers; but the sin-offering could not be eaten but burned outside the camp.
2. As some of the sacrifices could be eaten, the sin-offering couldn’t, proving that they had no benefit from it, and that they must look to the Christ, that they might receive real pardon of sin which the shedding of His blood could alone obtain.
12 Therefore Jesus also suffered and died outside the [city's] gate in order that He might purify and consecrate the people through [the shedding of] His own blood and set them apart as holy [for God].
1. Perhaps this was typical of the abolition of the Jewish sacrifice, and the termination of the whole Levitical system of worship.
2. He left the city, denounced its final destruction, and abandoned it to its fate; left the city gate to bring the Gentiles to God.
13 Let us then go forth [from all that would prevent us] to Him outside the camp [at Calvary], bearing the contempt and abuse and shame with Him. [Lev 16:27.]
1. Let us leave this city and system and take refuge in Jesus alone; being willing to suffer disgrace and ridicule for His Name.
14 For here we have no permanent city, but we are looking for the one which is to come.
1. The physical Jerusalem is temporary, the Jerusalem from above is permanent.
2. About 7-8 years after this, Jerusalem was completely destroyed.
15 Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. [Lev 7:12; Isa 57:19; Hos 14:2.]
1. The “substitute” for the Levitical sacrifices is the sacrifice of praise.
2. The Jews understood that, in the time of the Messiah, all sacrifices, except the sacrifice of praise, should cease.
3. Now that the Jewish sacrificial system was abolished, no sacrifice would be accepted of God, except the sacrifice of praise for the gift of his Son.
16 Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
1. These are continual sacrifices which God requires for they are the proofs that a man belongs to Christ.
17 Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account [of their trust]. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you [either].
1. We must obey the warnings and admonitions of our ministers and elders, who watch for the salvation of the souls that are committed to them.
18 Keep praying for us, for we are convinced that we have a good (clear) conscience, that we want to walk uprightly and live a noble life, acting honorably and in complete honesty in all things.
1. Even the success of the apostles depended, in a certain way, on the prayers of the church.
2. Few Christians congregations feel, that it is their duty to pray for the success of the gospel, both among themselves and in the world.
3. The church is weak, poor and dark because it doesn’t pray much.
4. We are of clear conscience that we have labored to promote your welfare and all others and have conducted ourselves with decency and propriety.
19 And I beg of you [to pray for us] the more earnestly, in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
1. Pray for this work that God has given us to do here will be completed so I can come to you sooner.
2. It is evident from this that the people to whom this letter was written knew who the author was, and how the letter lacked the author’s name is impossible to say; some have thought that a part of the beginning may have been lost, because it not only begins without a name, but begins very abruptly.
20 Now may the God of peace [Who is the Author and the Giver of peace], Who brought again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (covenant, testament), [Isa 55:3; 63:11; Ezek 37:26; Zech 9:11.]
1. Among the Hebrew, peace signifies prosperity of every kind.
2. The God of peace is the same as the God of all blessedness, who loves mankind and provided a “complete” salvation.
3. Great shepherd of the sheep: this is the title of our Lord, given to Him by the prophets: Isa 40:11, Ezek 34:23, Zech. 13:7, Jn. 10:11.
a. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in his arms.
4. The Christian system is termed the everlasting covenant, to distinguish it from the temporary covenant made with the Israelites at Mt. Sinai; and to show that it is the last dispensation of grace to the world, and shall last unto the end of time.
21 Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it).
1. This implies a complete change in the whole being, being cleansed from all sin, for God’s sight cannot be pleased with anything that is unholy.
2. This complete inward change produces a complete conformity to God’s will so that the good works that we do are those that God has preordained for us to do;
a. Eph 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works , which God prepared in advance for us to do.
3. The perfection within and without were to be produced by the blood of the everlasting covenant.
4. God does all by, in, and through Jesus Christ and for all time to Him be the honor.
22 I call on you, brethren, to listen patiently and bear with this message of exhortation and admonition and encouragement, for I have written to you briefly.
1. Since this letter has shown the insufficiency of the Levitical system to atone for sin and save the soul, and that this system was abolished by the coming of Christ who is a greater priest than Aaron, higher than all the angels, the only Son of God, and judge of all, and that their great city would shortly be destroyed, they might be prejudiced against him, he didn’t want them to lose the benefit of his kind intention toward them.
2. Short letter: may better be interpreted “briefly” as the AMP. Bible states.
23 Notice that our brother Timothy has been released [from prison]. If he comes here soon, I will see you along with him.
1. There is no evidence that Timothy had been imprisoned.
a. Released in the original Gr. : apoluo: to free fully, relieve, release, to set at liberty.
b. It’s possible that the apostle refers to his being sent into Macedonia, (Phil 2:19-24) in order that he might bring the apostle an account of the affairs of the church in that country.
c. In none of Paul’s letters, written during his confinement in Rome, does he give any indication of Timothy’s imprisonment.
d. It appears from (Phil 1:1, Col 1;1, Philem 1) that he was with Paul most of the time.
2. Therefore, Paul himself, or the writer of this letter, was now at liberty;
3. Some suppose that Timothy did actually visit Paul about this time, and that both visited the churches in Judea.
24 Give our greetings to all of your spiritual leaders and to all of the saints (God's consecrated believers). The Italian Christians send you their greetings [also].
1. It is most likely that the writer of this letter was in some part of Italy, not having left yet after his release from prison.
2. The Italian Christians were probably the Jews there who had embraced Christianity.
3. These salutations show the brotherly feeling that existed in every part of the Christian church, even those who had not seen each other, yet loved and were deeply interested in their welfare.
25 Grace (God's favor and spiritual blessing) be with you all. Amen (so be it).