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Summary: The Christian life is grounded on sound theology, but it certainly doesn’t end there; ethical behavior is a crucial pillar of the Christian life.

Ethical Faithfulness Despite…

(Hebrews 13:1-6)

1. A defendant in a lawsuit involving large sums of money was talking to his lawyer. “If Fred Smith wins the case and I lose this case, I’ll be ruined.”

“It’s in the judge’s hands now,” said the lawyer.

“Would it help if I sent the judge a box of cigars?”

“Oh no! This judge is a stickler on ethical behavior. A stunt like that would prejudice him against you. He might even hold you in contempt of court. In fact, you shouldn’t even smile at the judge.” Within the course of time, the judge rendered a decision in favor of the defendant.

As the defendant left the courthouse, he said to his lawyer, “Thanks for the tip about the cigars. It worked!”

“I’m sure we would have lost the case if you’d sent them” said the lawyer.

“But, I did send them” said the defendant.

“What? You did?” said the lawyer, incredulously. “Yes. That’s how we won the case.” “I don’t understand,” said the lawyer.

“It’s easy. I sent the cigars to the judge, but enclosed Fred Smith’s business card.”

[source: funnyandjokes.com, altered]

2. According to Webster, ethics are defined as, “moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity.”

3. The Jewish believers in Jesus who are being addressed in the Book of Hebrews were raised with high ethical standards as devout Jews. Now that they believed in Jesus, they needed to be reminded that ethics still matter.

Main Idea: The Christian life is grounded on sound theology, but it certainly doesn’t end there; ethical behavior is a crucial pillar of the Christian life.

I. Loving Others in DEED (1-3)

A. Brotherly LOVE (warm friendship) (10)

1. The book of Hebrews is about staying true to Jesus in light of the temptation to return to what one is used to, in this case, mainline Judaism.

2. Whether we come from an addictive past or a false religion, one resource that helps keep us true and on track is that of solid Christian friendships.

3. Filadelf…a = Phil-adelphia = (brotherly love of brothers/sisters)

B. Hospitality, probably especially to traveling MISSIONARIES (2)

• Filoxen…as = Philo-zenias = Love of strangers, foreigners (Xeno = strangers or foreigners, as in Xenophobia)

2 John 9-10, “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting…”

• Abraham and the angels who thought were men (Genesis 18); Gideon’s parents.

• Might we ever run into angels?

• Hospitality today: greeting visitors, getting to know new attenders…

C. Remember those in PRISON (3).

1. Timothy an example (13:23) as would Paul (Philippians a thank you)

2. Craig Keener explains: “The prisoners” probably refers to some Christians imprisoned for their faith or for practices related to it…Roman law used prison as a detention until punishment and rather than as punishment itself; sometimes prisoners had to depend upon outside allies for food. (Bible Background Commentary, p. 682)

The Christian life is grounded on sound theology, but it certainly doesn’t end there; ethical behavior is a crucial pillar of the Christian life.

Failing to make the effort to love other people in practical ways is a breech of ethics.

II. Developing A Proper View of Sex and MARRIAGE (4)

A. The estate of marriage is to be put on a PEDESTAL .

• Comedians used to tell one joke after another that put down their wives or their marriages, or marriage in general.

B. Sex within marriage is a good thing and to be ESTEEMED.

The Greek word used here for bed is not the normal Greek word for bed. The actual word used is coite …The emphasis is not upon the bed itself but upon the sexual union between married partners on the bed…” (The Messianic Jewish Epistles, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, p. 188)

I Corinthians 7:1-5, “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

C. Sexual Activity Outside of Marriage is wrong and DEFILING.

The Christian life is grounded on sound theology, but it certainly doesn’t end there; ethical behavior is a crucial pillar of the Christian life.

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