Summary: A Superior Christ Imparts a Superior Life
JESUS THE BETTER WAY: HE IMPARTS A BETTER LIFE
Big Idea: A Superior Christ Imparts a Superior Life
So we come to the conclusion of our walk through Hebrews. These thirteen sermons have concentrated on the major theme and purpose for the book – the superiority of Jesus Christ over all rivals. Jesus is “better than” any competing religion, definitions of self, priorities, or allegiances. They all vie for your embrace but they are are flawed, earth-bound, and empty. Only Jesus can withstand the test of time, authenticity, and transformation.
In many ways, this final chapter is the “So What?” of the book. The writer revisits many of the themes he has spoken of in the first twelve chapters and gives them practical application. He shows how a superior Jesus can impart a superior life … a life that is rich, rewarding, and purposeful.
Let’s read chapter 13.
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. 4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. 15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.
16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
22 Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter. 23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24 Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings. 25 Grace be with you all.
Did you catch the “So What?” of the chapter? I’m sure you did. The writer assumes that there is a pattern to living, an ethic if you please, that will be altered, transformed and expected when Jesus Christ becomes the fountainhead of your faith. These expectations fall into some easy to follow categories and the encouragement ends with a rousing prayer in verses 20 and 21.
The first thing I notice is that:
1) A SUPERIOR CHRIST WILL BRING SUPERIOR LOVE (13:1-6)
This chapter reveals other “gods” that are competing for your love … your devotion … but they fail in comparison to the character of Jesus. I notice: