Summary: The Hebrew writer, under the direction of the Holy Spirit of God, tells the Church how to get to the business of His Church.
Church: Getting Down to Business
The business of the Church is the most important business in the world. I believe that, not because it is my line of work, but because it is eternal and spiritual.
Our roles in the Church business, however, is secondary if we are building on the rock. Christ is the foundation and the head of the Church.
Sometimes we may falsely view the Church as a "them sandwich". Think about it. What is the difference in a bologna sandwich and a steak sandwich? The substance in the middle.
We see Jesus as the foundation of the Church and the head of the Church. Where do we fit in? We falsely believe we are the bologna or the steak.
But Ephesians 4:4-6 describes the Church sandwich. "There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
The Church is not a "me sandwich". Jesus is in all and through all. He is the featured one.
Ill. It's a lot like the boy who was on vacation at the beach and built a beautiful sand castle. A bully came by and kicked the castle down, laughing at the boy's screams.
The next day, the boy found a concrete block and built the castle on the rock. He left the beach that day laughing at the bully's screams as his destructive ways met an constructable force. (unknown)
Jesus is the head of the Church, the foundation of the Church and is all through and through. In the Church sandwich, we are simply the lettuce. We offer little substance, little taste and just fill space. (I have little regard for lettuce, I guess you notice).
Jesus is the bread of life that makes the sandwich and the featured flavor that gives it value.
The book of Hebrews is a deep theological dissertation by an unidentified writer. However, like all of the books of the Bible, it is not written as simply a thesis. There is always something practical out of every theological presentation in the Bible. There is always a "therefore" to every point, something for us to follow in our lives.
After covering some very important topics about how Jesus is more important than anything in this life and a description of what He did to sanctify us, then comes this "therefore".
Let's get busy. Let's get to work. Let's get down to the business at hand. In this passage, the writer shows us, the Church members, how to get down to business.
Heb 13:15-17 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
For convenience, let's break this passage down into three imperatives or commands. Each one represents the sacrifice that our Savior expects and calls for in His great sacrifice.
Heb 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
I. The Sacrifice of Conversation.
Through Him (Who is "Him"?). That is answered in proceeding verses.
Heb 13:12-13 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.
...continually offer...- The point: Our command reaches beyond our weekly services.
...sacrifice of praise... - ref. 12-13, even to ...bear the reproach he endured...
If you are going to live for Jesus, seriously sharing the message, it will cost you.
He even defines what the sacrifice of praise with us so wealth and health prosperity preachers can't distort it.
...the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.... Just living a "good example" is not enough.
Dropping Christian rhetoric into a conversation is not what God had in mind. Being here at Church is not enough. God wants us to continually speak of Him in all we say and do. This is how He has called us to do His business.
Heb 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
II. The Sacrifice of Capital
It is important that this is on the list, but do not forget that this is second on the list. This is our primary business, but is still not to be neglected. It is secondary to testifying the message, but very important.