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From the days when Adam and Eve were driven from the garden, people have been in need of a mediator who could bring them back to God.

Jesus Christ is the one Mediator between God and Man.

This week we are continuing our series on Sunday nights titled “Jesus Christ as Our High Priest.”

The book of Hebrews isn’t the most popular book in the New Testament.

In many respects it is neglected.

The Jewish, or Old Testament, back ground that permeates every chapter has probably contributed to its neglect by many pastors.

The book of Hebrews portrays an exalted concept of Jesus Christ.

This week we are talking about,

The Word of Exhortation 

Text

Hebrews 13:20-21 (AMP)

Benediction

20 Now may the God of peace [the source of serenity and spiritual well-being] who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood that sealed and ratified the eternal covenant, 

21 equip you with every good thing to carry out His will and strengthen you [making you complete and perfect as you ought to be], accomplishing in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading.

Hebrews 13:1-25 (AMP)

Introduction 

The letter to the Hebrews closes with a personal exhortation to its recipients.

You may feel the very heartbeat of applied Christianity as you read these twenty five verses.

The closing remarks encourage believers to accept certain factors of the Christian experience, each of which is aimed at developing spiritual maturity within the Christian community.

  1. A acceptance of person. Hebrews 13:1-6.

The heart of Christian worship is the personal experience someone has with God.

Yet the outward manifestation of this worship causes an individual to be properly related to others.

Consequently, a high priority on God’s list is to encourage individuals to accept others with concern and respect.

  1. Brothers and sisters. 

Hebrews 13:1 (AMP)

The Changeless Christ

13 Let love of your fellow believers continue.

If Christians cannot love one another, who can they love?

This is a legitimate question that must be asked in every local church.

The readers are exhorted to “let brotherly love continue”.

B. Strangers.

Hebrews 13:2 (AMP)

2 Do not neglect to extend hospitality to strangers [especially among the family of believers—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it..

The Christian community must never become self centred.

God frequently sends strangers into our midst.

These strangers may be God’s blessings in disguise. 

C. Prisoners.

Hebrews 13:3 (AMP)

3 Remember those who are in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body [and subject to physical suffering].

When someone has been found guilty and punished for a crime, he or she must not be forsaken by the local church.

Also, many Christians are being punished by oppressive governments for their spiritual stand.

We must share in their suffering. 

D. Mates.

Hebrews 13:4 (AMP)

4 Marriage is to be held in honor among all [that is, regarded as something of great value], and the marriage bed undefiled [by immorality or by any sexual sin]; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

The author was direct in speaking of the sanctity of sex within marriage.

Husbands and wives must continually show their love for each other.

E. Self

Hebrews 13:5-6 (AMP)

5 Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” 

6 So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say,

“The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid.

What will man do to me?”

As Christians, we have a valuable ministry to ourselves.

First, we must learn to be content.

Second, we must learn to overcome fear by trusting in God.

This care for self should never be neglected.

2. Acceptance of authority. Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24.

The early Christian community had a profound respect for their clerical leadership.

The letter to the Hebrews spells out three responsibilities the community has in relationship to the clergy.

  1. Remember Leaders.

Hebrews 13:7 (AMP)

7 Remember your leaders [for it was they] who brought you the word of God; and consider the result of their conduct [the outcome of their godly lives], and imitate their faith [their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider of eternal salvation through Christ, and imitate their reliance on God with absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].;

Church leaders need the prayers of the people they serve.

As you follow their leadership, consider also the end result of their witness.

B. Obey Leaders.

Hebrews 13:17 (AMP)

17 Obey your [spiritual] leaders and submit to them [recognizing their authority over you], for they are keeping watch over your souls and continually guarding your spiritual welfare as those who will give an account [of their stewardship of you]. Let them do this with joy and not with grief and groans, for this would be of no benefit to you.

God has made ecclesiastical leaders responsible for guiding churches in faith.

Consequently, the church community should honour this God given responsibility with obedience.

C. Greet Leaders.

Hebrews 13:24 (AMP)

24 Give our greetings to all of your [spiritual] leaders and to all of the saints (God’s people). Those [Christians] from Italy send you their greetings.

Leaders find themselves in lonely places.

Church members should not hesitate to greet them warmly or express heartfelt appreciation.

3. Acceptance of doctrine. Hebrews 13:8-16.

It does matter what you believe!

The author encouraged the Christian community to accept basic Biblical doctrine.

  1. Centrality of Jesus.

Hebrews 13:8 (AMP)

8 Jesus Christ is [eternally changeless, always] the same yesterday and today and forever.

The doctrine of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith.

B. Centrality of grace.

Hebrews 13:9 (AMP)

9 Do not be carried away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established and strengthened by grace and not by foods [rules of diet and ritualistic meals], which bring no benefit or spiritual growth to those who observe them.

A believers heart is secured by God’s grace.

Without grace, no one could experience a personal relationship with God.

C. Centrality of the blood.

Hebrews 13:10-16 (AMP)

10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle (sacred tent) have no right to eat. 

11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. 1

2 Therefore Jesus also suffered and died outside the [city] gate so that He might sanctify and set apart for God as holy the people [who believe] through [the shedding of] His own blood. 

13 So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His contempt [the disgrace and shame that He had to suffer]. 

14 For here we have no lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

God-pleasing Sacrifices

15 Through Him, therefore, let us 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. 

16 Do not neglect to do good, to contribute [to the needy of the church as an expression of fellowship], for such sacrifices are always pleasing to God.

The author of Hebrews count not overemphasise the necessity of Christ’s sacrificial blood on Calvary’s cross.

4. Acceptance of blessings. Hebrews 13:18-23.

God offers many blessings to His followers.

Certain conditions accompany these blessings, and believers must respond to God to receive them.

  1. In prayer. 

Hebrews 13:18-19 (AMP)

18 Keep praying for us, for we are convinced that we have a good conscience, seeking to conduct ourselves honorably [that is, with moral courage and personal integrity] in all things. 

19 And I urge all of you to pray earnestly, so that I may be restored to you soon.

When you intercede for others in prayer, their happiness becomes yours.

B. In Doxology.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (AMP)

Benediction

20 Now may the God of peace [the source of serenity and spiritual well-being] who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood that sealed and ratified the eternal covenant, 

21 equip you with every good thing to carry out His will and strengthen you [making you complete and perfect as you ought to be], accomplishing in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Doxology means, a liturgical formula of praise to God. Which is what we see in these verses.

The closing words of the letter are a prayer of blessing for its recipients.

C. In Fellowship.

Hebrews 13:22-23 (AMP)

22 I call on you, brothers and sisters, listen [patiently] to this message of exhortation and encouragement, for I have written to you briefly. 

23 Notice that our brother Timothy has been released [from prison]. If he comes soon, I will see you [along with him].

Fellowship in the name of Christ causes those involved to receive blessings.

Conclusion.

The letter to the Hebrews concludes with a universal desire of concerned hearts.

Hebrews 13:25 (AMP)

25 Grace be with you all.

May this verse motivate each of us today to spread this wonderful grace to the world.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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