In Part 13 we studied chapter 12 under the following headings: E. A Practical Guideline For Living, F. A List Of Our Blessings, G. An Exhortation Linked To An Expectation.
1) Maintain Brotherly Love
This will be expressed in hospitality and concern for those in prison and in suffering.
2) Respect The Sanctity Of Marriage
This includes a recognition of the honor of the marriage relationship and the acceptance of the sinfulness of a violation of the marriage bond (vs 4).
3) Live In Contentment
This involves avoiding being obsessed (preoccupied) with riches and accepting our status (position) in life. Such acceptance is based on the assurance that Jesus Christ will never leave (forget) nor forsake (disown) us. Since He has spoken, we may boldly speak or declare that we do not fear men because of the assurance of God (vs 5-6).
4) Respect Authority
This includes the recognition that the authority is in the Word spoken. The faith of the leader is to be imitated. That faith has Jesus Christ, the never-changing One, as the pattern of life (vs 7-8).
5) Be Steadfast In Grace
The dangers to avoid include following after varied teachings and reducing godly living to keeping a set of rules for dress, diet, etc. (vs 9).
6) Recognize The Meaning Of Christ’s Sacrifice
To do so is to recognize that the sacrifice is unique (one and only). It is not an extension of the Levitical sacrificial system. It was achieved to sanctify (set apart and make right) the people of God. Since that suffering isolated Christ from the system (He died outside the gate), we too are called to be separate from the system accepting the reproach of being identified with Him. In so doing we recognize that the present will pass away (no continuing city) as we seek the eternal one (vs 10-14).
7) Offer Sacrifices To Him
Two pleasing sacrifices are noted. One is the offering of perpetual praise including verbal thanks to Him. The other is to share with others (vs 15-16).
8) Accept Leadership
In God’s order there are levels of authority. Leaders must answer for the leadership they exercise. The attitudes of the followers affect the leader’s reward. Followers must obey and submit to the leaders as unto the Lord (vs 17).
1) A Plea For Prayer Support (vs18-19)
The writer asks for prayer that he may keep a good conscience. This will involve honest living, and he hopes, a restoration of personal fellowship with the readers.
2) A Blessing (vs 20-21) In it we note:
a. The character of God—the God of peace.
b. The power of God—He raised our Lord Jesus from the dead.
c. The office of our Savior—the Great Shepherd.
In the New Testament He is the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10); the Chief Shepherd (I Pet. 5); the Great Shepherd (Heb. 13).
d. The basis of the Savior’s office—the blood establishing the everlasting covenant.
e. The objectives of the God of Peace—to make us perfect (complete) in every good work to do His will by working in us that which is pleasing to Him.
f. The agent of His operations—it is through Jesus Christ and to Him be glory forever.
3) A Plea For Acceptance of Message and Messenger (vs 22-24)
5) An Abiding Gift—Grace Always
This book begins on a major theological note. It ends with a simple pastoral word. The first word is God. The last word is Grace. Let us add our own praises to the blessed God and Savior so clearly revealed in this grand epistle