Hebrews 13:1 “Keep on loving each other as brothers.”

Pastor Ino

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 Happy Easter. We have an Easter worship service today. It is the day to
celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Let’s share the joy of Easter.
As we do that, let us briefly review the events that took place in Jesus’ death
on the cross and his resurrection. Matthew 27:33-34 say, “They came to a
place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered
Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.”
The soldiers offered the wine mixed with gall to ease Jesus’ pain. We
recognize that Jesus tried to take all the pain he could take on the cross to
forgive all of our sins from the fact that Jesus refused to drink the wine.
John 19:26-27 says, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom
he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your
son,” and to the disciples, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this
disciple took her into his home.” The reason Jesus died on the cross was not
only to forgive our sins. It was also to create new fellowship and bonding
among those who he redeemed. Even though He was in the middle of
receiving excruciating pain with his whole body, he created new fellowship
among the believers so that they would love one another and experience the
work of atonement. Our God is Almighty. When resurrected, Jesus said to his
disciples, who were afraid of being attacked by Jews, “Peace be with you”
(John 20:19) and “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). When the disciples
received the Holy Spirit, they also received the peace of Jesus. They grew to
learn the depth of Jesus’ love, which gave them the drive to start churches and
spread the work of reconciliation.
We want to study and receive spiritual challenges today from Hebrews Chapter
13 while focusing on Jesus’ love and his work of reconciliation.
Hebrews 13:1 says, “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” It is the new way
of life for Christians to love their brothers and put that love into action.

God is omniscient. I believe that even while Jesus was experiencing agonizing
pain on the cross, he saw the vision that his disciples would start his churches
filled with the believers who love and serve one another.
John 13:34 says, “A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have
loved you, so you must love one another.” The new command Jesus gave his
followers was to put brotherly love into action among them. His command to
us believers is to love one another and to abide in brotherly love. Jesus
commanded us to “love one another just as he loved us.” When Jesus said, “as
I have loved you,” he had the sacrifice he made on the cross for us in mind. I
John 3:16-18 say, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his
life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers… Dear children,
let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” I desire
that we strive to put our brotherly love into action by accepting each other’s
differences and forgiving one another, without forgetting the love and sacrifice
Jesus offered us on the cross.
The author of Hebrews offers several verses of practical advice on how we
should put our brotherly love into action, starting 13:2, “Do not forget to
entertain strangers.” Strangers here means the visitors who were traveling for
the ministry. At that time, many of the disciples traveled far and near to
spread the gospel of Christ. The members of churches supported those
evangelists by opening their homes to them to rest and stay. At the same
time, there seemed to be some false prophets and evangelists among them.
Those who opened their homes received a warning to watch out for those who
stayed more than three days at the same place.
It is our desire as IBF to continue to support the work of believers and
evangelists actively.
With respect to the latter part of verse 2, please refer to Genesis Chapter 18.
You will find the story of Abraham entertaining three angels, where he
received the announcement of Isaac’s forthcoming birth.
Verse 3 says, “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners,
and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” A similar
message is also written in 10:34. The believers set an excellent example of
putting their brotherly love into action by helping those put in prison for the
sake of the gospel and their families. Please refer to Matthew 25:34-40.

Verse 4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept
pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” When you
think of this verse from the perspective of brotherly love, the believers must
stay away from actions that cause a feeling of resentment among their
brothers and sisters. It is essential to recognize that the believers’ immoral
behavior causes sadness and suffering to their brothers and sisters. To love
someone means not to say or do things that cause sadness to that person.
God’s will for us believers is that marriage should be honored, and the husband
and wife should love and serve one another. By doing so, marriage provides
abundant blessings to our lives.
Verse 5 says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with
what you have.” We need to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:24,
“You cannot serve both God and money.” If we choose to serve God, we can
manage and use our money carefully. When the believers manage the money
wisely, the churches will be blessed by God, and the work of the gospel will be
Please read I Timothy 6:6-10. Verse 18 says, “Command them to do good, to
be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” We can be
obedient to this command of God by managing and using our money wisely
and carefully. As I entered the later years of my life, I wish to contribute to the
parts of God’s work using my possessions provided by Him.
In the end, I desire that we strive to put our brotherly love, which is
“philadelphia” in Greek, into action in all aspects of our lives.

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