“Are You Willing to Stand Up and Stand Out?

(Hebrews 13:1-25)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.

The Lord has shown us

Through this letter,

What He has graciously provided for us

Through His Son, Jesus Christ:

He is a better prophet –

Better able to reveal God and His will

Because He is God in our nature –

Better than the angels –

They are servants,

While He is the King

Who sends them to minister to us –

Better than Moses –

Who was a faithful servant in God’s house,

While Jesus is a Son over His house –

Better than Joshua –

Who brought God’s people into His land,

A picture of the promised rest,

While Jesus brings us into the true rest: heaven –

A better priest –

The Old Covenant sacrifices

Couldn’t take away sin,

But His sacrifice can and does.

Because He is also indestructible and eternal,

He always lives to pray for us –

He serves in a better tabernacle –

He didn’t enter a tent on earth,

But into heaven itself

Through His better sacrifice,

To appear before the Father for us –

In short, He has brought a better covenant –

The Law engraved on stone

Couldn’t change our hearts,

It could only condemn us –

But Jesus, by His Spirit,

Has puts the Law in our minds

And written them on our hearts,

He has given us the power to keep it –

B. Preview.

And so what are we to do

In light of the infinite grace and love

He has shown us in Christ?

We are not to turn away

To this world,

But love Him, listen to Him,

And press forward.

We are to look at what He’s promised

Through the sight faith gives –

To believe Him,

To trust Him,

And to act on His promises

Because they’re real.

We are to set aside

Everything that gets in our way,

The sin that entangles,

Fix our eyes on Christ,

And run that race –

Live the life He calls us to live,

And persevere to the end.

We’re not just to know

That this is what we’re to do,

But really do this –

Christianity isn’t a degree program –

Your entrance into heaven

Isn’t based on a test of knowledge,

On the Day of Judgment,

Though knowledge is important –

Your entrance will be based

On the work of Christ,

But the evidence you’ve received it

Is what you have done for Him –

Your life will show what you really believed,

Your choices will reveal

What was really in your heart.

Being a Christian means

Leaving the world

And the things of this world behind

And following Jesus –

Choosing what He wants,

Doing what He calls you to do,

Going where He calls you to go –

It’s standing up for your Lord,

And standing out from this world –

Out of love for the One who loved you

And gave Himself for you.

But how are you practically to do this?

The author now finishes his letter

By showing us several ways –

All of which resolve to

Loving God and loving your neighbor.

II. Sermon.
A. First, you are to show the love He has given you

To your brothers and sisters in Christ (v. 1) –

You need to have more

Than love for them in your hearts,

You must love them in your actions.

Be concerned for them,

Care for them,

Encourage them to walk with Christ,

To do the right thing,

Admonish them, when they need it,

But in gentleness and a sincere desire

For their well-being.

Not just those in this fellowship,

But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord,

Because we’re all part of the same body.

B. What are some practical ways you can do this?

1. By showing hospitality (v. 2) –

By being willing to bring others into your home

To care for their needs –

Not just those you know,

But those you don’t –

That’s what hospitality means –

Caring for strangers.

The author says

Some in doing this,

Have entertained angels without knowing it.

Perhaps he’s referring

To what Abraham did

When he entertained the Lord and two of His angels (Gen. 18).

2. Be sympathetic to those who are suffering

Or in prison –

Some of the saints

You’ll be spending eternity with

Are in that situation now –

You may find yourself in that situation some day,

And you would want someone –

Anyone of your brothers and sisters –

To visit and comfort you.

When Paul was in prison for the Gospel,

He was so blessed when Epaphroditus

Came to him (Phil. 2:25-27).

As the Lord gives you opportunity,

So should you.

3. Make sure you’re faithful to your spouse,

Or if you’re not married,

Keep yourself from sexual sin,

Knowing that it not only affects you,

But the person you’re involved with (v. 4).

4. Guard your heart from greed (v. 5).

The love of money causes all kinds of sin (1 Tim. 6:10).

Be content with what the Lord has given you;

Especially realizing

He has promised to provide for you

And to help you in every situation.

You don’t need to be afraid/anxious

About anything in your future.

5. Remember the many who have gone before you,

Who have provided examples to follow,

Who taught you,

And considering that they’re now

Enjoying God’s blessings in heaven,

Follow in their footsteps

That you might gain the same (v. 7).

6. Remember that Jesus never changes (v. 8) –

He is the same yesterday, today and forever –

Which not only means that He is God,

But that His standards never change.

What He said and did,

What your examples followed,

Is still the standard.

Make sure you follow Him.

C. Along these lines,

He reminds them (Jewish believers)

Not to listen to the Jewish teachings

That are against what Jesus taught,

Nor to rely any longer on the sacrifices on their altar (vv. 9-10).

Because they – as well as you –

Have an altar to eat from

That the Jews do not:

The altar of Christ –

The Table of the Lord.

Jesus said His flesh is true food,

And His blood true drink (John 6:55).

He is the Manna –

The Bread of life

That comes down from heaven (vv. 48-51).

He is your access to God,

Your source of spiritual life,

He has everything you need –

This is what He has provided for you,

So you need to make sure you feed on Him daily.

But as you come to this altar

Don’t forget what it calls you to do:

Just as the bodies of those animal sacrifices

Were burned outside the camp (v. 11),

So Jesus was rejected by the Jews

And suffered outside the city

So that through His blood –

Through His death –

The filth of our sins might be removed

And we might be healed (v. 12).

The author says,

His sacrifice calls us

To go out to Him,

Outside the camp,

To be willing to bear His reproach –

To be willing to stand up and stand out for Him

In the middle of a world that hates Him,

Knowing that to do so

Means you will be to be hated by them as well (v. 13).

This world is not your home,

So stop living like it is.

God has prepared a city for you,

You need to leave this world

And seek after it (v. 14).

D. And so instead of the Old Covenant sacrifices,

What kind of sacrifices does God want from you?

1. He no longer wants animal sacrifices –

Jesus’ sacrifice did away with these

Once for all –

He wants the sacrifice of praise,

The fruit of your lips,

To give thanks to His name (v. 15) –

Which is why we gather on the Lord’s Day

And midweek,

And in our homes,

And in our closets.

2. He wants you to continue to do good –

To minister to one another

And to those outside the body,

To be servants –

And to share what you have

With those in need (v. 16).

Remember, it’s more blessed to give

Than to receive –

It’s better to be on the giving end,

To have something to give,

Whether it be food or clothing,

Or encouragement,

Or the Gospel,

Than to be on the receiving end.

The Lord gives you what you have

Not only to take care of your needs

But to give to those in need.

3. And He wants you to submit to those

He has appointed for your good

To keep watch over your souls.

One day your elders will have to give an account

Of how faithfully we have done this,

And you will give account of how well

You’ve listened, learned and submitted.

Let’s help one another

Make this as profitable for one another as possible (v. 17).

E. He concludes with a few personal matters:

1. That they would pray for him and those with him,

That they might remain true to God’s Word (v. 18),

And that he might be restored to them (v. 19) –

Perhaps he was in prison,

Or more likely, was away in the Lord’s service

But was hindered by the enemies of the Gospel from returning.

2. He says that Timothy has been released –

Likely from prison –

And that if Timothy comes soon,

He would see them (v. 23).

Somehow Timothy’s coming

Would help him also make it there.

3. He also notes that

Some from Italy send their greetings (v. 24) –

Which means that either he was in Italy as he wrote,

That there were some with him from Italy,

Or that he had passed through Italy

And while he was there,

Some asked him to send their greetings when he wrote.

4. A number of these things

Sound like something Paul would write,

And some believe he did write them.

But we need to remember

What the author said back in chapter two: “For if the word spoken through
angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received
a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it
was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who
heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by
various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will”
(vv. 2-4).

It’s true Paul was not numbered

Among the original twelve;

But he did see and hear Jesus,

And he did perform signs, wonders and various miracles.

The author can’t be Paul.

But whoever it was,

He knew Timothy and the apostles.

F. Finally, he closes with an appeal:

“But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to
you briefly” (v. 22).

He calls on them

To be willing to suffer whatever difficulty

Following this exhortation/encouragement will bring,

And so should you.

And that you might have the strength to do so,

He calls on God and points us to Him

Who sent His Son,

Who raised Him from the dead –

And that by virtue of His sacrifice for sins –

To equip you with the grace to do it

Through Jesus Christ (vv. 20-21, 25).

Note who this Jesus is:

The One to whom belongs the glory forever –

There is only One

Who is to be glorified,

And that is God.

God says in Isaiah 42:8, “I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My
glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.”

Jesus is God –

This is your Savior,

Your Lord,

Your Mediator,

The God of creation,

The One who loved you

And gave Himself for you.

This is why you should be willing

To endure and to suffer

Whatever you must

To follow His will.

May He give you the grace you need

To stand up for Him

And to stand out from this world. Amen.


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