An Adventure through Hebrews

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Hebrews 13

From Faith to Love

What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

'The Seen' vs. 'The Unseen'

β€’ seen - temporal, fleeting, deceitful, unreliable

β€’ unseen - eternal, lasting, true, real, certain

β€’ we are convinced the unseen is real and we act on it

Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Moving from 'what' to 'how'

Moving from faith to love

Hebrews 13

1. Let love of the brothers and sisters continue.

1. philadelphia

β€’ love (phileo)

β€’ love of brothers and sisters (adelphos)

β€’ brotherly love

β€’ the love which those in Christ cherish for each other as brethren (adelphoi)

1 John 4

7 Beloved, let’s love one another; for love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 Peter 1

22 Since you have purified your souls in obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brothers and sisters, fervently love one another from the heart,

23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable, but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

A Christian's Prerogative:

1. Understand God's Love

1 John 4

10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

19 We love, because He first loved us.

This love is

β€’ proactive - God initiated it

β€’ involves learned skills

β€’ servant-like "from the heart"

β€’ self-sacrificial

β€’ involves complete acceptance of the other

A Christian's Prerogative:

1. Understand God's Love

2. Find ways to practice it

Overarching Principles

β€’ practicing love effectively

β€’ adopting 'the other' focus

β€’ involves prayer, strategic planning, awareness of gifts

β€’ identifying areas of need, pain, worry

β€’ importance of forgivess and acceptance of the weakness

Implementing Philadelphia

β€’ setting aside time to meet regularly

β€’ committment to developing and cultivating friendships

β€’ committment to working through problems

β€’ committment to excellence

Excelling at philadelphia

β€’ understanding God's love more deeply

β€’ learning how to serve

β€’ learning how to forgive

β€’ recognizing God's authority

β€’ displaying willingness to seek help

β€’ taking responsibility

Failing at Brotherly Love

β€’ shallow/nonexistent relationships

β€’ impersonal/fake fellowship

β€’ inability to serve the needs of others

β€’ church hopping culture

β€’ lack of joy of being a Christ follower

1 Peter 1

22 Since you have purified your souls in obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brothers and sisters, fervently love one another from the heart,

Hebrews 13

2 Do not neglect hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

2. philoxenia

β€’ love (phileo)

β€’ love of strangers, foreigners, others (xenos)

β€’ hospitality

β€’ genuine interest/concern for those outside the church

Failing at philoxenia

β€’ displeasing to God

β€’ boring

β€’ culturally alienated, nerdy

β€’ missing the purpose

β€’ distorting God's character to the world

β€’ intellectually dull

β€’ spiritually dead

β€’ losing the next generation

Balanced philadelphia-philoxenia is key

Hebrews 13

3 Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are badly treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.

3. remember the prisoners

β€’ prison ministries?

β€’ context: persecuted church

β€’ disregard the danger and serve those being persecuted

β€’ Applicable today? More than ever!

Religions focus on

β€’ behavioral control

β€’ dietary rules

β€’ restraining the flesh, ascetism

β€’ gaining 'secret' knowledge

β€’ ritualism, formalism

Following Jesus means practicing love

Ask Yourself

1. What does this passage teach me about God?

2. If this is true, what does this mean for me?

3. What am I going to do about it?

4. Who am I going to tell about it?

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