Bible Study Notes on Hebrews 13 – 20190825

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Hebrews 13:2  “…some have unwittingly entertained angels”
Sounds interesting.  Not sure if he’s stating something that happens now, or if he was referring to the fact that the Old Testament recounts many times that angels appeared to people as men.  Commentary also used the OT as reference, but the point is entertaining those you encounter.  We should have an open heart about helping others.  And who knows, in so doing we may be entertaining more than we thought.

4  “…but fornicators and adulterers God will judge”
Modern generation doesn’t want to hear this.  They’re big on telling others not to judge them when they mention that fornication and adultery are sins.  But the standard is set by God, not us.  And He will have the last word.  We do them a disservice when we fail to tell them the truth.

5  “Let your conduct be without covetousness…”
Have pure motives for what you do.  Don’t do just to get.  I think the contentment is not just in what you have.  It’s in knowing God will take care of everything, so we know He’ll provide for any needs that arise.  Therefore, we can live without worrying about what we have or don’t have.

7  “…considering the outcome of their conduct”
Commentaries suggest outcome is how they exit this life, that they end with full faith in God.  But the phrasing reminds me that we must also be aware of a person’s continued conduct.  We’ve had several so-called prominent people of the faith come out and declare they’ve lost that faith.  They had been influencing people for Christ for years, but suddenly they say they don’t believe anymore.  Obviously they never truly believed to start with, deceived in thinking that a knowledge of Christ was the same as knowing Him.  And probably spent time trying to walk the good walk.  Now they’ve run out of steam because Christ was never truly inside.  To me it’s been a reminder that we must follow Christ, not a fellow servant.  We must not be swayed from the truth by the failings of another, but always look to Jesus.  And when supposed brothers or sisters fail, we need to lift them up or pray for their actual salvation if it’s obvious they never surrendered to Christ.

8  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Jesus doesn’t change.  We don’t have to worry about some new doctrine that comes along when it doesn’t agree with scripture.  Jesus hasn’t changed His mind.  Scripture will always be the standard.

10  “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.”
Priests could partake of part of the sacrifices for themselves.  But Christ is our sacrifice which they have no right to as long as they continue to serve the old system.  They must forsake the old in favor of the new covenant with Christ.

16  “…with such sacrifices God is well pleased”
To obey is better than sacrifice.  God is concerned with the heart, not just actions.  What is the motive behind the actions?

17  “Obey those who rule over you…”
Spiritual leaders.  Those who are called of God to teach and lead.

19  “…that I may be restored to you the sooner”
Slight clue as to the identity of the writer, but not enough to say for sure.  Could have been imprisonment or sickness, something which kept him away.

21  “…working in you what is well pleasing in His sight…”
God will continue to work His will in us if we let Him.  Always conforming us into the image of His Son.

23  “Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.”
Another clue.  Timothy was apparently incarcerated at some point and was well known to the writer.  This leads some to say Paul must have been the writer.  But it’s not conclusive.  If the writer was someone important enough to be taken as a teacher, he could certainly have been acquainted with Timothy.  But it does give come continuity to the writing.

24  “…and all the saints…”
Other believers.  Not a select few who somehow have achieved some great status.  The idea of that type of achievement within the Kingdom of God is foreign to what Jesus said.  It takes away from the glory of God which belongs only to Him.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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