Exhortations for Holy Brethren (13:1-17)
New Testament exhortations on love are centered around two main types of love: divine love ('agápe') and brotherly love ('philia'). Agápe love is sacrificial and unconditional. It is selfless in that it gives and expects nothing in return. It is the love of a settled disposition. An example would be God’s love for us in sending His only-begotten Son to die for us (John 3:16). The noun ‘philia’ and the verb ‘phileo’ originate from the Greek term ‘philos’, meaning “beloved” or “dear”. Phileo love is the love of affection or friendship. It includes loyalty, virtue, equality, and familiarity. As Christians, we are to love one another with ‘philia’ love (Romans 12:10). It is a love shared by the family of God. Read more...The expression “let brotherly love abide” indicates that (1) brotherly love is something the new nature delights to do and we need to “let” it be manifested by treating the flesh as crucified, and (2) the Hebrew believers had begun well in that regard but needed to see to it that brotherly love “abide” or continue. Maintaining healthy friendships with our brethren takes energy and effort, and if we do not make an effort, brotherly love will not continue. Satan does everything he can to disrupt unity in God’s family. The next two verses give us ways that brotherly love expresses itself, and which also tend to build up the bonds!
Separation is always looked at as to something and from something. We are to be separate unto the Lord first (Num. 6:2), and then from the world and defilement (Num. 6:3). The order is important. We can fall into a legal frame of mind if we forget that separation is first positive, then negative. In fact, the negative aspect will follow almost automatically when the heart is right. However, God still does speak extensively about the negative side of separation because our consciences need to be exercised.Here we are called to go “to him without the camp, bearing his reproach”. The fact that Jesus Himself is there makes us willing to share His reproach. And there will be reproach, because the world and its religion cannot tolerate those who are not of the world. He went outside the camp to bear put sins, we go outside to bear His reproach.
- Our person (Rom. 12:1)
- Our praise (Heb. 13:15)
- Our possessions (Heb. 13:16)
Concluding Instructions and Salutations (13:18-25)
- Kelly, W. The Epistle to the Hebrews.
- Evans, J.H. Rejoice, Ye Saints, Rejoice and Praise. Little Flock Hymnbook #237.
- The “meats” here are not the same “meat” as we have in Hebrews 5. There it is the doctrine that concerns Christ in glory, but here it refers to the dietary restrictions of the law, such as clean and unclean animals. To misunderstand this distinction could lead someone to conclude that feeding on sound doctrine is counterproductive to being established in grace.
- This reference to “outside the camp” refers to the sin offering (Lev. 16:27), not to the removal of the tent in Exodus 33:7-8. In the case of the tent (which wasn’t the full Tabernacle), it was removed only temporarily because the Lord’s presence could not be associated with the defilement that had come in, but was seen later (Num. 1) back in the camp. Compare the tabernacle of the congregation in Num. 1:1 with the tabernacle of the testimony in Num. 1:50. In v.13 we may have an allusion to Exodus 33.
- Perhaps the allusion is to an earlier occasion when the camp of Israel was defiled by idolatry (Exodus 33:7-8).
- Jim Hyland
- Bowley, Mary. The Holiest We Enter. Little Flock Hymnbook #114
- “The blood of the everlasting covenant” in Hebrews 13 is that which is finished and done with, and will go all the way through, and is available for all. The blood will never lose its value. It is the groundwork of all God’s dealings with man in all ages. – Darby, J.N. Miscellaneous, Vol. 3
- It is everlasting because, without testing, it was settled in the counsels of God Himself. – Darby, J.N. Notes of Readings on 2 Corinthians.
- Ques. What is “the everlasting covenant”? That is the whole thing, between the Father and the Son, I suppose you may say, “A body hast thou prepared me,” and, “Lo, I come to do thy will.” We are not under the new covenant, though we do get the good of it, and a great deal more. – Darby, J.N. Reading at Lonsdale Square. Notes and Jottings.
- The everlasting covenant has a different character from the new covenant. There are many covenants in Scripture, but the old and new are distinct, and with Israel only. – Darby, J.N. Notes on 1 and 2 Timothy. Collected Writings, Expository #6.
- The blood was as much the proof and witness of the love of God to the sinner as it was of the justice and majesty of God against sin. This covenant is founded on the truth and holiness of the eternal God having been fully met and answered in the cross of the Lord Jesus. – The Christian’s Friend: 1874 : Obedience, the Saint’s Liberty
- God thus confirmed His covenant with Israel before Sinai by blood — the blood of animals; but the new covenant He has ratified by the blood of Christ. By so much more, therefore, as the blood of Christ is more precious than the blood of oxen, is the new covenant of more value than the old. In other words, by confirming the new covenant with the blood of His Son, God has declared not only its everlasting and immutable character, but also the priceless nature of the blessings which He has thereby secured to His people. – E. Dennett. The Blood of Christ.
- He is ascended on high, not only as Son of God, but according to the efficaciousness of His work, in virtue of which He appears before the Father, the everlasting covenant being thus established in His blood. The question here is not of an old or a new covenant, which refers to particular circumstances, but of the intrinsic and essential worth of the blood of Christ. – Darby, J.N. The Gospel of Matthew.
- God is He “that brought again from the dead that great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant.” The blood shed by Jesus gave Him the right to rise from death with the same efficacy for others. – Darby, J.N. Notes on the Epistle to the Hebrews.
- Cowper. There Is a Stream of Precious Blood. Little Flock Hymnbook #322.