Hebrews 13:15

Monday, 20 May 2019

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15

The words should state, “through Him,” not “by Him.” It is through Christ Jesus that God’s people are to “continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God.” This is a direct link to the thank (also known as “fellowship”) offerings that were offered under the Law of Moses. The same word is used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament in Leviticus 7:12 where that offering is named. It was through such an offering that such praises were ordained. Later, it is then used in Psalm 50:14 (and elsewhere) in the sense of giving praise to God –

“Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High.”

Unlike the sacrifices for sin and trespass, which looked to restoration between God and His people, a peace offering was made for the preservation of the relationship. People would make these offerings. A portion of them was burnt upon the altar to God, and a portion was eaten by the offerer. In this, there was a meal being enjoyed between the two. This is somewhat analogous to our taking of the Lord’s Supper now. The author is showing that in praising God through Jesus, we are offering “the fruit of our lips.”

In this, similar terminology is found in the Proverbs and Hosea –

“A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.” Proverbs 18:20


“Take words with you,
And return to the Lord.
Say to Him,
‘Take away all iniquity;
us graciously,
For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.’” Hosea 14:2

The idea of the “fruit of the lips,” or the “sacrifice of the lips,” is that which is produced through the lips. When one speaks something vile, that is what is produced. When one speaks praises to God, that is what is produced. To praise God, through Jesus, is considered as a peace-offering to God in that it is pleasing to Him. This is then acknowledged as “giving thanks to His name.”

In properly worshiping the Creator in this way, it is showing reverence for the plan which He orchestrated for the redemption of man, and which He alone has credit for. As this is through the giving of His Son, it is an acknowledgment that He ordained the plan, He set it in motion, He participated in it, and He carried it through to its completion – all through Christ. As Paul says –

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19

All the glory goes to God, and therefore all the praises are to go to Him in acknowledgment of that. Whereas all sacrifices and offerings mandated under the Law of Moses are complete, the praises of God, which the peace offering symbolized, will never cease. The praises of God will ring forth for all eternity.

Life application: Here we have several huge concepts.

1) In order to please God, we praise Him through Jesus. This is not an idea unique to this verse, but is repeated throughout the New Testament. It clearly and unambiguously means that no other avenue of praise to God is meaningful. We cannot praise Him through Mary or the saints; through Buddha, Allah, or Vishnu; nor can we do it directly without a mediator. Instead, it is through Jesus that praise is acceptable to God.

2) Praise isn’t meant for a specific time of the week – a Sabbath, a single day of worship, or a specific location. Instead, praise is something to do continually. If you hurt yourself – say a badly stubbed toe – you can call out, “Thank You Jesus that it wasn’t a broken hip.” In other words, we can – even in the most trying times – praise God for the greater trial that didn’t come.

3) God looks at praise as a sacrifice! We don’t need to fast, give money to a cause, spend excessive time helping others, or be creative with our skills in order to be pleasing to God (although we can also do these things for His glory). Instead, God looks at our true praises as sacrifices in and of themselves. As the 54th psalm says –

“I will freely sacrifice to You;
I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good.” Psalm 54:6

And again, as a means of repaying the kindness of our salvation, the psalmist says –

“What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
13 I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:12, 13

There is truly no other thing we can do to “repay” God. Paul says as much in Romans 11:35. Instead, we sacrifice to God through our praises. I’ll bet a jillion dollars that if you spend your time finding reasons to praise Him at all times, you’ll be healthier, happier, and more filled with heaven than you can imagine. In all things, remember to praise the Lord.

Praise the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in his mighty heavens. Praise Him for his acts of power; praise Him for his surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. Hallelujah and Amen!

Hebrews 13:14

Sunday, 19 May 2019

For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Hebrews 13:14

Here we are reminded of the promise which has already been stated twice. In verse 11:10, Abraham was said to wait “for the city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Verse 12:22 then specified what that city is by saying, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.”

The words, “For we have no continuing city,” are speaking of the current Jerusalem and everything associated with it, meaning the law, the temple, the sacrifices, and so on. Everything about that was a part of the types and shadows which looked to Christ, but it is earthly and temporary.

For those who “go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach,” there is a better hope. Those who leave the life of Judaism behind, to pursue what was promised by God in Christ, have suffered no loss at all. They have, in fact, gained heaven. As the author says, “but we seek the one to come.”

As has been stated numerous times, the book is written to the Hebrews. It is referring to their life before God. It is not exclusive of the Gentiles who have come to Christ, but verses like this one speak of life under the law, life of those who have rejected Christ and pursue Judaism as a means to an end, and so on. It is true that those Gentiles who have been duped into this “Hebrew Roots Movement,” like those who follow the Judaizers of all ages, are putting themselves in the same position. However, this letter is specifically given to the Hebrew people to leave Jerusalem of this earth behind, and to seek the one which is to come.

That is the eternal home for God’s people, and it is the replacement of that which is temporary and which has no true foundations.

Life application: What keeps you from being an active, faithful, and heartfelt follower of Jesus Christ? Really, think it over. What is it that robs your joy? What is it that steals your attention? What is it that you cherish having, or cherish doing, above all else? Every single thing and every single person around you is part of a decaying system and is temporary at best.

For the believer in Christ – Jew or Gentile – our current “camp” can be equated to where we reside in this world – surrounded by the things which hold our attention and which deprive us of time spent with the Creator. Understand that all things He gave us are blessings for which we should be grateful. By being grateful for them, we are including Him in the process. However, when He is excluded because of whatever has completely captivated us, we are forgetting the fundamental truth that only He can truly satisfy.

The Bible asks us to go to Him outside the camp and not worry about, or be consumed by, the things of this world. If we can emulate Christ now, how insignificant is the cost compared to that which is prepared.

Thank You Heavenly Father for the promise of an enduring city! One where things will never wear out, people won’t grow sick and die, and especially one where we will be Your people and You will be our God – in Your very presence. Until that day, give us steadfast hearts to bear any disgrace for the eternally exalted name of Jesus. Amen.

Hebrews 13:13

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. Hebrews 13:13

This verse is given based on the preceding verses. Together, they read –

“For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” 

The only sacrifice which was made outside the sanctuary (and even outside the camp) was the red heifer recorded in Numbers 19. That is not what is being considered here when speaking of the sprinkling of blood inside the sanctuary. All of the others were sacrificed in the sanctuary itself. What happened to their blood, and the disposal of their bodies, was based upon what type of sacrifice (or offering) was made and who it was being applied to.

In the case of these verses, the blood was carried inside the tabernacle itself, meaning either into the holy place or the most holy place. This indicates a sin offering, and one which included the high priest himself as a part of the acknowledged guilt. The body of that animal was then taken outside the camp and burned.

However, these verses state that in Jesus’ sanctification of people with his own blood, He “suffered outside the gate.” Unlike these animals that died in the sanctuary and only then were their bodies taken out to be burned, Christ both suffered and died outside of the gates. The obvious indication is that atonement from sin through Christ did not, and cannot, come through the offerings made by the high priest of Israel and at the tabernacle (or temple) which was among the people. Rather, those things were only types and shadows of what occurred in Christ’s fulfillment of the law.

Christ’s blood was not sprinkled in an earthly holy (or most holy) place. Rather, this shows the importance of what was recorded in Chapter 9 –

“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:11-15

Christ “entered the Most Holy Place” with His own blood. The point, then, of the author’s words is that if one wants to participate in Christ, he must do so not through the rituals or observances of the Old Covenant (which He fulfilled), but he must come to Christ apart from those things. The “camp” speaks of everything associated with the law and how one is considered “holy” under the law. To go “outside the camp” is to go to a place that the law would consider unclean! And yet, the author says to go to Him outside the camp.

Christ died outside the camp, bearing reproach. This means that He was considered an unclean thing. But it is only that state of uncleanness that can purify from defilement. How can that be? The answer is found in the mystery of the red heifer (mentioned above). Only the red heifer was noted as being burned with its blood. To understand this, one is implored to read (or watch) the two sermons on Numbers 19 given at the Superior Word. In understanding this, the answer becomes evident.

The author now asks the people to come outside the camp, forsaking the law, except as it is fulfilled in Christ, and to be saved by faith in what Christ did, not in what we can do under the law. And this applies to both Jew and Gentile. It is what is warned against, time and again, in the book of Acts, in Paul’s letters, and here in Hebrews. Do not let law observance be found in your attempt to please God. In doing so, you are disgracing the fulfilled work of Christ. It is He who fulfilled the law. Do you think you are more capable than He? Let it go! Come to Christ, and bear his reproach! Be sprinkled in the only truly purifying way. Be sprinkled by Christ.

Life application: The Bible makes this statement –

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Think it through, carefully. God – our Creator, and He who had no sin – Jesus, fully God and fully Man, was made to be sin. He bore the disgrace of our misconduct and moral deficiency, so that in Him – that broken and rejected body – we (insert your name here if you have accepted the transfer) might become the righteousness of God – reconciled through the cross of our innocent Lord – to bear His righteousness when we instead deserved His cross.

Who can imagine the immensity of what is being said here? That God would give us His own jealously-guarded righteousness after the lives we have lived. All of our sin was laid upon Christ who then bore our disgrace, our sin, and our rebellion.

The love of God which is in Christ Jesus is far above our ability to ever pen a note of thanks sufficient to the deed. Look to this wonderful implement of death and reconciliation, and then call on the name of the Lord, the Lord Jesus.

See the hands pierced for me
See His feet held to the tree
See His side, the spear received
How precious the transfer, when I believed
Thank You my Lord, my Savior, My God

Hebrews 13:12

Friday, 17 May 2019

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Hebrews 13:12

The word “Therefore” is given based on what was said in the preceding verse. The bodies of the animals which were given for sin were “burned outside the camp.” That was given to show that the sins had been taken away from the people, outside of the area where God dwelt in the holy city and were thus removed from them. When the animal was burned, the sins were symbolically completely removed and could not be brought back to memory and counted against the people again. The rising of the smoke symbolized this.

Israel was considered God’s holy people. He dwelt in their presence, and anything which defiled was to be removed from that glorious presence. This was accomplished in this way as a picture of what Christ would do in reality. It didn’t actually accomplish this, but it was granted to the people as a temporary institution until Christ came to fulfill the types and shadows. In that, their faith looked forward to the coming work of Messiah; our faith looks back to what He has accomplished.

In fulfillment of this particular picture, the author then says, “Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” This is recorded in the gospels, such as –

“Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. 33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, 34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.” Matthew 27:32-34


“Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.” John 19:20

Even this seemingly obscure precept from the Law of Moses was fulfilled exactingly by Jesus. He was taken outside the city, bearing the sins of the world upon Himself, and away from the Presence which was in the temple. The typology was fulfilled, and the true forgiveness which Israel only anticipated under the Law of Moses was realized.

Life application: What was said in Hebrews 9 should be recalled in this verse. Christ entered the more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, and He did it not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood. In this, we were told that He obtained for us eternal redemption.

Jesus’ blood was presented in the true Most Holy Place, proving His death. However, His body suffered outside the city gate as a symbol that it was unclean because of receiving our sins; it was removed from the people. Consider this as you contemplate the words of 2 Corinthians 5:21 –

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Think on the significance of what occurred and how far God went to reconcile us to Himself. If you fully grasp what happened, how can you not devote your very self to honoring and giving glory – forever – to this One who loves you so much? The Creator of the vastness of the universe sent His Son to become sin so that You might become the righteousness of God in Him – simply unimaginable!

O God, thank You for Jesus. Amen.

Hebrews 13:11

Thursday, 16 May 2019

For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Hebrews 13:11

The verbs are in the present tense, indicating that the temple was still standing, and that the sacrifices mentioned here were ongoing. Further, as Hebrews is also directed toward the Jews of the end times (as seen in earlier commentaries), it is an indication that a temple will again be built, and that these sacrifices will again be conducted. As they are already being accomplished in practice runs, it is merely a matter of time before this comes about. Concerning these sacrifices, the author says, “For the bodies of those animals.”

This is speaking of the sacrificial system of Israel, not merely animals slaughtered for consumption throughout the land. The sacrificial system is detailed particularly in Leviticus, but it is referred to in other books as well. Now to explain that he is talking about specific sacrifices, he continues with, “whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest.”

The translation, if consistent with Old Testament usage, would say, “whose blood is brought into the tabernacle.” The “sanctuary” is the entire compound of the Lord’s dwelling. The Tent of Meeting is the main edifice within the compound, and the tabernacle is within the Tent of Meeting. It is a specific place within the tabernacle – meaning the Holy Place or the Most Holy Place – that is being referred to.

Many types of sacrifices and offerings were brought to the sanctuary, but only a very select number of them were brought into the Holy Place. An even smaller number were brought into the Most Holy Place. Each was for a very specific reason, and each and every reason pointed to the cleansing power of Christ to come. These were mere shadows and types which looked forward to what He would do for His people. To understand this sacrificial system, and to understand the particular rituals now being described, please take time to read or watch all of the Superior Word sermons from the book of Leviticus.

The author continues with the thought that the blood of these animals, which were brought forth by the high priest, was “for sin.” As noted, different sacrifices had different things done with the blood, with the parts of the animal, and so on. Some blood was splashed upon the altar, some blood was carried into the tabernacle to be sprinkled, etc. Each was for a specific purpose. Those that were “for sin,” were handled according to “who” sinned and the surrounding circumstances of the sin offering. However, when the blood was carried into the tabernacle by the high priest, those animals were not eaten by the priests. Rather, they were “burned outside the camp.”

It must be explained here that not all sin offerings were wholly burnt outside the camp. Those whose blood was not taken inside the tabernacle had certain parts of the animal burnt on the brazen altar, but the meat of the animal was consumed by the priests. That was because, in this, the priests typified Christ. They became the “sin eaters.” The animal, representing the sin, was consumed by the priests and eliminated. This is seen, for example, in Leviticus 10:16-18.

However, the sin offerings where the blood was taken into the tabernacle included the sin of the priests, therefore, the entire animal was burnt outside the camp. This signified that the priests could not remove their own sin. If they did eat the sacrifice, it would symbolize taking their sin back into themselves. The burning of the animal looked forward to the only possible cleansing for their sin, which is the perfect sinlessness of Jesus Christ. Only He can remove such sin. Israel’s rejection of Christ was the reason for its destruction and exile.

They had rejected their only true means of atonement, and they were thus defiled and excluded from their previous rights and privileges before God. Until the leaders of Israel acknowledge Christ as their only true sin-offering, they cannot be forgiven, as a collective whole, of their national sin. Only those individuals who come to Christ – apart from the collective whole – will receive His forgiveness. This will continue to be explained in the verses ahead.

Life application: Anytime something was taken “outside the camp,” it was for reasons of impurity. People with diseases were kept there, blasphemers were taken there and stoned, those who died were taken there, etc. In the case of the sin offering mentioned above, sin was transferred to the animal. The blood proved the death of the animal which indicated that the transfer had taken place and that a life was forfeit. Then the dead animal’s carcass was taken outside the camp to remove the taint of the sin which had been transferred, thus keeping it from defiling people or implements.

The question for you is, “How will your sin be removed?” People have devised a thousand times ten thousand different religions, trying to develop the perfect way of removing their sin, and all of them have failed. Why? It is because they fail to see that sin already exists in all human beings. Only a sinless human being could be acceptable to take away the sin of man. The sacrificial system of Israel, which looks forward to Jesus Christ, clearly shows the truth of “inherited sin.” Offering a baby for one’s sin doesn’t remove sin. Instead, it only commits another sin. Think on what the Bible is revealing, and come to Christ who alone can remove sin from your stained soul.

Heavenly Father, the book of Hebrews is such a gift! It helps us to understand more clearly the purpose of many Old Testament books, and it shows us how they pointed to Jesus. Thank you for giving us such beautiful insights into what was, what is, and what is coming because of His grand and glorious work! Amen.