JohnSWilson3 Blog

“Let love of the brethren continue…”
August 5, 2012, 2:22 pm
Filed under: Q - Letter to Hebrews

“Let love of the brethren continue…”

At the conclusion of chapter 12 the author to Hebrews makes a climactic statement about the brothers and sisters. They “have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God” and because we have been graced with having “come to God” by faith in Christ Jesus our Lord, we can hear Him not in fear but in love. If we have been given “such a great salvation” then we must “see to it that (we) do not refuse him who speaks” to us by His life in us. The author now brings the entire letter back to his beginning thought. “In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven…We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Later the author said that in order for what we hear by “his voice” to have “value” it must be combined “with faith.” The whole object, the entire purpose of God from the beginning was to have an expression, a manifestation of His Son in His creation, to bring “many sons to glory!” Because we are so apt to drift, to fall back to religion, instead of fixing our eyes on Jesus, we are called to live by His life together. Jesus is “the author and perfecter of our faith.” Only by Him will He have His heart’s desire.

Chapter 13 are the results, the expression of Christ in His ekklesia as they hear Him and live by His life by faith – “Let love of the brethren continue.” Being in Christ causes a different way of living. It is counter-cultural, it is other. It is selfless and sacrificial. We find this in type by many selfless acts in society, most especially in our Lord. This is nothing new to the local ekklesias that have been previously written to in the New Testament writings. Christ’s life can never be contained. His life always gives, even to the death for all. But this life is a mutually life giving Spirit, and as a result the ekklesia giving and receiving of His life is strengthened and encouraged. This life is not all about talk, far from it, it is about expressing His life in practical ways towards one another. The Pharisees were guilty of all talk, they knew the Scriptures, but they did not follow even the milk of the oracles of God. May we never just talk about what we hear from Christ, the milk, but live by His life of faith in love, the meat. Today we have a lot of talking through various social media, even in our face-to-face interactions it can be a lot of talk about Christ, but this is only the milk. It is necessary in season, but it does not bring about the fullness of Christ, whose life is love. As Paul succinctly said “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Christ’s last words to His disciples shows what the expression of His life in the disciples would look like: “love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus said this repeatedly in his final hours with His disciples. He continues to repeat those words to His ekklesia today. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” This cuts against the grain of our flesh. When we choose to follow what He says, to love someone else instead of ourselves, there will be a “removing of what can be shaken – that is created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” The only thing that has substance, the only thing that is in truth reality in the mind of God, the only thing that truly remains is a Person, Christ’s life, and His life is love.

The Spirit speaking through the author of Hebrews is bringing the ekklesia back to this last supper with the disciples. In this statement “Let love of the brethren continue” the Spirit is returning the ekklesia back to Jesus’ last words. Interestingly, the word “continue” comes from the root word for “abide” or “remain.” A retranslation of these two Greek words of Chapter 13 verse one could be: “Let love of the brethren abide.” Jesus said “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” The way the author of Hebrews writes these words is of course the problem that this ekklesia has been dealing with: drifting away, falling back to religion because of their difficult circumstances. Our modern Christianity is the result of having drifted and fallen back to religion. Human traditions have replaced the mutual sharing of love, the actual participating in the life of Christ in and to and through one another. We have made love for one another into a travesty. The hour of the day is to return to loving one another by faith, not based on what we know or don’t know or what opinions one holds as compared to another or anything else that would divide us, but solely on the basis of the unselfish love of Christ. Brothers and sisters we must come back to fixing our eyes on Jesus, hearing Him who lives in us and loving one another by faith, no matter the cost. How would Christ in you love another right now, today? We have too many securities, too many people trying to protect us from ourselves, from our flesh, so that we have been imprisoned in a world that has no resemblance of the life of Christ. Do you not know that the flesh was crucified once for all? It is a reality to be lived out. Read the letter to the Hebrews, it is milk, just like all of the letters, but it is milk to open our eyes to the reality of who we are in Christ, a new paradigm. The old has gone the new has come. Now before us is the meat, to live by His life. Will we abide in our selfish love or abide in His unselfish love? If Christ is in each of us and He is our life, then to abide in His love is to find its fullest expression in loving one another. “Let love of the brethren abide.”


7 Comments so far
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I really liked and agreed with what you said here.

Comment by Dennis Swint

Dennis, I appreciate you commenting brother, blessings, 🙂

Comment by John Wilson

Good word John! Something I have come to recognize is that in and of self “I don’t know how to love, but since HE is ALL Power within, HE can “produce/manifest” His life of LOVE coming in the midst of relationships with His Fruit, the greatest being LOVE….and that is being “built up by Him”, His glory in us……I keep going back to that verse in John 2:24-26 Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, (die off) it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Comment by Lynn Wenzel

amen Lynn, that quote from John 2 is connected with the end of Chapter 10 from Hebrews. Yep definitely agree! Thanks for commenting sister, 🙂

Comment by John Wilson

John, this is perhaps one of the best blog post I have read in a long time. Thank you for the strong encouraging words. I have long loved the book of 1st John, it echoes much of these same sentiments. May Christ continue to bless and use you. John Morris.

Comment by john morris

Thanks John for the comments brother. Amazing how the God brings us back to the gospels as we see His life described in His body in the letters. It really is all about love, 🙂

Comment by John Wilson

Wonderful words brother. The last few weeks I keep coming back to ” abide in me and I in you”. What a place of rest He is.

Comment by rory

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