World English Bible translation
13:1Let brotherly love continue. 13:2 Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it. 13:3 Remember those who are in bonds, as bound with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you are also in the body. 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: but God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.
13:5Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, "I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you." 13:6 So that with good courage we say,
"The Lord is my helper. I will not fear.
What can man do to me?"
The new covenant that is brought to us through Jesus Christ is all the work of God, from first to last. While we were His enemies, God sent His Son as a sacrifice to reconcile us to Himself. Even though He was rejected by men, Jesus was willing to lay down His life so that we might be saved. Even after coming to Christ by faith, it is the work of the Spirit of God to keep us in the faith. God initiates our salvation, does all the work to complete it and then maintains us by His own will. Our first and foremost obligation is to respond to God by faith in this work.
But, we have another obligation as well. This is an obligation imposed on us by the Father. This obligation is to our fellow man. Because God is the kind of person that reaches out to mankind, He asks that His children be the kind of people that reach out to others as well. So, in every letter and gospel of the New Testament, alongside of our duties to God are listed our duties and obligations to our fellowman.
Now our obligations to men are first and foremost obligations to those who share the household of faith with us. Our brothers and sisters in Christ deserve our first consideration. But, our obligations to mankind do not end with other Christians. Just as God reached out to us even when we were His enemies, God calls us to love our enemies. He asks us to lay down our lives even for those who we donít know.
God asks us first to love each other. Brotherly love, philio love, is the love that people share toward their neighbors and those that we come in contact with every day. We must love the creation because we have come to love the Creator. We are to be hospitable. By showing hospitality to strangers, we fulfill our obligations to our God and our fellow man. God asks us to remember those that are in jail and those that have been ill-treated. He asks us to honor our marriage commitments.
In these ways we show that we are truly God's children. When we treat each other as God has treated us, we show that He is in our hearts. God changes us, so that we can become more like Him. God is faithful to us, so we must be faithful to our spouses. God cares for the downtrodden, so we must care for those that have been ill-treated. God is loving and hospitable, so He leads His children to be that kind of people as well.
He asks us to be content with who we are and what we have. We must be free from the love of money just as we are free from concern about how others feel about us. Our strength and our security are from the Lord. It does not come from accumulating the wealth of this world. If God is for us, what more can we need? God will give us everything that we require.
From the beginning to the end, we belong to Christ. He has bought us and we are His. We owe our salvation and our future to Him. He binds us with obligations of faith and mercy toward all people.
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