Volume. XXXVII, No. 43
Sunday, 23 April 2023

Practical Admonitions for Effectual Christian Living (Part 1)

The book of Hebrews is an important theological book that revolves around themes such as the New Covenant and the supremacy of Christ as our great High Priest. As we approach the end of the book of Hebrews, there are 6 distinct aspects of Christian duty that may be derived from the last chapter, Hebrews 13:1-12 concerning Christian sacred duties, as follows:


1. Be Caring (v1-3)


In calling the first century believers to ‘let brotherly love continue’, the author presupposes that there is already brotherly love existing within the church. We are told to ‘be not forgetful’ – or in other words, to not neglect or cease from – the practice of philoxenia (Greek for the love of strangers, or hospitality; stems from the root words phileo/love and xenos/stranger).


It is interesting to note that in the first century there were not many places such as motels or eateries – almost everyone stayed and ate at home and managed their own affairs. Therefore, when people travelled to foreign lands, they invariably had to search for relatives of friends with whom they could put up for the duration of their stay. This was what the first-century Christians were encouraged to do: to open their homes to the brethren and be hospitable to them that are of the same household of faith in Christ.


Similarly, in today’s context, do we care enough to go out of our way to do good to those of the household of faith, even at the expense of our own convenience? There are always people around us who need practical assistance and concern and mental and spiritual counsel or encouragement, who have real needs that need to be met like the elderly, the widows and the sick. We are therefore to strive to be more altruistic, to care not just for ourselves but for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of others as well (Philippians 2:4). A few concerns that come to mind include:

  • Helping and encouraging those who are suffering, and remembering them in prayer.
  • Being burdened for the spiritual health of our loved ones and brethren in Christ and asking after those whom we have not seen in church for some time.
  • Sharing the gospel and testifying of God’s goodness with both believers and non-believers.


2. Be Chaste (v4)


We live in a sinful world of immorality and gross moral compromise with the world’s fast changing views on LGBT, abortion, cloning, euthanasia, transgenderism, and many other issues. The young and old are open to engage in premarital and extramarital sex and see nothing wrong with it. It is not easy to strive to be the person God wants us to be. Nothing can be a replacement for a set apart heart truly devoted to living a sanctified life that pleases and glorifies God. As Christians, we are called to fight against our depravity and the temptation to sin and to be holy or separated or set apart from the corruptions of this world.

Just like in our day and age, marriage was being taken more lightly than it has perhaps ever been. Marital separation and divorce have become increasingly rampant not just among nonbelievers but within the Christian community as well. A pertinent question to ponder about therefore is whether your marriage is honourable in the sight of the Lord. Is it being faithfully upkept and managed for God’s glory? We are to be faithfully devoted to our spouses, to love and cherish them for life, and to keep ourselves chaste for them. When a marriage is not honourable, it will be hard for the couple to reach out and be a good testimony to others and the children in the family. We must understand that children do what they see, not what you say. It is essential for couples to establish principles and practices within their relationship that serve to build up and not tear down the marital bond.


Many times, we find more dysfunctional families and members of such families tend to become more vulnerable to spiritual and moral attacks from the devil. Our covenant homes are meant to be a refuge for us from the troubles and evils of the world, where there is genuine love and concern one for another. We need to preserve and protect the Christian marriage and the covenant homes today.


3. Be Content (v5)


In an intensely economically driven society like Singapore, we are under constant pressure to do well materially and to almost focus on the building of our net worth and tangible assets and material possessions. The Bible, however, warns that ‘a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth’ (Luke 12:15). We must therefore beware of what happened to Achan and Gehazi and also Lot and his wife, who craved more despite his present wealth, and in the process the life of his wife was taken away. While there is definitely a need to provide for our family (1 Tim 5:8), it is also essential to understand that material gratification is never an adequate substitute for parental devotion and love to a child. Covetousness or the love of money is the root of all evil. The collapse of the FTX exchange recently is a good example of covetousness and misplaced trust in temporal worldly things (i.e. NFTs) rather than in the kingdom of God


The later part of verse 5 reveals to us the Christian’s basis for contentment: Christ. Because we have Christ, we need not want anything else (Psalm 23:1). Are you content if you have Christ but have not money, friends, or even your life? In this respect we have much to learn from missionaries past and present, who have given their lives to work in dangerous fields – and in so doing, build up for themselves treasures in heaven. The Philippian church during Paul’s time also set us a good example by honouring God through their offerings despite being needy themselves (Phil 4:15-19).



To be continued...

By Rev Jack Sin

(reproduced with permission from Sovereign Hope BPC Weekly Bulletin 27 Nov 2022)

More Lively Hope



  • Senior Fellowship Lunch: 29th Apr (Sat),
    @ 11:45am, Charlie's Diner (466 Brighton Rd). Please RSVP to Dn Boong by Wed, 26th
  • Mother’s Day Lunch (hosted by Ladies Fellowship): 13th May (Sat) @ 12pm,
    Sui Restaurant, $15 per pax. Ladies are encouraged to join. 
  • Catered Fellowship Lunch next Sunday.
  • Sanctuary Clean-up today: Joy


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Working Bee and helpers yesterday.



  • Missions: Chile and Siem Reap.
  • Healing: all who are unwell.
  • Health in pregnancy.
  • New pastor for our church.



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