Faithlife Sermons

Acceptable Worship: Marriage & Money (Heb 13:4-6)

Hebrews: Jesus is Better  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:56
0 ratings
· 8 views

As new covenant citizens of a heavenly kingdom through faith in Jesus, we can offer acceptable worship to God in our daily living. Purity in marriage and contentment with God's provision are two counter-cultural, critical areas for the Church to be different from the world and live pleasing to God.

Files
Notes & Transcripts | Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Our focus today is the contrasted everyday walk of those who live in light of Christ’s eternal kingdom… Because of who Jesus is and what he has done, and because we are alive in Him… we are being transformed.
Again, because of what Christ has accomplished and who he is to His people, by faith in him we are transformed into spiritual beings who are able to live lives pleasing to God, to offer acceptable worship in our everyday living.
Today in our study we come to two REALLY common issues where the church of Jesus has to be VERY different from the world around us. - these everyday, everywhere issues involve marriage and money, purity and contentment.
God has a beautiful design and plan, one that is for our highest good and greatest joy, but we often let the flesh win. And by doing that, we’re trading trinkets for treasure, exchanging cotton candy for the wedding feast.
I want you come with me through this text realizing that just as your Lord is so much better, so also His way so much better. I want you to leave feeling convicted and repentant, but also comforted and rejuvenated. My prayer is for God’s word to do that in you today. Now let’s get in the ring with God’s truth.
Hebrews 12:28-13:6
Hebrews 12:28–13:6 ESV
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
PRAY
(As they follow the previous verses, I think of this section in vv. 4-6 as…)

“Love” Out of Bounds (vv. 4-6)

Or Love Gone Wrong
[Context] - this section in Hebrews; these verses following the first 3...
Hebrews 13:4–5 ESV
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews
[Content]
- highly value = marriage [and more specifically]
- marriage bed = undefiled (pure) - (‘marriage bed’ is unquestionably a euphamism for sexual intercourse within marriage)
- (followed by a motivation) for God will judge
- [the next section does something similar, but instead of chiasmus (crisscross) it does parallel negative/positive]
- NOT loving money (free from greed) = your conduct —> BTW, here’s another “tie” as to how this is tainted “love” - philadelphia (brotherly love v. 1), philoxenia (hospitality/love to strangers), and now philargyria (loving money) - but stated with alpha privative, meaning a negation or absence of… [and also stated positively as]
- Be content = with where you are (position and possessions)
- (followed by a motivator) for he himself has said (that’s he’s with us and for us)
So understanding that context and content of the passage, here are reminders for us that help us keep our theology straight as we approach God telling us what we ought not to do and what we should do:
God’s boundaries are for your own good.
& safety
God does not aim to keep you from pleasure but to graciously offer you something better.
Do you understand that God’s commands are for your good? Then behave according to what you claim to believe.
Do you understand that God’s promises are better and sure? Then live according to what you claim to believe.
Alright, as we continue… I intend to be careful in my speech (and make an effort to honor you parents with young kids, and even the act of marriage) without shying away from the truth of the text and the application we need to make.
So we’re reminded that there is sanctioned physical intimacy (within the bounds of God’s ordained marriage of one man and one woman) and there is unsanctioned, illicit sexual activity that harms us bc it is out of bounds.
And God intends that money, possessions, and position be used as simple tools to honor him and love others, but there’s a very real danger of us loving and pursuing money and status as an end themselves - way out of the guidelines for which God tells us that he has a better way.
Remember, God has a better design.
(With that in mind, our next emphasis then is that...)

God says we can’t dishonor marriage and expect to enjoy its pleasures. (4a&b)

How do we honor marriage?
- unspiritual twisting in two ways: looking down on marriage as if celibate asceticism is a higher and more spiritual aim (but it’s not); and behaving like keeping yourself for the act of marriage with a single person is stifling, unhealthy, and unnecessary. (while it is actually meant to be freeing, healthy, and beneficial)
- The second problem must be the one in view since the greater specificity of the sentence points to a clean marriage bed and then to God judging all sexual immorality outside of marriage and also particularly adultery (unfaithfulness to the spouse to which you have covenanted yourself in marriage)
So the opportunity to honor marriage comes here for both those within marriages and those who are presently without.
Do you think of your physical intimacy with your spouse as an act of worship? (If we don’t, when we don’t… we are letting the lies of this world (subject to the Father of lies, the Devil) drown out the beauty and design of God’s better way.)
The problem of short-sighted self-gratification
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter to the Hebrews A. True Service to God Involves Serving His People, 13:1–6

sexual immorality is an expression of selfishness and involves setting personal gratification above responsibility to God and the Christian community

(O’Brien from Lane)
True joy and lasting fulfillment are found within the bounds of God’s perfect commands and bound by His covenant promises.
Married love in bounds - Keeping the marriage bed pure is NOT meant to keep us from really enjoying mutually selfless physical, spiritual, and emotional intimacy
Married love in bounds - Keeping the marriage bed pure is NOT meant to keep us from really enjoying mutually selfless physical, spiritual, and emotional intimacy
[repeat topic] But we humans behave like we’re doing it all the time.
The truth is, it takes a LOT of self-control to remain pure of sexual immorality OUTSIDE the bonds of marriage.
Don’t be deceived. Instead, realize that God has a better design. - And the next warning should rightly sting too and make us pay attention:
Nobody… listen, no-body… gets away with secret sin.

God always sees and always judges justly. (4c)

Nothing is hidden from his sight.
Hebrews 4:13
Hebrews 4:13 NIV
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
He will bring it to light and make it right. Sometimes soon, sometimes later… but it is certain.
He will bring it to light and make it right. Sometimes soon, sometimes later… but it is certain. We think we’re getting away with it, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s hurting us now and we’re gonna face the music later when we stand before the just judge.
What’s more, you can’t pretend like one secret sin doesn’t affect all of your spiritual life.
True joy and lasting fulfillment are found within the bounds of God’s perfect commands and are bound by His covenant promises.
And when we ignore what God says, you callous your conscience… you put plugs in the ears of your heart, stifling the pleas and prompting of the Spirit.
[Review and Repeat] God has a better design.

God says we can’t love money and claim we trust Him. (5a&b)

The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter to the Hebrews A. True Service to God Involves Serving His People, 13:1–6

The love of money and trust in God are mutually exclusive.

1 Timothy 6:10 ESV
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Matthew 6:24 ESV
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
And being to career-driven and wealth-motivated is not a harmless error in your life. Being overly worried about how to meet basic needs isn’t a harmless error in your life:
1 Timothy 6:10 ESV
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Contentment literally has both nothing and everything to do with what you HAVE.
Contentment literally has both nothing and everything to do with what you HAVE.
Contentment has NOTHING to do with worldly possession but EVERYTHING to do with heavenly possession.

True joy and lasting fulfillment are found within the bounds of God’s perfect commands and bound by His covenant promises.

Hebrews 10:32–34 ESV
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
All that you have is enough if all that you have is his. (Todd Wagner… something like that)
:10
1 Timothy 6:10 ESV
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
We can trust that God’s design is better because He does what he says because that’s who He is… AND…

God never ceases to be a present help to His people. (5c-6)

True joy and lasting fulfillment are found within the bounds of God’s perfect commands and bound by His covenant promises.
“I will be with you.”
Hebrews 10:34b ESV
For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
Heb
All that you have is enough if all that you have is his. (Todd Wagner… something like that)
Our confidence is most definitely NOT in our effort and ability to “keep from sinning” and “do the right thing.” But our confidence is in who we are because of whose we are. Therefore,
Hebrews 13:6 ESV
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
True joy and lasting fulfillment are found within the bounds of God’s perfect commands and are bound by His covenant promises.

The Right Response

The right response is to confess and confess… to confess sin for what it is and to confess God for who he is.
The right response is to confess and confess… to confess sin for what it is and to confess God for who he is.
Hebrews 13:6 ESV
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
What’s more, when you ignore what God says, you callous your conscience… you put plugs in the ears of your heart, stifling the pleas and prompting of the Spirit.
The right response is to confess and confess… to confess sin for what it is and to confess God for who he is.
I repent, God.
Hebrews 13:6 ESV
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
- Bring it to light NOW, and in the context and care of God’s people, so that it doesn’t eat you alive now and destroy you later.
I trust you, God.
- (isn’t it astonishing that) The most dangerous place to be (consuming fire God) is also the safest place to be? God’s presence. (all that the father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes I’ll certainly not cast out ) AND (fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God… BUT through Christ God welcomes us into his presence, welcomes our confession and repentance to restore us to fellowship)
I trust you, God.
Hebrews 13:6 ESV
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
However, with that said, here’s the balance: We are also accountable to God to abide in Jesus and walk in obedience. So...
- Don’t just stand there. Take evasive action!
- Don’t just stand there. Take evasive action!
- And pro-actively pursue purity and generosity. (v. 16)
[Conclusion] God’s design is better. His design... for sex within marriage and money or influence used as tools for his glory... is better.
God has a better design.
But when we choose to believe Satan’s lies that God isn’t good and isn’t out for our highest good (like happened in Eden), we abuse sex and money out of the bounds of God’s design. Lives are destroyed, and Christians live defeated.
But here is the reinforced reminder from the Bible:
- God is faithful and forgiveness is available. (We can repent and be restored.)
- Christ is enough, and therefore power for change is available. (We can abide in Him and take another step.)
So if we will keep running from sin and repenting when we fall, if we will keep close to Jesus and follow his lead, growth is not only possible… it is inevitable.
Let’s Pray
[Song]
Communion - confess and be restored to God
1 Corinthians 11:27–32 ESV
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
Related Media
Related Sermons