Verses 1-6 Continue in Brotherly Love
v1, Brotherly love, a compound word from two roots
(1) philia - friendship, common interests, and
(2) adelphos, - a brother from the same womb (delphus), that is, one who is of the immediate family. It is the love that should exist between all who have been born from above into God's family.
God commands us to love all His children with an unceasing love.
v2, To strangers -- show hospitality.
v3, To those imprisoned for their Christian testimony -- show empathy. To those suffering adversity -- be considerate. As long as we are in the body, we could come into a similar situation.
v4, To your marriage partner -- moral faithfulness and honor; The marriage state is honorable and the marriage morally pure, But God will judge all moral evil and marital unfaithfulness.
v5, Desire for money or possessions -- No! Be content with what we have. God's faithful promise (Gen 28:15; Deut 31:6,8; Josh 1:5; 1 Chron 28:20).
v6, Our response: quotations from Psalm 56:11; 27:1; 118:6.
Verses 7-9 Continue in the Truth
v7, Remember those who were your guides in the past:
The source of their teaching - the Word of God,
Their conduct - consider the results,
Their faith - godly pattern to imitate.
v8, The glorious Object of their faith - Jesus Christ, the eternally consistent Man who is now upon the throne.
v9, A warning about being influenced by various kinds of strange teaching. Exhortation to be established in "grace", the new covenant in Christ, rather than foods -Foods stand for ceremonial law with limited blessings. "Let Philadelphia continue" (Rev 3:8). - An open door for the gospel, "A little strength ... Kept My Word ... Hast not denied My name." Do not deteriorate to Laodicea - lukewarm, rich, needing nothing.
Verses 10-19 Our Privileges and Responsibilities Under The New Covenant.
v10, Levitical priests have no right to eat at our heavenly altar - Christ.
v11, An O.T. figure: When the blood of the sin offering was brought into the sanctuary, the body was burned without the camp.
v12, The N.T. fulfillment: To sanctify the people with His own blood, Jesus suffered without the gate Uerusalem).
v13, A consequent divine command - "Therefore"
What? "Let us go forth unto Him" (imperative mood - a command).
Where? "Outside the camp" - (1) of Judaism, (2) of the religious world. How? "Bearing His reproach" - He was rejected and cast out.
v14, Why? We look for an eternal city - the Heavenly Jerusalem.
v15, Through Him therefore let us exercise our heavenly priesthood.
(1) A sacrifice of continual praise to God.
(2) The fruit of our lips - audible worship.
(3) Confessing His name. Our basis of approach to God. Our appreciation for all that He is and has accomplished. Our gathering Center.
v16, Other sacrifices that please God. Doing good to others. Sharing with others in financial need.
v17, Obey and submit to assembly leaders - not blind subjection, but submissive to their teaching of God's Word. Four Reasons:
(1) They watch for your souls - our spiritual welfare.
(2) They must give account at the Judgment Seat of Christ for all the believers under their care (1 Pet 5:1-4).
(3) We should bring them joy and not grief.
(4) We will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ if we grieve them by unscriptural behavior.
v18, Prayer requested by the writer: For his own spiritual preservation.
v19, That he might be able to visit them sooner.
Verses 20-21 Doxology
To the God of peace - He has brought everlasting peace to us.
He brought out from among the dead, the Firstfruits, (1 Cor 15:20-23).
Our Lord Jesus Christ - His full title and name (Acts 2:36). "Through the blood of the everlasting covenant" In contrast to the old covenant that was temporary.
"That Great Shepherd of the sheep"
He is the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep (John 10).
He is the Chief Shepherd who will reward the faithful under shepherds with unfading crowns (stephanos) of Glory.
He is the Great Shepherd as risen and glorified (Heb 13; 2:5).
Through Him, God fits us for every good work Enables us to do His will Works in us that which is well pleasing in His sight All the glory will be eternally His.
Verses 22-25 Closing Statements
v22, A plea to believers to accept and not reject the exhortations.
v23, News of Timothy's release from prison and his expected visit to them along with the writer.
v24, The Closing salutation: to assembly leaders, to all saint, from the saints in Italy, from the writer.
v25, The closing benediction.