Hebrews 13:1-6

Next follow exhortations of a practical kind for holy brethren of a heavenly calling on the earth. And first the word is, “Let brotherly affection abide” (Heb. 13:11Let brotherly love continue. (Hebrews 13:1)). This is very needful in the long run; and the epistle was among not the early but the later ones. It was easy enough in the glow of first love, and was strengthened instead of checked by prevalent persecutions for the sake of the faith. But when these trials do not so much press, the very nearness of the saints to each other, as God's family here below, exposes them to danger. For the less grace souls have personally for daily difficulties, the more they expect from others, and the harsher the judgments they hastily form. In the world there is distance kept up by mutual consent, and reserve is cultivated as to the affairs of one another, without which things could scarcely go on decently for any space; but the closeness of spiritual relationship, where it is loyally felt and in lively exercise, as it was and ought ever to he, soon brings to light self-will and the world at work, unless there be a walking according to the light into which we are brought in Christ. God is love; and he that abides in love abides in God, and God in him. When this fails in the practice of the saint, brotherly affection will ere long give way, and hasty speech engender variance, or suspicion cloud the light of love. In Hebrews 6:1010For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (Hebrews 6:10) the love they have shown to His name was recorded, in having ministered and still ministering to the saints. In Hebrews 10:3434For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. (Hebrews 10:34) we see how it wrought in deep trials and afflictions. Here the word is for the continuance of brotherly affection. There is much to try such love.
The verses that immediately follow give the direction that was more particularly needed. “Forget not hospitality; for by it some unawares entertained angels. Remember the prisoners, as bound with [them], the ill-treated, as being yourselves also in a body” (Heb. 13:2-32Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. (Hebrews 13:2‑3)). To entertain strangers is a happy form of exercising brotherly kindness. Yet is it especially liable to be imposed on, were it not that the Lord's over-ruling eye is over all, and He permits nothing that does not work for good to those that love God. The danger for the believer is that he should be vexed at advantage taken, and lest he should slacken in consequence. But if men abuse kindness thus, the Lord accepts the good and forgets it not. The encouragement assigned is that some, as Abraham and Lot of old, entertained angels unawares. To receive God's children now is assuredly no less honor in His eyes. Another mode of brotherly kindness is in active remembrance of those who, as early Christians, had to bear the stigma of public bonds or prison. If we failed to realize the uncomeliness of holding aloof from brethren thus put to shame, the affecting reference of the apostle to Onesiphorus in his own case at Rome, which we find in 2 Tim. 1 and with less detail elsewhere, may give a just sense of its sweet seasonableness and value before the Lord. Then again how many are the “ill-treated” though not in a prison! Let us not forget such, as being ourselves also in a body.1 Compare Heb. 10:32-3432But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. 34For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. (Hebrews 10:32‑34).
A new topic comes before us in Heb. 13:33Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. (Hebrews 13:3) “[Let] marriage [be] honorable in all things and the bed [be] undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Here the Jewish Christian is called to stand the more on his guard, as the law allowed a latitude which the Lord showed to be far from God's mind. The A. V. is faulty in two respects. It is not a mere affirmative sentence stamping the relationship with dignity, but an exhortation in the imperative calling us to carry it on worthily, and to guard it from all taint of unchastity or impureness. And we are bid to set it in honor, not in this respect or in that, but “in all things.” Thus it is in no way a certificate of respectability which all people possess because they are in wedlock, but a solemn charge to married saints that their use of the relationship be thus pleasing to the Lord in every detail. To say it is honorable “in all men” overlooks, if it does not destroy, the force of the scripture for the Christian's conscience. And this is the more evident as we hear next that God will judge every violation of its sanctity whether in neglect or in misuse.
Then comes the call, “Let your course of life be free of avarice, contented with things present. For He hath said, I will in no wise leave thee, no, nor at all forsake thee; so that we say confidently, Jehovah [is] my helper, [and] I will not fear: what shall man do to me” (Heb. 13:5-65Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Hebrews 13:5‑6))? Avarice, sordid and unworthy of moral men, is peculiarly beneath those called to follow Christ in faith and love, with their eyes opened to their better and enduring substance where Christ is. Discontent with things is natural to unbelievers. It is good and due that we confide in His word to one, which is no less meant for all His own. The vulgar text falls far below the impressive promise and challenge the O.T. furnished: and God as a Father only gives it more force.