The Third Thing

Hebrews 13:12‑16
Two Christians were speaking together about their privileges and responsibilities, when one of them said, "I think the first thing for a Christian is to do all the good he can.”
“I do not," replied the other, "for God's Word shows that to be the third thing.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, turn to Heb. 13:12-1612Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 15By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:12‑16), and you will see, 'Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.'”
Here we learn that Jesus suffered without the gate, that is, outside the Jewish order of things. These things were defiled and coming into judgment, and He would sanctify (or set apart) the people with His own blood. Then these three exhortations for the Christian follow and the order in which they are presented is most important. You will find that doing good comes third.
First: "Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." That is, get into the right company, in a right position. Christ is outside the Jewish order of things often revived in Christendom under other names. The Christian is first of all to be found in His company. He is not exhorted to go forth without the camp and then unto Him, but unto Him without the camp. His Person is the attraction. He suffered outside and He takes His place outside. He would have us with Him. Will not every heart that is true to Him desire to be found there? That is where His presence is known and enjoyed. Could we be in better company? May each of us be found there.
Second: "By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." This is sure to be the spontaneous result if the soul is in communion with Him. Get into His company, and the joy of His presence, and the glories of His Person revealed to the soul by the Holy Spirit will surely cause the heart to overflow in worship, praise, and thanksgiving. The lips will be found expressing the heart's joy in the ear of God. One continual stream of praise will ascend to God by Him. In the company of Christ, in a right position and with the soul in communion with God, what is due to Him will be before us before we think of man.
Third: "But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." The activity of the love of God in the Christian toward his fellow-men comes third and last. To do good etc., is perfectly right, but the glory of Christ stands first, and the worship of God stands before service toward men. The order is most instructive.
How are we to do good? By expressing Christ morally in our ways. Jesus went about doing good. If we are walking in the power of the Spirit who dwells in us, goodness will manifest itself in innumerable ways in ministering for Him both to the souls and bodies of those around us. The heart will be happy and confident in God as to temporal resources. Liberality will characterize us in communicating of our substance for the benefit of others. Selfishness will depart with self being displaced by Christ. The divine order, then, is to go forth to Christ first, to praise God by Him second, to do good for Him (in His name) third. Fellow-Christian, do you follow this order? Young Christian