Hebrews 13:15 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.
16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
In verse 15 those who are truly saved are encouraged by God to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually. Those who are saved do not praise God just when they feel good. Those who are truly saved always have many things to praise God for. The flesh wants to get into a pity party, but the spirit knows that is sin and desires to praise God. The true child of God needs to learn to walk in the spirit consistently and not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
The words that come out of our mouths need to be honouring to God. The songs that we sing need to be pleasing to Him. The attitude we have toward God and others needs to be honouring to Him. This is certainly not true of most of religion today. Most of religion is very “me centred”. However, true faith is God-centred.
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
God shows us by these practical examples that the true child of God cannot praise God and curse God. The true child of God has been changed by God and he or she has much to praise God for.
In verse 16 we see again the imperative of meeting together in a true local church. It is impossible to do good and to communicate through Zoom or any live-streaming method. It is interesting to note that the P.M. chose to waste tax-payer dollars to fly to Europe with his entourage rather than meet over the phone or any other virtual manner. His presence oversees was absolutely unnecessary. He accomplished nothing of value. His speeches were a show of hypocrisy. We have a P.M. that is not respected at home nor abroad. However, he “needed” to be present at various places and yet others have been told to avoid personal contacts for 2 years now.
Those who are saved need to pray for the salvation of that man. We need to pray that some God-fearing man might have access to this man and help him to see his need to repent while he still has opportunity. He does not believe in God at this time, but he will meet the true God one day. He certainly is not ready at this time.
We see in verse 16 that God is well pleased with His children when they take a genuine interest in one another and seek to help one another where there is a real need. We see that in the church at Jerusalem in Acts 4. We are not commanded to sell everything and give the proceeds to the local church for distribution. We are told to care for one another in practical ways.
In verse 17 we are again reminded of the importance of honouring those that God has placed over us to guide us in the right way. We see also that this is not a blind obedience. This is not a reference to men like Jim Jones or Taze Russel or Joseph Smith, or any other cult leader. Obedience is defined and confined to those who are worthy of obedience.
A godly pastor cares about the souls of the people that God sends his way. He wants them to know God’s peace and blessing. As he studies and preaches God’s Word, he is led by the Holy Spirit of God to preach the whole counsel of God. He cannot be a politician who only says what the people want to hear. He needs to heed the exhortation of the apostle Paul in II Timothy 4 and preach the Word in season and out of season. God’s Word is needful for all. Many choose to stay away from God’s Word and that is their loss. Those who faithfully attend a true church will be blessed by the truth. The wise person not only attends a good church, but also responds favourably to what God says.
The true man of God does not take his calling lightly. He knows he will need to give an account of what he teaches those that God brings across his path.
We noted from Proverbs 24 that God holds people accountable for withholding that which is needful for others. Pastors cannot avoid any doctrine just because people do not want to hear it. There are many Bible doctrines that are not popular today. They are still very needful. The blessing is in listening to the truth and obeying the truth. The primary key here is the importance of Biblical salvation. Get saved and then follow God’s leading into a good church and be faithful there. Get baptized Scripturally and get involved in serving in the church as God would have you to. As we have noted many times in the past, God has good things in store for His children. Don’t rob yourself of God’s blessings by following after that which makes you feel good. Follow after that which is right and good.