Okay let’s take our Bibles and turn to Hebrews 12 and 13. I’ve been looking at the imperative virtues of the Christian race for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been going through the whole book of Hebrews laying down theology and now we are looking at the practical working out of that theology, which may contain somethings we wouldn’t expect.
If you look at Hebrews 12:28-29, it says:
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
That’s really what sets the groundwork for what is said next. There are two general things in that verse, showing gratitude to our great God for everything because of what He has done on our behalf, as well as being able to genuinely serve God with the right attitude. This attitude pleases Him and offers to God acceptable service. We can come into the presence of God because Christ is our High Priest and Intercessor; He is the One who mediates the covenant for us.
We have access to God and that access to God allows us to bring to God acceptable worship and the foundation for acceptable worship is living your life in the true light of God’s essential character. And Hebrews 12:29 tells us what the essential character of God is.
God through His Spirit and writing through the author concludes theology with this, that out God is a consuming fire and a holy God who remains unchanged under the new covenant. He is the same God of Sinai as He is the God of Mount Zion. He is not a different God from the Old Testament. It’s not true that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath and the God of the New Testament is a God of love.
When we come to worship we must keep in mind that our God is a God of consuming fire and consuming love at the same time. We can’t make Him something later on in life that He is not already. We must worship God and approach Him in reverence and in awe because of who He is and His essential character. And at the same time we believers need to endure because we have to practice our faith every day in this world and in our current circumstances with family and our jobs.
This section of Scripture is talking about our relationships with people. We are to live out our faith with people in mind, not as loners or in a vacuum. Like I sad earlier, sometimes people are not pleasant or gracious or kind. And they are there! And we can avoid them but the Bible says not to do that. We all have to attend to our social duties as Christians. We should be careful not to be slack in our social responsibilities, but instead diligent with our relationships.
These relationships are offerings of sacrifice to God. If we use them in the right ways, we become a well pleasing vessel before Him in our relationships. This becomes really important for believers. It’s not about you, but it’s about us. It’s about other people who come into our lives, because we are the vessel through which the gospel message flows to them.
In these first verses of Hebrews 13, there are imperatives and commands sprinkled throughout which point to the importance of the virtues of relationship while running the Christian race. Today we will take a look at the next two. So far we considered two. And keep in mind that these virtues are the practical outworking of theology.
The first one was in Hebrews 13:1, which talks about the virtue of constant love. We need to let our relationships between each other continue because God loved us and showed us that love very clearly. It’s not easy to do but it is imperative to what a Christian is. This is not a take it or leave it proposition, instead it is an imperative virtue which gives the gathered assembly power and a visible demonstration of the the gospel and of who God is!
He has taken us out of bondage to sin and has brought us under one umbrella which is the crucifixion and mercy of Jesus Christ. He has secured salvation eternally for us and that must be revealed in changed hearts and actions in us.
So is Christianity boring? Absolutely not. It is one of the most exciting types of lives you can ever live because it is always moving! God is always bringing new things into your life. The theology of constant love is simply that Christ demonstrated His love by dying on the cross for ungodly sinners like you and I. We need to turn around and show that love to other people, especially believers.
A second thing we need to do is display the virtue of unusual hospitality which can be found in Hebrews 13:2:
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
The theology here is that Christ came to meet our greatest needs, that of a great High Priest and Mediator to bring us to God. He offered eternal salvation without cost by His grace. God was incredibly hospitable to us when He came into the world to meet us where we were at. We often are not looking for God, but He is looking for us. And when He finds us and gets our attention then the means of grace becomes active in our lives and God begins to draw that person to Himself without that person even knowing it.
The person comes to realize that the only One who can save them is Christ Jesus, and they confess in their heart that God raised Him from the dead and are now made right with God. Ultimately when we do die, we are promised eternal life even though eternity starts with the here and now.
This brings me to my third thing that we cannot forget, which is the virtue of simply sympathy for those in distress or in prison, and is found in Hebrews 13:3, which says:
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.
Now this is quite foreign to us in America. I don’t think any of us have known anybody who has been in prison for their faith. The troubles we go through as believers because of our faith is quite minute in comparison to what people go through all over the world.
And yet the Bible says to remember the prisoners. You may not know or have ever met them, but you are to remember them because this could be an admonition to not forget about the brethren who were taken into custody for their testimony for Christ. It’s like the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” If you don’t see people for very long then you forget about what their problems are and what they are going through. Especially people who are incarcerated for their faith.
He is commanding the church not to forget these people. An example has been all over the news. Pastor Yusef was charged in Iran for apostasy, which is abandoning Isalm. And then he was charged with zionism, both of which carry the sentence of death. He faces execution for his faith in Christ.
We should pray that the Lord’s will be done and maybe God will change the hearts of the Iranian judiciary to reconsider his death sentence. We should also pray that Pastor Yusef will be strong and hold fast to his faith, and ultimately be like Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendigo. God will deliver them if He wants, because He is able to. But if He doesn’t, then so be it because Pastor Yusef does know where he is going.
You know the difference between real Christians and non-Christians in a country like this. There is no one here professing Christ and living like the devil. They realize that if they profess Christ and follow the Lord, they may die for their faith.
As a matter of fact, the Bible warns about that all over the place. We need to hear it more than anybody because we are not confronted with that yet, unless we find ourselves in another part of the world where we have to deal with it. These prisoners are such because of their faith in Christ.
With all of our advancements, knowledge, and politics, we have not advanced in civility. The hatred against Christ and His people are still very much alive. It’s hard to believe that people are being persecuted, even executed, for their faith.
Yet in my reading of the Voice of the Martyrs, there may be more Christians persecuted or dying for their faith in Christ today than we wish to admit in all of church history. But it’s not broadcasted or put out for us to hear. I just read about an article of a Master’s Seminary student in New Delhi, India where he met this Afghani pastor named Obed. This pastor had to flee muslim Afghanistan because of a death sentence against him because of his belief in Christ. Some muslim spies infiltrated his congregation, and pretended to be interested in Jesus.
They took pictures and videos and then put them on public TV. So those people who were confessing Christ and being baptized was made public everywhere. And in a place like Afghanistan, they’re going to come and get you. So Obed was sharing how Christians were tortured, abused, and even sexually abused in prison just last month. Not fifty years ago.
In fact some have paid the ultimate price, like Abdul Latif, who was publicly beheaded earlier this year by four muslim radicals for his faith. That’s found in an article called “Well Founded Fear” in World Magazine in June 16, 2011. I think we have to be reminded so as not to forget that people are actually dying for their faith. That means that our faith is really serious. There is a spiritual battle going on that we had better realize from behind the scenes. Everything can change in an instant.
What we know right now can change immediately, are we ready for that? If we are in a position like that, do we know that the church we left behind will pray for one of us and not forget us? In this passage we are asked to keep in mind as though we were in prison with these people and to put ourselves in their place because we have a common bond with them in Christ. They are part of the body.
We’re to do this so we can be better at suffering with and alongside them. In Corinthians it says if one member suffers, all the members suffer. If we forget them, how can we suffer with them? How can we put ourselves in their place? How can we sit in our comfort in America and think of what they’re really going through? What if it were you or I? What would that then mean?
A second thing we can do is pray for these Christians. By way of example, let’s look at Acts 12, where the church in this passage was engaged in prayer, not forgetting who was in prison, which was Peter. Acts 12:5 says:
So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.
They were praying for him while he was in prison. Then look at Acts 12:11-17:
When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel.” But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to James and the brethren.” Then he left and went to another place.
The church was fervently praying while Peter was in prison and God miraculously released him. Notice how the church was engaged in prayer with him. That of course led to his release.
Another passage of Scripture to help us understand what we can do in these circumstances is found in Matthew 25:35-40:
For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Why do we do that? Because of extending the work of God through our lives to another believer, and this is completing God’s work. In other cases we can help the believer’s family. We can also do something towards obtaining the prisoner’s release. But if we forget, then we don’t think about it and not do anything about it.
We ought not to think like that as a church. We are to identify with these Christians, but also sympathize with those in bondage and those in any way being abused because of their faith. Look at Hebrews 13:3:
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.
If someone is hurting, we can enter in and sympathize! This world is defined as feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. For example, we can say we have sympathy for the victims of the last flood. We can enter into understanding what they went through. It’s a lot of work to repair from a flood.
There’s also the world empathy, which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. These words overlap when used a lot. But according to Hebrews, sympathy is learned by spiritual combat, a struggle. Turn back to Hebrews 10:33:
Partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.
In other words, they entered into the spiritual combat going on behind the scenes. Because someone became a believer, spiritual wickedness is against them. In both cases, the church body became the place of strength and encouragement. In this passage, they became sharers of the conflicts which were not personally their own. They can understand the bodily struggle that someone would go through if they were under the same situation where they were being persecuted. The Greek word sharer there is koinonia, which means fellowship. They became partners, associates, and comrades with those who were suffering.
To those Christians who were not likely even in their own congregation Jews, they were still followers of Christ. Because of their faith in Christ, were reviled, abused, hunted and caught. Yet they willfully practiced koinonia, which is fellowship with the outcast that were downtrodden. They manifested real and vital appreciation for what a person can go through. And this was shared among the body of believers to give proof that the unity in the Church must be maintained by acting together in the power of the Spirit for the sake of someone who needs care.
Paul told the Corinthian church that there shouldn’t be any divisions in the body because you can’t do what you ought to be doing then. But he said that the members may be of the same care for another, but not if there’s division.
When the Lord brings us into or through times of suffering and tribulation and humiliation, we begin to see with the eyes of faith and we learn what we have gained in Christ. What do we gain from Hebrews 10? We learn how to sympathize with others.
They were acting in the Spirit of Christ, their High Priest. God meets the needs of the brethren by acting through the church. But if the church is individualistic, then no one’s needs are going to be met or prayed for. We need to think about other people.
In fact the word sympathize in Hebrews means to be affected as the same feelings that another has, to be touched with the feelings of another person. This word is a sense that the affections are inwardly moved when someone is suffering, even if you don’t know them.
Hebrews already showed us the sympathy of Christ and the sympathy He learned through experience. He was born a man and lived a human life with labor, love, and hard work. He learned about pain, patience, and faith, as well as all other ordinary human experiences. It tells us in Luke that He grew in this experiences. He was tempted and knew the depth of temptation that we would never know. He understood courage and yet Jesus possesses full humanity and human ability which helps Him know what people know and feel.
He is not taken by surprise because of our suffering or is unable to figure out what you’re going through. I hear people say all the time that God doesn’t understand their situation. The reality is that you don’t understand your own situation whereas God does. If you adjust your thinking to God’s program, and maybe you will then understand.
Our thinking is all wrong in this particular area. God knows and feels what people know and feel in a deeper way than anybody else knows. He can do it with a finer insight than any other human being because of the largeness and richness of His personality. It enables Him to go beyond others and take human burdens upon His own heart.
Christ can understand the terrible meaning of human evil like no one else can understand, which is why He has come to sympathize with us. That’s why He did what He did on the cross to demonstrate such a great extent of love. He knew that we would not understand what needed to be done for that to have taken place.
With this insight into our lot, Christ could have a true feeling with us in our imperfections and sinfulness and take care of it as it needed. With the inflow of the love of God in your hearts, you will find the grace to share gladly with the trials and burdens of others, even though it will cost you.
In Hebrews 13:3, it says:
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.
In other words, he is saying that they can do this because God has given them the ability. They also know what it means to suffer because they are humans. If you heighten that to being ripped away from your family and being put in prison, you can also put yourself in that place and realize what they are going through.
Constant love, unusual hospitality, and simple sympathy, let that be true of us as a congregation of believers. This morning, there is another one that I just want to touch and will bring back up next week. This is the deepest sort of relationship we can have here on earth. It is mentioned in Hebrews 13:4, which says:
Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Marriage is a relationship created by God and made sacred by Christ. If you consider marriage today, you will know that human sinfulness has wrecked havoc on it. Divorce is on the rise and even people in the church can be affected by it. The world in which we live in makes its plans and policies without reference to God or His Word.
Even today in the public eye, marriage is remade, reformed, and redefined to such an extent that it is no longer recognizable in reference to the original design and purpose that God intended in the beginning. This is a relationship that ought to be brought back to its original intention in the church. They’ll still see people there who understand God’s purpose for marriage and will see the picture of how Christ loved the church.
The admonition here is that we are to keep the marriage institution in high esteem in the church. As it says in verse 4, marriage is to be held in honor above all. The Greek word for marriage as is used in other places is used to refer to a wedding celebration, banquet, or even garment.
In each usage, there is an emphasis on a special event that takes place between a man and a woman and which includes some kind of public covenant and celebration. In other words, marriage is a public thing for all people to see and participate in when a young man and woman say they want to get married. They make a covenant before God and people.
We as the church are to maintain a correct mindset concerning marriage. The world can easily come into our thinking and twist it. We should not find divorce among those in the church who profess Christ, because God hates it. When we enter into marriage and the gathered assembly of Christ, we help and pray for each other’s marriages.
There are several things that we are to maintain. There are at least three things from this passage of Scripture. The first thing is to maintain the correct mindset concerning marriage.
The Word of God is exhorting the gathered believers to maintain a mindset that is Biblical. Look again at Hebrews 13:4, marriage is to be held in honor. This means that it is costly and very valuable, it is to be respected and in a Biblical light regarding God’s original design.
You can’t go to a ceremony and think that you can just get remarried if it doesn’t work out. That’s why a young man or woman should consider if they can spend the rest of their life with someone they just meet. And they should definitely consider whether the person is a true and honest believer. Would they desire to follow Christ without you there?
A second thing that goes along with that is considering how to keep this institution honorable. The marriage bed is to be undefiled. The author gets right to without mincing words. He says that there could be a misunderstanding within the church about how to view marriage. The Scripture here says to be undefiled, pure, or unsullied.
Back then there was the mindset of asceticism, which did not consider marriage honorable but defiled and filthy. In fact that’s what Peter warns pastors when somebody would impose upon them a particular wrong mindset of marriage where it says in 1 Peter 4:3:
For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.
In other words, for someone to say that it is wrong for a holy and righteous person to get married, that’s totally wrong. See the Catholic church got it wrong, and they have all these problems now. That is the doctrine of demons, which is saying something that God has not said.
We are not to think of marriage as filthy, but something holy that was designed and given to us by God Himself, as a gracious gift. Biblically, there is nothing dishonorable in marriage or in the marriage bed. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-3, Paul says:
Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
If someone is burning in their flesh for sexual things, God’s solution is marriage. That does not mean that God doesn’t call people to celibacy in their lives. Sometimes He gives people the grace to go through life without marriage. But He knows the desires of your heart, and if those are to be married some day then you need to pray for that. And also look for a man or woman who line up with what a good believer is in the Bible.
Remember that marriage is honorable and a good institution that God has made. Even the marriage bed has been designed by God and is a gift to you. Other than thinking you could be wrong.
We come sometimes into marriage with strange views. It could be part of the relationships we had before we came to marriage. If you have been raised by all the media that has destroyed what marriage is, you could come with tons of baggage without realizing it.
How are we the church to keep marriage honorable? We have to never let its honor be defiled by sexual violations. I’m going to expand upon this more next week but I want to give the general outline or background this week by simply looking at the Scripture.
The author here in verse 4 includes two groups who defile and dishonor marriage. The first group is fornicators, which is the Greek word pornos, and we get from this the word pornographic. This means that people are practicing sexual immoralities in advance to marriage, the gift that God puts in front of them. This dishonors marriage because it is being done in advance of the marriage celebration. If you’re going to honor marriage as a believer, you need to start honoring it now and not be associated with any kind of sexual immorality. This includes both homosexual and heterosexual immoralities. It includes every single sexual deviant before you can think of.
As a matter of fact if you go back to Deuteronomy, it lists every single sexually immoral thing you could do, even sex with animals. The Bible doesn’t pull back on the deep wickedness of human hearts to satisfying and gratifying lustful desires. And God has given us a sexual drive which is very powerful. We need’s God’s Spirit to keep it at bay. We need God’s church and their support to make sure young people stay pure without following the cues of the world in regards to marriage. It is a special day and celebration, and it is the most intimate relationship you can have with anybody on this side of eternity and God gave it to us. He designed it!
There’s a second word the author uses here, and it is moicheía, adulterer. This word means defiling behavior that dishonors marriage after marriage has commenced. God says to think as marriage as honorable before and after you get married! This term indicates those who are unfaithful to their marriage vows. These two adjectives cover all who licentiously and freely engage in forbidden practices against those who sets the boundaries and rules for marriage, which is God.
So remember the two things we are to maintain, are a right mindset concerning marriage and right behavior, whether before or after, in marriage. This means that the responsibility of all Christ’s church is to view marriage as honorable and undefiled. We are never to disgrace the institution by sexual unfaithfulness. And you aren not going to here these words anywhere else except for here.
There’s a third thing we need to maintain. We are also to maintain a correct view of God. It says at the end of verse 4 that God will judge fornicators and adulterers. People may think they can have their fun in the moment but someday God will judge them. They will end up dishonoring His great gift. It is serious to God.
Let’s pause here and back up to 1 Corinthians 6:9. We are in a sense all guilty because we may never have engaged in such sinful practices above, but we have thought of and imagined it.
I just read an article that I will probably bring up next week from the Huffington Post. A woman took 200 hundred couples and asked them questions like if they thought of getting out of their marriage. 90% of people said yes. At the end of their survey, she asked them if they would rather stay in their marriage or enter into a new one. 51% said they would rather stay in their marriage for various reasons. And 49% said they would like to have several things going on.
That’s the mindset of the world. This woman interviewed these people across the board and at random. This was the general mindset, which comes from the media, sitcoms, movies, and generally what the world thinks about and desires. But for the believer, we cannot think like that. We are responsible before God in this precious relationship. Even if we never get married like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he still kept it there.
We are constantly getting pulled away in our thinking and imaginations to things that are not Biblical and just fantasies. They are just the lure of Satan to tempt us in this area. Let’s read that verse from 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 now:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
This passage is the grace of God. And we may not be all of the above, but we are definitely some of them. And for some of us, we are all those things whether in practice or thinking. Well look at the next verse:
Such were some of you.
When we think about who we are in the context of being a Christian I pray that we think in regards to the way we used to be and do, but not anymore. I pray that when we are tempted to think like that, we run to Christ and confess and ask for forgiveness. The prayer against temptation should be daily, just as we pray daily for our food. We are getting knocked from pillar to post with sexual temptation everywhere we go.
Look again at 1 Corinthians 6:11:
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Amen, right?! That’s salvation! That’s what God has done for us, cleansed us of it all. Even now when we are tempted and come to the cross, we know the cleansing, powerful, efficacious blood of Christ that is real every day of our lives. And so we are to keep this marriage institution honorable. People are to see how high marriage is kept when looking at all the people in the church.
Then when we come together next time, we will look at maintaining a correct conduct that is pleasing to God in regards to marriage and sexual relationships. Next week I’m going to get into some more of the details. If you quickly turn to 1 Thessalonians 3:3, 13, it says:
So that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. So that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
In other words from this passage and the ones that come after, the Apostle Paul understands the allure of sexual sin. His epistle provides a unique perspective to the formerly idolatrous Corinthians that is too often neglected in a sexually intoxicated culture in which we live. The great threat for the pursuer of sexual sin is not found in the object of desire but rather in the throne room of Heaven. Do they love God or their sin more? Then look at 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8:
Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
I’m going to look at that passage of Scripture next time we meet. But I just wanted to put before you that practical theology has to do with relationships, at least it does here in Hebrews. It is important how we view marriage, understand it, practice it, and how we keep it honorable before God. I don’t see things getting better in the world ore in the church for that matter. Once we are armed with this understanding, we ought to be the ones exemplifying it. If you have sinned in any of these ways, put it out of your life for good today. Then if you are having trouble in your marriage and need help, ask somebody. Don’t wait ten years! Finally, if God has rescued you and given you another chance and now you see it Biblically, then protect it and live out your marriage as a picture of how Christ loves the church.
I pray that you young people would get this in your head and heart. God sees this seriously and if you want to please the Lord, you may need to change some things you are doing. You need to practice putting God’s Word first so you can honor Him and be well pleasing in your thoughts and how you view this great institution. Amen? Because Satan is trying to destroy this too.
Let’s pray. Thank You, Lord, for the admonition found in this text. I pray that we would be a people who keep the marriage institution in high esteem. I pray that we would be a people that are characterized by an ever growing constant love, unusual hospitality, and simple sympathy. I pray that we would know how to think about troubles people are going through and be able to pray for them and do something to help their situation.
Lord, I pray that You would help us be mindful of these things. This is not going to be the last time we need to be reminded of these things. But I pray that You would help us keep these things in mind to fight for purity and to keep the marriage institution honorable. Help young people to say no to premarital sex and fornication. Help married people to be satisfied with their marriages so they are not looking elsewhere. Help us all to see how sinful these things are. I pray that we would look for how to reap the fruit of the joy of the marital relationship.
So thank You, Lord Jesus, for these truths. Help us to implement them and to take theology and put it into practice. We honor You and praise You today for all You’ll do. In Christ’s Name. And all God’s people said? Amen.