Guidelines for Christian Living
(1) Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. (2) Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, because by so doing some believers have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (3) Always remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are being persecuted as if you also were suffering. (4) Let marriage be held in honor by everyone, and let the marriage bed be kept pure, because God will judge adulterers, and all those who practice sexual perversion. (5) Keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you presently own, because God says in Deuteronomy 31:6, “I will never leave you; I will never forsake you.” (6) So let us confess Psalm 118:6-7 with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid, for what can mortal man do to me?”
(7) Remember your leaders, who speak the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (8) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!
(9) Do not be deceived and led astray by all kinds of strange teachings, because it is good for our hearts to become strong through God’s grace—not by eating ceremonial foods, which provide no spiritual enrichment to those devoted to them. (10) We have a heavenly altar from which the tabernacle priests have no right to eat.
Sacrifices of Praise
(11) The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, but the dead bodies of the animal sacrifices are burned outside the camp.
(12) And so Jesus also suffered on the cross outside the city gate of Jerusalem, to make the people holy through his own blood. (13) Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and share in the disgrace that he endured. (14) For on this earth we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. (15) Let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise through Jesus to God—the fruit of our lips that declare worship to his name. (16) Do not forget to do good by sharing with others, because such sacrifices please God.
Church Leaders and Prayer Request
(17) Follow your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who will give an account to God. Do this so their work will be full of joy and not a burden, because that would have no benefit to you.
(18) Pray for us! We are sure that we have clear conscience and desire to live honorable lives in every way. (19) I especially ask you to pray so that I will be able to come and visit you soon.
(20) Now may the God of peace—who through the blood of the eternal covenant raised from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep—(21) prepare you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be majestic glory for ever and ever! Amen (let it be).
(22) My brothers and sisters, I ask you to receive my word of encouragement, for actually I have written you a rather short letter. (23) I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released from prison. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you. (24) Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. The believers from Italy (possibly Rome) send you their greetings. (25) Grace be with you all!