Going Forth to Christ
Hebrews 13:11-13
For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.…

1. Let us go forth unto Christ without the camp, that we may testify to Him as the Messiah, the only Saviour. This is manifestly the first leading idea which our text is designed to convey. On this fundamental doctrine of our holy faith hinges the essential difference between Christianity and Judaism. It constitutes also one vital point of difference between the gospel and the various systems of heathenism and infidelity. All the sections of the unbelieving world agree in this, that they do not acknowledge Christ as the promised Messiah. "Unto you who believe He is precious." Attachment to the person of Christ can only spring from a Divine principle. "No man can truly call Him Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." I beg of you, therefore, distinctly to understand, that I do not expect you will be prepared to lift up a consistent testimony to His Messiahship, unless you are the subjects of a saving change. "The carnal mind is enmity against God, and is not subject to His law, neither indeed can be."

2. Let us go forth unto Jesus without the camp, that we may specially bear testimony to Him as King of Zion. This is what may be emphatically called our present duty. We might justly regard it as treason against the Lord of Glory, were we to overlook this view of our subject. We dare not hold our peace regarding the sovereign authority of the Redeemer, although some prejudiced souls should be offended.

3. We must go forth unto our Lord without the camp if we would enjoy fellowship and communion with Him. This idea is naturally suggested by the preceding context, "We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle." The importance of this consideration should ever be borne in mind. It argues a very diseased state of things on the part of any professing Christian, when the question with him is — How far he may go in the path of error and corruption, and still enjoy communion with the "author and finisher of our faith." And it certainly is a sign of daring impiety when individuals, be they ministers or hearers, are exercising their ingenuity in devising reasons for palliating soul-destroying errors, and when they have the effrontery to tax us with want of charity when we endeavour to vindicate the doctrine of spiritual fellowship, and call upon the Christian people to abandon the communion of a Church that has practically renounced the King of saints.

4. In obeying this command we must lay our account with contempt, reproach, and persecution. It is the dictate of experience, as well as of Scripture, that "all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." The mere circumstance of coming out from the world lying in wickedness, and of faithfully serving the Captain of our salvation, has never failed to bring upon them the scorn and hatred of the ungodly. The votaries of superstition cannot bear to see the truth as it is in Jesus openly proclaimed and honoured. Men of despotic principles will not tolerate, if they can help it, a spiritual authority which stands in the way of their usurpations. And false professors of the gospel, whose interests are linked with corruption and tyranny, will be among the foremost to vilify such as for conscience' sake withdraw from their communion. Where do we find, among men, a brighter example of piety, and holiness, and philanthropy, than that of the apostle of the Gentiles? and who ever experienced greater reproach or more bitter persecution than he? When we look higher we see that our Lord Himself "was despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Why should we dream of exemption from trials? The offence of the Cross has not ceased. But we must not be deterred from following Christ by the dread of obloquy, or the loss of all things.

(John Thomson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.

WEB: For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside of the camp.

Exhortation to Decision and Earnestness in Religion
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