(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
The last serving of Hebrew ‘Let Us’ is found in Hebrews 13:15: “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” I have been told as a basic tenet of Bible study that whenever you come across the word therefore, you ask, “What is that therefore there for?” This particular therefore is there for a very good reason! Consider the thirteen servings of Hebrew ‘Let Us’ we have already explored:
- Two servings of ‘Let Us’ in Hebrews 4:1, 2, and 11 – Jesus has provided a rest for us, both in this life and forever in heaven! “Let us…be diligent to enter that rest…” And “…let us fear…” that we won’t make it!
- Two servings of ‘Let Us’ in Hebrews 4:14 through 16 – “…let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him]….Let us come boldly to [Him for all our needs]…. ”
- One serving of ‘Let Us’ in Hebrews 6:1 through 3 – “… let us go on to…” be more and more like Him, knowing the basics of our faith, and growing up in Him!
- Three servings of ‘Let Us’ in Hebrews 10:21 through 25 – Being forgiven and clean by Jesus’ sacrifice, “…let us draw near…” to God, “…let us hold fast…” to Him, “And let us consider one another to stir up love and good works….”
- Two servings of ‘Let Us’ in Hebrews 12:1 and 2 – We are in a life-long race of living out our Christainity! “…let us lay aside every weight and…sin…and let us run…”!
- One serving of ‘Let Us’ in Hebrews 12:26 through 29 – There is coming from God a terrible shaking of heaven and earth! “…let us…” hang on and serve our Lord!
- One serving of ‘Let Us’ in Hebrews 13:10 through 14 – “…let us…” carry our cross and follow Jesus out to be crucified, so we can then live for Him! Our true and eternal citizenship is in Heaven, not on the earth!
Therefore, in light of all this, “… let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
- Praise is telling God how good, wonderful, holy, powerful, loving, just, He is…and so much more! He is worthy of our praise, for there is no One else like Him – never was, never will be! Here are just a few Biblical examples about which we can praise Him:
✞ Exodus 15:2 – “The LORD is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him.” ✞ Psalm 29:2 – “Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name....” ✞ Psalm 100:4, 5 – “Enter into His gates with thanks- giving, and into His courts with praise. For the LORD is good; and His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” ✞ Psalm 139:14 – “I will praise You, for I am fearful- ly and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” ✞ Jeremiah 14:14 – “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; same me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise.” ✞ Ephesians 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with ev- ery spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ....”
- Giving thanks to God is often associated with praising Him. But Joe Putnam describes a difference between them in holdingtotruth.com /2015/04/19/thanking-and-praising-god/
To thank the Lord is to thank Him for the things that He’s done for us and provided for us....When we praise the Lord, we praise Him for who He is and what He’s done apart from what He’s done for us. ✞ Psalm 97:12 – “Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.” ✞ Psalm 119:62 – “At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, because of Your righteous judgments.” ✞ I Corinthians 15:57 – “...thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ✞ II Corinthians 9:15 – “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift...[of our salvation through Jesus Christ]!” ✞ Philippians 4:6 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanks- giving [even before you receive answers to your prayers], let your requests be made known to God.” ✞ Colossians 1:12-14 – “...giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheri- tance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
Above are Biblical examples, six each of praise and thanksgiving! Pages could be filled with many more! But have you ever thought of praise and thanksgiving as a regular sacrifice we can offer to God?
The Old Testament Jewish law is filled with commandments to bring sacrifices to God. There are five main types of grain and animal sacrifices listed in the first seven chapters of the book of Leviticus: burnt offering; grain offering; fellowship offering; sin offering; and guilt offering. But Paul tells us we are no longer under the Old Testament law (see Galatians 3:23-26). Yet so much in the law is a picture (a shadow prophesy) of how we are to live out our Christian life!
And so, we are to offer sacrifices – not grain and animal sacrifices, for God has provided the one needed ultimate sacrifice in the death and resurrection of His Son! Here are some Scriptures from the New Testament that tell us of the sacrifices we, as Christians, are to offer:
- The Jewish scribe spoke the truth in Mark 12:32 and 33:
...there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
- Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore…by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
- The Philippian Christians more than once sent Paul financial and material gifts as he ministered in Greece. In Philippians 4:18 he said this about their latest gift (and we can apply it to our giving):
Indeed I have all and abound, I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma an accept- able sacrifice, well pleasing to God.
- Hebrews 13:16 – “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
- I Peter 2:5 – “…you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
- And, of course, there is our featured Scripture of Hebrews 13:15: “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
So get to it, Christians…continually!