Sentence Sermons - Hebrews 13:5-6|
Be Free From the Love of Money
As we continue to study this series of “sentence sermons,” we now come to Hebrews 13:5-6 – “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘The LORD is my Helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?’” This is a message rich in wisdom with several lessons that are worth our notice.
In the earlier verses of this chapter, we find the commendation of brotherly love (philadelphia) and the love of strangers (philoxenia). Now we find a prohibition against the love of money, which is the Greek term aphilarguros (a – “not,” phileo – “love,” and argurion – “silver” or “money”). The King James Version renders this as “covetousness,” which has a similar but broader meaning. In either case, the love of money or covetousness corrupts the character of a person and is unfitting for a person who has faith in God.
Instead of the love of money, the Scripture commends contentment. In the similar passage of 1Timothy 6:6-10, Paul described the foolish and destructive course followed by those who “want to get rich” (v. 9), saying, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil…” (v. 10). Those who are blinded by the love of money do not see that the true source of gain is godliness (v. 6). Contentment is the cure for such blindness, and one should be content if he has the bare necessities of life (v. 8). Paul said of himself that he had learned to be content in any circumstance (Phil. 4:11-13), and that is the message of Hebrews 13:5, “Being content with what you have.”
The key to contentment is to have faith in God. Conversely, a lack of faith in God causes us to be discontented. If we do not trust in God as we should, then we seek to place our trust in someone or something else, which is often money. We foolishly think that if we have enough money, then we are secure. Yet we do not know how much money is enough, and we think that the more money we have, the more secure we will be. In our minds, money becomes our provider and protector, and soon it becomes the object of our love. This love is misplaced, for the true source of our provision and protection is God. When we recognize this, then we will love our God who gives to us all we need to be sustained, and with this we will be content.
Not only will our faith give us contentment, but it will also give us confidence. The reader is reminded in the latter part of Hebrews 13:5 of the promise of God to Joshua when He said, “I will not fail you or forsake you” (Josh. 1:5). Joshua believed this promise, and it gave him bold confidence to face down his enemies. Our faith in God should likewise give us the confidence to practice righteousness in any situation. Our attitude should be like that of the psalmist who is quoted in Hebrews 13:6 (from Psalm 118:6) – “The LORD is my Helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?”
This message was very practical for the Hebrew Christians in the first century who suffered the seizure of their property and were impoverished because of their faith (Heb. 10:34). It is very practical for Christians in this nation today for a very different reason – we have become extremely wealthy. By the standards of history, average people in our nation have more money and possessions than anyone ever before. In this environment of affluence, it is all too easy to fall in love with money. Politicians and corporations point to money as the sign of success, but Christians must remember that true success is only found by faith in God through Christ Jesus. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” (1John 5:4)
Therefore, let us be free from the love of money, let us be content with what we have, and let us have great confidence in our God who saved us through Jesus Christ. After all, if God has already sacrificed His only begotten Son for us, “how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32)
Next Sentence Sermon: Hebrews 13:7 – Remember Those Who Led You
Stacey E. Durham
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