The Apostle Paul, having finished the doctrinal part of this epistle, closes it with practical exhortations to brotherly love, godliness, unity in doctrine and spirit, and words about various graces.
(Vs. 1) "Let brotherly love continue" in you and among you. We are to love all men, even our enemies; but the love Paul is speaking of here is a SPECIAL FAMILY LOVE between people who are in a spiritual relationship to one another through Christ. We pray for one another, bear one another's burdens, forbear and forgive one another, and meet together to encourage and exhort one another. Without this love, professing faith in Christ is useless (I Peter 2:17; I John 3:14-18). This love is to continue (without failure) as a fixed practice and grow as our love for Christ continues and grows.
(Vs. 2) Do not forget, neglect, nor refuse to extend hospitality to strangers in this brotherhood. Be friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts and provisions of your home generously; for in doing this, some have entertained unawares angels or special messengers of the Lord. Examples: ABRAHAM (Gen. 18:1-8), LOT (Gen. 19:1-3), DISCIPLES (Luke 24:28-31). Our Lord said that entertaining His people is entertaining Him (Matt. 25:38-40).
(Vs. 3) Remember them that are in prison (not for criminal action but for the sake of Christ and the gospel) as if you were a fellow prisoner with them and remember those who are afflicted, who suffer in the body, who want food and clothing, since you also are liable to the same bodily needs. If we love as brothers and sisters, we will see that missionaries, old people, needy people, sick people, and people out of work do not lack for that which we can supply.
(Vs. 4) Let marriage be held in honor. Marriage was instituted by God (Gen. 2:22-25). Marriage was honored with the presence of Christ at the marriage feast (John 2:1-2). Marriage was chosen by Paul as a symbol of Christ's union with the church (Eph. 5:22-25). Sexual love between husband and wife is honorable, holy, and ordained of God. It is encouraged by the Apostle Paul to prevent sin (I Cor. 7:1-5). But God will judge and deal with those who are promiscuous and unchaste. Married believers shall live together in love, compassion, and submission, protecting and building their marriages and homes for the glory of God and the good of themselves and the gospel.
(Vs. 5) Let your character and conduct be free from love of money, free from craving wealth and worldly possessions, free from greed and lust for material things. Be content with what God has given you. Be content with your present position and circumstance; for God has said, "I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support." "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." (Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:6, 11-12; I Tim. 6:6-8.)
(Vs. 6) "So that we may boldly say...,"or so that we can be confident and not alarmed over what man can do. The Lord is our helper (Phil. 4:19). He will meet my every need--spiritually, materially, and physically (Matt. 6:24-34).
(Vs. 7) Remember them that are guides and authority over you. Christ is our King; but pastors are subordinate leaders who point the way to Christ, teach the Word of God, guide you in an understanding of the Scriptures, and are responsible to see that the church continues in the way of Christ. TO REMEMBER THEM is to respect them, to follow their leadership, to pray for them, to provide for their material needs, and to honor them for Christ's sake. Imitate the faith of a true pastor; that is, his gospel, his conviction that Christ is the only Redeemer and the giver of life. We are not to imitate any man (only Jesus alone). You can follow that and do well, considering that the goal and object of their ministry is the glory of Christ and your eternal good (Heb. 13:17).