What does Hebrews 13:15 mean?
ESV: Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
NIV: Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
NASB: Through Him then, let’s continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips praising His name.
CSB: Therefore, through him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
NLT: Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.
KJV: By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
NKJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
This letter to persecuted Jewish Christians is meant to encourage. Their faith is in a superior covenant, brought by Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:13–14). As a result, even when suffering, believers ought to "hold fast" to that trust in God (Hebrews 3:6; 4:14; 6:18; 10:23). Prior heroes of the faith looked beyond this life to eternity (Hebrews 11:13), which helped them endure temporary hardships on earth (Hebrews 11:35–38). In the same way, Christians ought to expect persecution from the world (John 15:18–21), and choose to be "cast out" with Christ when necessary (Hebrews 13:10–13). And, we should be looking forward, to heaven, rather than excessively worrying about what happens here on earth (Hebrews 13:14).

This verse contains another practical result of this teaching. Believers ought to offer a sacrifice—but one of praise, not animals or materials. Since Jesus' work on our behalf is completely finished (Hebrews 9:24–26), there is nothing we can add to it (Galatians 3:10–14). Instead, our praise and sacrifice ought to be done out of gratitude, obedience, and worship. The following verse expands this idea to remind believers that doing good for others is a natural, expected part of this joyous perspective.
Verse Context:
Hebrews 13:7–17 contains practical instructions for the Christian believer. These follow major themes from the rest of this letter, including perseverance, peacefulness, and praise. This text also continues to parallel components of the old covenant with the ministry of Jesus Christ. Specifically, these verses compare the disposal of sacrificed animals with Jesus' crucifixion; both occurred outside the borders of the community. The writer also encourages good works and for believers to cooperate with their spiritual leaders.
Chapter Summary:
Chapters 1—9 explained how the new covenant in Jesus Christ is superior to the old covenant of animal sacrifices. This comparison drew on extensive use of Old Testament Scripture. Chapters 10––12 applied that evidence to encourage Christians to ''hold fast'' despite persecution. The summary of these applications was that believers ought to trust in their faith, and choose to obey God, during times of struggle. Chapter 13 adds a few specific reminders about Christian conduct. This passage also reiterates the idea that Christ is meant to be our ultimate example. The letter concludes with a request for prayer and words of blessing.
Chapter Context:
The last chapter of the book of Hebrews follows a pattern common in New Testament books, especially those written by Paul. The writer gave extensive evidence in chapters 1––9 to support a central idea. This concept was that the new covenant, in Jesus Christ, is superior to the old covenant, composed of the Levitical laws. Chapters 10¬-––12 applied this knowledge to the need for persecuted Christians to maintain their faith. Here, in chapter 13, the writer offers a few specific encouragements for the reader, before signing off with a request for prayer and a benediction.
Book Summary:
The book of Hebrews is meant to challenge, encourage, and empower Christian believers. According to this letter, Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets and all other claims to truth. Since God has given us Christ, we ought to listen to what He says and not move backwards. The consequences of ignoring God are dire. Hebrews is important for drawing on many portions of the Old Testament in making a case that Christ is the ultimate and perfect expression of God's plan for mankind. This book presents some tough ideas about the Christian faith, a fact the author makes specific note of.
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