Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. (Hebrews 13:7–9—NKJV)

People are always attracted to the new and novel. As Solomon said, “Of the making of books there is no end.” Staying conformed to the newest fashion, the latest fad, the novel catch phrase, the much-hyped diet plan, and acquiring the newest technological marvel is a driving force in our society. Though, with all the getting, there is a growing sense of distraction from meaning, lonely distance from others, and intense self-focus. Even in the arena of religion, there are waves of fads which wash through religious circles. Date-setters, “lost books,” and novel “revelations” glitter for a season. Yet, the words of Solomon are strikingly true—“there is nothing new under the sun.”

Hebrews 13 provides perspective for all saints of all ages. First century believers were in danger of being washed out to sea by the theological winds, tumultuous times, and undertows of their familiar, former religious identities. Even today, every gust, unruly wave and inexorable current increases your drift from the shore of faith’s certainty and the lighthouse of the Word. How is a believer to weather the storm and keep his footing?

The principles set forth in the text are simple and duplicable. The first principle (verse 7) is a reminder that the hearer must always consider the veracity of the source. Truth is paramount. Since God is Truth, His Word is Truth. The Bible is the only rule of faith and practice. The highest duty of anyone who stands before others and professes to preach and teach God’s Word is to own the responsibility of living the truth he proclaims with all his body and spirit. His integrity requires his unblemishedness.

The lives of the leaders are to be “remembered” (mindful of), “followed” (imitated), and “considered” (observed attentively) in their teaching and the outcome of their manner of life. This entails a lifetime of observing the practical effectiveness of their faith and fidelity of their teaching to the inerrant Word of God. The lesson: Follow persevering saints—“We desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11–12)

The second principle (verse 8) is that Jesus Christ, the subject of the public proclaimer’s life and message, is the Messiah of the Old Testament, is the Jesus of Nazareth of the New Testament and, yesterday and today, the same forever. Biblical theology will always allow Scripture to explain itself as it unfolds the dispensations of the workings of God in His two great works, creation and redemption. The lesson: Follow consistent doctrine—“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith, which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3)

The third principle (verse 9): be established in truth. Without God’s plainly revealed truth of the Bible as the anchor for your soul, the winds, waves, and tides of error will force you to drift from the safety of the truth. The lesson: Forge an established heart—“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Guard and fortify your regenerated heart with the filters of God’s Word so that your service to Him will be acceptable in His sight. Trust and obey.