Book of Hebrews Students Edition_Bro.M.Hull Sr._EFCC_2012

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  • 1. Summer2012 The Book of Hebrews Bro. Malachi Hull Bro. David Green Bro. James “Perry” Nunnery Student Guide Church of Christ @ Elysian Fields
  • 2. The Book of Hebrews Table of ContentsIntroduction to Hebrews…………………………………………………………………...pg 3Lesson (1) – Hebrews I – Better Than Angels……….…………………………………….pg 8Lesson (2) - Hebrews II – A Better Message……………………………………….…….pg 11Lesson (3) – Hebrews III – Better Than Moses…………………………..……..….…….pg 14Lesson (4) – Hebrews 4:1-13 – A Better Rest………………………………..….………..pg 17Lesson (5) – Hebrews 4:14-5:10 – A Better High Priest………………………………….pg 20Lesson (6) – Hebrews 5:11-6:20 – A Better Maturity…………….…..…………………..pg 23Lesson (7) – Hebrews 7 & 8 – A Better Covenant………………......................................pg 26Lesson (8) – Hebrews 9-10:18 – A Better Sacrifice………………………………………pg 29Lesson (9) – Hebrews 10:19-39 – Faithful In Christ………..…………………………….pg 32Lesson (10) – Hebrews (11) – Living by Faith……..…………………………………….pg 35Lesson (11) – Hebrews (12) – Enduring Faith………………..……………………….….pg 38Lesson (12) - Hebrews (13) Evidence of Faith…..…………………………………….…pg 41 2 2
  • 3. The Book of Hebrewsstudentss guide Introduction INTRODUCTION Times were hard. The Romans ruled over the Hebrews, bringing them suffering andpersecution. If a Hebrew was also a Christian, then he would also suffer from the rejection of hisown family and friends. Having never met Jesus personally (2:3), the Hebrew Christian mayhave found himself looking back to Judaism and the comfort of the temple rituals and theacceptance of his countrymen. The authors missive reminds the immature Hebrew Christians ofthe reasons to remain faithful to Jesus Christ who reigns supreme at the right hand of God (8:1).As Gods Son, Jesus is greater than any of the beloved prophets of old, greater than any earthlypriest and is the greatest king that ever reigned. The key word of Hebrews is "better." It is used 13 times in comparing Jesus to Judaism --1:4; 6:9; 7:7,19,22; 8:6 (twice); 9:23; 10:34; 11:16,35,40; 12:24. "Perfect" is used 15 times.Another interesting list included in this book is the 13 "Let us ..." exhortations given toencourage the recipients how to live their faith. You may want to highlight these words inHebrews as we apply this book to our lives today. The author of the book is not identified. Although late manuscripts and the King JamesVersion identify the author as Paul, earlier manuscripts do not support that theory. Paul identifieshimself as the author in his 13 letters, but not in this one. Others suggested as candidates for theauthorship include Barnabas, Luke, Apollos, Silas, Aquila & Priscilla, and others. A date of 67-69 A.D. seems to fit the internal evidence for when the book was written. Sincethe present tense was used repeatedly when referring to the temple and the sacrifices, the letterappears to have been penned before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple inA.D. 70. HEBREWS LISTS BETTER 1:4 Christ is better than the angels 6:9 Better things that belong to salvation 3 2
  • 4. 7:7 The less (inferior) is blessed by the better (superior) 7:19 A better hope is introduced 7:22 Jesus is the surety of a better covenant 8:6 Christ is the mediator of a better covenant 8:6 New covenant established on better promises 9:23 Better sacrifices 10:34 Heaven a better substance or possession 11:16 Heaven a better country 11:35 They obtain a better resurrection or life 11:40 God had provided something better for us 12:24 Christs blood speaks better things than the blood of AbelPERFECT 2:10 Perfect through suffering 5:9 Being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him 6:1 Let us go on unto perfection (KJV) 7:11 If perfection had been obtainable by the Levitical priesthood... 7:19; 9:9 Law made nothing perfect 7:28 ...the Word of the oath... appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever. 9:9 Sacrifices cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper 9:11 Greater and more perfect tabernacle 10:1 The Law and sacrifices cannot make perfect 10:14 His single offering has perfected for all time those who are sanctified 11:40 Old Testament faithful not made perfect apart from Christ 12:23 Spirits of just men made perfect 13:21 Make you perfect in every good workLET US 4:1 Let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it (rest)... 4:11 Let us ... strive to enter that rest 4:14 Let us hold fast our confession 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace... 6:1 Let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering 10:24 Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works 12:1 Let us also lay aside every weight and sin 12:1 Let us run with perseverance the race 12:28 Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken 12:28 Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe 13:13 Let us go forth with Him... 13:15 Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God...PERILS 2:1 Neglect 3:7-1 Unbelief 4:11 Disobedience 5:11 - 6:12 Immaturity 6:6; 10:19-31 Rejection 12:25 - 29 Refusal to heed Gods Revelation in His Son 4 2
  • 5. The writer gives us his TOP TEN list of how Jesus is better: 5. has a Better message 10. Better than the prophets 9. Better than angels 4. a Better maturity 8. Better than Moses 3. a Better covenant 7. Better than Joshua 2. a Better sacrifice 6. a Better high priest - Aaron 1. a Better restWhy was this book written?What caused the wavering?The period of 67 - 69 AD was an interesting time in Jewish history. Not only were the Jewsbegrudgingly under Roman rule and political threat, they themselves were divided. Some Jewshad accepted this Jesus Christ as their Savior, yet were still Jewish.  The Jewish nation had no separation between church and state - Instead of a democracy or emperor rule, they had a theocracy. These new Jewish Christians didnt know how to be Jewish nationally, yet religiously a Christian. Many of them were still going to the synagogue, keeping the feasts, associating with pure Jews - family members - who had not accepted Jesus. Now they were really confused. Which leads to the next problem. They were always looked down upon by the Romans, now as Christians, they were also  looked down upon by the pure Jews who had not accepted Christ. Rejection by loved ones is painful. To make matters worse, they had been told by Christian leaders that they must now  accept and love those lowly uncircumcised, pork-eating Gentiles! As a Jew, they had been Gods children exclusively. Now as Christians they were told to be inclusive. Bigotry is very hard to overcome. It is not just a decision to stop being a bigot, but it is often a slow change of heart. If they slipped back into Judaism, every problem but the Roman problem would go away. They would be accepted by their loved ones and fellow countrymen again, be a whole Jew again and wouldnt have to accept the Gentiles.  Imperial threat - Christian persecution had begun, but was not widespread yet, and not officially sanctioned by the Romans, but the physical threat was real and looming. 5 2
  • 6.  Another problem was legalism - having your own personal checklist to determine your own value. The Jewish religion was entrenched in legalism even though Gods prophets told them again and again that God wanted their hearts, more than the sacrifices. If you look at any religion that relies on legalism, it is hollow. A legalistic mind concentrates on the outside appearances-- o put a prayer in here, o do a sacrifice because of this misdeed, o attend this event, o faithfully give your tithe, o do a good deed, and you can maintain a structure of a religion that looks sound, but it doesnt take away the hollowness. It is still empty inside if the heart isnt given to God. When the trials come -- the testing that comes to everyones life, the structure collapses. You cannot get it built back before more trials come. These immature Jewish Christians were tempted to fall back into this legalistic mind set because it came so naturally to them, but they didnt recognize the hollowness of it.The Jewish Christian was also tempted to look at Christianity as the Romans and practicallyeveryone else did - as just another off-shoot religion or another sect of Judaism. The whole bookof Hebrews negates that idea and supports what Paul says in Galatians 3:24-27 Therefore thelaw was our tutor (custodian, school bus driver) to bring us to Christ, that we might be justifiedby faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of Godthrough faith in Christ Jesus.The New International Version says the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ. The Law ofMoses served to bring man to Christ. In other words Christianity isnt because the Law of Moseswas, but the Law of Moses was because Christ is needed by all. Christ is the foundation of aright relationship with God.The Hebrew writer shores up the readers faith in Jesus as their Savior, reminding them of Hissuperiority. Christianity is not a hollow religion based on legalism. God is so sincere in wantingmans heart that He sent His own Son, greater than anyone who has ever been on this earth, to bethe ultimate sacrifice. He is the one capable of providing sinful man with acceptance and aloving relationship with God.Why should we study a book written to Hebrew Christians about their old religion?Romans 15:4 "whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that bysteadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope." Hebrewsprovides us with Faith building, practical lessons in Christian defense. As the author defendsChristianity against Judaism, we can learn how to favorably compare Christianity with whatevermay tend to lead us away from Christ. I personally dont have any desire to worship or glorify 6 2
  • 7. angels, but by studying how others did, I can apply that to myself. If I listen to anything otherthan the Word of God, am I not putting that above Christ and His sacrifice. If I hear myselfsaying things like, "I see that what you are saying is what the Bible says, but I think ..." or "yes,the Bible says that, but times are different now. My minister says ..." Phrases like that areelevating ones self or someone else to superiority over Jesus. Hebrews is our message to staygrounded with Jesus. As Peter said before the Sanhedrin in Acts 4:12, "Nor is there salvation inany other, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given among men by which we must besaved." You either let Jesus do the saving His way, or you will not be saved.Catch the main message - Salvation is only in Christ - nothing exceeds His Greatness. Lookfor that message in every lesson and look to apply it to your life with the Bible as your guide.Salvation is by faith in the sacrifice of Christ. That expression of love changes mans heart andmakes one pliable to His will as expressed in Gods word. 7 2
  • 8. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 1 Hebrews 1 - Better Than AngelsAngels were mysterious beings to the Hebrews. They were messengers of God andprominent in the Hebrew scriptures. The Hebrew nation picked up a greater fascinationfor angels during their exile in Babylon. The Hebrew Christian needed to be remindedthat Christ was superior to these beings who were known to be at Gods throne. 1. Briefly survey the book of Hebrews and then write what you hope to gain from this study of a book written to struggling Jewish Christians in the first century. 2. What background did the Jewish Christians (to whom Hebrews was written) have that may have necessitated writing this chapter on the superiority of Jesus over prophets and angels? 3. Recall various ways that God has spoken to people through out the history of man. Cite scriptures. 4. List the seven statements about the superiority of Jesus from Hebrews 1:2-4. a. b. c. d. e. f. g. 5. Share the importance of one or two of these seven statements in Hebrews 1:2-4. 6. Considering the superior position and message from Christ, how do the following verses describe His Word? Hebrews 1:2 8 2
  • 9. Luke 21:33 John 6:68 John 12:487. How is the word of Gods Son received and perceived in the world today?8. Give seven ways in which Jesus is superior to angels as cited by these scriptures. a. Hebrews 1:4 and Phil. 2:9,10; Isaiah 9:6 b. Hebrews 1:5a and Psalm 2:7 c. Hebrews 1:5b and II Samuel 7:14 d. Hebrews 1:6 and Psalm 97:7 e. Hebrews 1:7-10 and Psalms 104:4; 45:6, 7; 102:25 f. Hebrews 1:11,12 and Isaiah 34:4; 50:9; 51:6 g. Hebrews 1:13 and Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:449. What is the role of angels as cited in Hebrews 1:14?10. From this first chapter of Hebrews, what conclusion(s) can be drawn about Gods final, most authoritative and comprehensive revelation?11. What are some characteristics of the life of a person who accepts Jesus Christ as the final, superior authority in her life?12. Trained from birth about their beloved prophets, the Jewish Christians found it difficult to accept Jesus Christ as superior. How will you demonstrate openness in your study of Gods word even if what Gods word reveals is different from your background? Share an example of some behavior changes (small or large) you had to make because of something you learned from studying Gods Word. 9 2
  • 10. PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Look for ways to express thankfulness to God for His revealed word. • What worldly things compete for "top spot" in your heart and life instead of Jesus Christ? • What will you share from this lesson with someone who has not accepted Christ as the superior authority in her life? 10 2
  • 11. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 2 Hebrews 2 - A Better MessageHere we meet the Majesty of Jesus crowned with glory and honor with all things put intosubjection to Him. Jesus the King and High Priest brings a greater message than hasever been given - His death destroys Satan and delivers those in bondage to sin. 1. Chapter 1 of Hebrews reminded the Jewish Christians that Christ was superior to whom? How does this affect my life today? 2. What is the warning and the inherent danger in Hebrews 2:1? 3. What do the following scriptures add concerning the importance of Gods word? Isaiah 66:2 John 12:48 Acts 3:22,23 Hebrews 2:2 4. "The message spoken by angels" in Hebrews 2:2 refers to what message? (Refer to Acts 7:38,53 and Deuteronomy 33:2) 5. What is the "salvation" mentioned in Hebrews 2:3,4 6. God saved Noah from the flood, Lot from the destruction of Sodom, Israel from Egyptian slavery, Naaman from leprosy. Even so, the Christian is saved by a greater salvation. What are some of the earthly promises that accompany that salvation? 11 2
  • 12. 7. Jesus declared Gods word and those who heard it attested to it (Hebrews 2:3). What confirmed Gods word (Hebrews 2:4)? Other (optional) references to this confirmation are: John 20:30,31 Acts 3:10 Matthew 8 & 9; Matthew 11:4,5 I Corinthians 12:4 -118. Read Hebrews 2:5-8 (which includes a quote from Psalms 8:4-6) and discuss the relationship between man, son of man (Jesus), and angels.9. By coming to earth to live as a human, Jesus was made "a little lower than the angels." Why was the majestic Jesus made lower than angels? What was in subjection to Him?10. Satan temptingly offered Jesus a crown without suffering (Matthew 4:8-10.) Why did Jesus choose the suffering, painful way to glory and honor?11. How is choosing to follow Jesus often a choice of pain and suffering? Yet we rejoice!12. What two things did Jesus becoming human and dying accomplish (Hebrews 2:14,15)? 12 2
  • 13. 13. Because Jesus has become the merciful and faithful High Priest (Hebrews 2:10-17,) what has been accomplished for the Christian? 14. Christ is able to help those who are tempted (verse 18). In what ways are we tempted (I John 2:15-17)? 15. How do Jesus temptations fall into those same categories (Matthew 4:1-10) 16. Christ was victorious over temptation, suffering, and death. What does that mean for us?PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Jesus suffering, submission and overcoming enable Him to help us in any suffering or need we may have. He alone is perfectly qualified to be our Great High Priest. After studying what Jesus has done for you, personally, what is your response? Or what changes are you determined to make? • How has Jesus suffering on the cross become more real to you through this lesson? 13 2
  • 14. The Book of Hebrewsstudentrs guide Lesson 3 Hebrews 3 - Better Than MosesThe basis of Hebrews is the supremacy of Jesus. Gods supreme revelation comes throughJesus. Only through Him is access to God available. Remember that the Hebrew writeroriginally wrote this book to the Jewish Christians to whom the prophets and angels wereheroes. Chapter 1 reminded them that Jesus is greater than those prophets and angels.Chapter 2 revealed Jesus willingness to give up His heavenly home to come die for our sins.Put yourself in the place of the new Christian who had grown up with all the Jewish trainingincluding stories of Gods care through the patriarchs and prophets. Would you be able toaccept and worship Jesus Christ? 1. What titles and description does the author use to describe Christians in Hebrews 3:1? Discuss how the following verses from Chapter 2 also support those terms: 2:11 2:11 & 12, 17 2:10 2. Hebrews 3 instructs the believers to "consider" or "fix your thoughts on" Jesus. Why/How would this be helpful? What things can distract from Jesus? 3. What titles does the author give Jesus in Hebrews 3:1? How are they applicable to Christ? 4. To whom and how is Christ superior in Hebrews 3:1-6? 14 2
  • 15. 5. From Hebrews 3:1-6 and your own background knowledge, what are the similarities and differences between Jesus & Moses? Similarities Differences6. Hebrews 3:6 says "but Christ is faithful as a Son over Gods house. And we are His house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast." What is Gods house? For further references consider: 1 Corinthians 3:16 -17 1 Peter 4:17 -187. Verses 7 -11 are a warning to the Jewish Christians to not make the same mistakes as the Israelites did as mentioned in Psalm 95:7-11. What are those warnings for us?8. Hebrews 3:12 advises us not to turn away from or rebel against God. This indicate that we have a choice. What happened to the Israelites who turned away (verse 11) and thus, what will happen to me if I turn away?9. From Hebrews 3:13, what is a Christians responsibility to his brother/sister? What is the importance of doing this today?10. Moses was a great man particularly in Jewish tradition, but Jesus is superior. Once again the Hebrew writer instructs the reader (3:16-19) using Moses and the people as examples of how God will deal with us. Compare what happened to the Israelites with what will happen to me/us when my/our time to choose is over.11. What difficulties do you find in holding your first confidence firm to the end (verse14)? 15 2
  • 16. 12. What does Jesus do for His followers that Moses was unable to do for his?PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • It is more comfortable to think of God as all-loving and all-merciful instead of just and punishing. God is loving and merciful and wants all men to be saved (I Timothy 2:3,4). However, God expected trusting obedience from the Israelites and He expects it from us. How do I show trusting obedience in my life? • Are you following anyone or anything other than Christ? • Look for ways to exhort one another every day. 16 2
  • 17. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 4 Hebrews 4:1-13 - A Better RestAs the Hebrew author has completed his description of the superiority of Christ over others sentby God, he begins his discussion of the superiority of the things accomplished by Christ andstarts making application to the readers. We will find thirteen "Let us . . ." exhortations toChristians in the Hebrew letter. Perhaps you would like to highlight them in your Bible as wecontinue our study. 1. Review - How were you able to fulfill one of the challenges from last weeks lesson? 2. Describe the pace of your life. How precious is rest to you? 3. Identify the 3 kinds of rest discussed in Hebrews 4. 4. Reviewing last weeks lesson, describe those whom God said would never enter His rest. How does this apply today? 5. What are the terms for Gods Word in 4:1-2? What needs to happen for Gods Word to do its work? 17 2
  • 18. 6. The Hebrew writer continually compares Christian rest with that rest given to the people who came out of Egypt. From Joshua 21:43 - 22:6, what exhortation did Joshua give those entering the promised rest? 7. From Hebrews 4:1-11, what similar exhortation are we given today? 8. From Jesus teachings, what kind of rest does He promise? See Matthew 11:28-30 and John 14:1-4. 9. Discuss how Gods rest encompasses even this life, giving us a little taste of the more complete "rest" that is to come (e.g. verse 16 speaks of mercy and grace). 10. Verse 11 says, "therefore let us diligently (ASV) make every effort (NIV) strive (RSV) to enter that rest." Just how serious does the author consider the matter? 11. Discuss the Hebrew 4:12 descriptions of the Word of God. Living Active Sharper than a 2-edged sword Piercing Judges, Discerning 12. Which one(s) of the above most describes the Word of God in your life at this time?PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Contemplate, meditate on the rest that God offers to his believers. What would it be like? What does it require? 18 2
  • 19. • Prepare yourself to explain the "promised rest" to someone who is not a Christian.• Are you "working at rest" (giving up control, total submission to Gods will)? 19 2
  • 20. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 5 Hebrews 4:14 - 5:10 - A Better High PriestThe angels never promised to bring rest. Like the prophets, they were just messengers. Thegreat Moses did not lead the people of Israel into the promised rest; in fact, he himself wasforbidden to enter the land because of sin. Joshua led them into their physical rest, but not intothe promised spiritual rest (4:8). With those two giant leaders now proven to be eclipsed byJesus, the Hebrew Christian might be tempted to revert to faith in the priesthood established byGod. The great High Priest certainly looked majestic in his priestly robes. The temple was real,but so was the persecution that was shaking the faith of these people. Could a relationship withGod and spiritual rest come from the well-established sacrifices and ceremonies conducted atthe majestic temple in Jerusalem?A priest was a mediator between the holy and the unholy. He acted on behalf of man to God interms of offering prayers and sacrifices for the common man. Besides his religious duties ofatoning for sins, in this theocratic form of government the Hebrew High Priest was the supremecivil head of the people and the supreme head of the state. He worked closely with the king andwas the representative of the people to the foreign rulers. 1. In last weeks lesson, how did the author use the plight of the Hebrews as an example for us? 2. Aaron was the 1st High Priest appointed by God to serve this young Hebrew nation. What superior title does the Hebrew writer give Jesus in 4:14? 3. How does Hebrews 4:14-15 describe Him? 4. Because Jesus is our High Priest, how are we instructed to approach the throne of grace? What can be obtained at that throne? 20 2
  • 21. What can make us reluctant to approach such a wonderful throne?5. From Hebrews 5:1-3 what are the strengths and weaknesses of the High Priest system? Strengths Weaknesses6. As great as this High Priest system was, how does Jesus surpass every other High Priest? Hebrews 5:5-10; See also Psalm 110:4; Matthew 11:28-30; Philippians 2:8.7. What would be the advantage of having a High Priest selected from among men?8. Can you imagine Jesus praying with loud cries and tears (Hebrews 5:7-8)? What did Jesus learn through His sufferings? Luke 4:1-13 John 10:17-18 Philippians 2:5-89. Why were Christs prayers heard?10. Discuss the role of prayer in the life of a Christian.11. Who was Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20)?12. In what way was Jesus a priest after the order of Melchizedek?13. To whom is Jesus Christ the source of eternal salvation? 21 2
  • 22. PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Consider the blessing in not needing a designated human intercessor when we approach the throne of God in prayer. On the other hand, consider the blessings in interceding for one another. • Jesus learned through His sufferings. What can be learned through our suffering? 22 2
  • 23. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 6 Hebrews 5:11 - 6:20 - A Better MaturityWhen brought out of Egypt into the harsh conditions of the wilderness, some Israelites grumbledand wanted to go back, even though that meant going back into slavery and giving up theirnewly-received freedom. Others grumbled and didnt want to move forward by taking thepromised land. Similarly, the receivers of this Hebrew epistle were considering going back intoJudaism and being slaves to rituals for a relationship with God. Others were failing to moveforward in their Christian growth. Before continuing his discussion of Jesus as the High Priest,the author admonishes them not to go back, but to move forward and mature into a betterrelationship with God. 1. Is there anything about Jesus Christ in Hebrews 5:1-11 that you appreciate or love in a new way? 2. What traits of spiritual immaturity were the recipients of this epistle demonstrating (Hebrews 5:11-14)? Explain each one. 3. How do these shortcomings impact us today? 4. How has Bible study helped you to grow and overcome temptation in your life? 5. What are the elementary teachings of Christ? What would mature teachings enable you to do? 6. How do we develop into mature Christians? 23 2
  • 24. II Peter 1:5-7 II Timothy 2:15 James 1:5-6 Additional Ways:7. From Hebrews 6:4-5, list the blessings these Christians enjoyed and were in danger of forfeiting.8. If the Hebrew Christian in 6:4-6 returned to the Jewish Law, what sin was he committing against Christ? See also Hebrews 10:29. How can we be guilty of sin with the same result (see II Peter 2:20-22)?9. In Hebrews 6:7-8, the author uses an agricultural analogy. What will be blessed? What will be burned up? What conclusion do you see from this analogy (see also Matthew 13:1-23)?10. Summarize the teachings from the following scriptures: Joshua 24:19 Proverbs 1:28 Romans 1:24-28 II Thessalonians 2:10-12 24 2
  • 25. 11. What encouragement does the author share in Hebrews 6:9-11? 12. Select a person from scripture and explain how this persons faith and patience would be an example we should imitate. 13. How can we encourage others by our example? 14. What are the two unchangeable things by which it was impossible for God to lie? How does this encourage you in awaiting Gods promise? 15. How does our hope serve as an anchor for our soul?PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Describe your spiritual maturity at this time. Think on ways to help it grow. • How are you cultivating fruit in your life? See Matthew 3:8; John 15:5; Romans 7:4b; Galatians 5:22-23 and Colossians 1:10. • Contemplate on what Paul instructs the mature to do in Philippians 3:13-14. 25 2
  • 26. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 7 Hebrews 7 & 8 - A Better CovenantThink of all the great leaders in the Old Testament - Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David,etc. Would you include Melchizedek in that list? Obviously the Holy Spirit does. Genesis 49:10prophesies that the long awaited Messiah/King would come from the tribe of Judah. The Jewishnation was accustomed to the priests being from the tribe of Levi. Kings were kings and priestswere priests. Perhaps the nation also needed reminding that Psalm 110:4 prophesied that thisGreat King would also be a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.. Up until this time, onlyMelchizedek has held the title of both king and priest. This King/Priest would bring a bettercovenant containing better promises and providing a better hope. Only the Perfect Son couldfulfill that role forever. 1. Explain how the hope described in last weeks lesson has either helped anchor you through some difficult situation or how you will be determined to remain steadfast in the future by this hope. 2. Read Genesis 14:13-24. What did Melchizedek do for Abraham? What did Abraham do for Melchizedek? 3. What can we learn about Melchizedek in 7:1-10? 4. How is Melchizedek similar to Jesus? 5. What is a tithe? What does Malachi 3:8-12 say about paying tithes to the Lord? 26 2
  • 27. 6. If the priesthood changes, what else must change (verse 12)? What change regarding the law was foretold in Jeremiah 31:31-34? 7. From verse 18, why was the former commandment set aside? 8. From verses 19 & 22 what has Christ secured for us through His priesthood? 9. What makes Jesus the guarantee of a better covenant? 10. From verses 23-28 contrast the Aaronic priesthood with Jesus priesthood. Aaron Jesus 11. According to verse 25, what does having Christ as your High Priest mean for you? What does this mean to you?Chapter 8 12. What is the point the author is making in regards to the priesthood? 13. Explain the copy and shadow of 8:5. 27 2
  • 28. 14. What is a covenant? 15. From verses 6 & 7 how is Jesus ministry superior to the old covenant? 16. What faults did the Lord find with those under the old covenant? 17. From verses 10-12, explain how the new covenant is superior to the old. 18. How do we know that the new covenant actually replaced the old (Hebrews 8:6, 13)? See also Matthew 5:17, Galatians 3:23-25.PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • The book of Hebrews addresses those who were being tempted to go back to their "old ways." How are "old ways" sometimes a temptation to you? How is Jesus greater than those "old ways" in your life? • Plan how and when to meet with your High Priest daily (Hebrews 8:1) to intercede with Him for people you can influence. • Reviewing the lesson, express your gratitude for each of the attributes, characteristics and qualities of Christ, our High Priest. 28 2
  • 29. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 8 Hebrews 9 - 10:18 - A Better SacrificeIsaiah 59:1-2 expresses that sin separates man from God. God will not be in the presence ofsin. That puts me in quite a dilemma. How can I, a sinful human, have a relationship with Godand ever hope to have a home in heaven with Him? Since the Garden of Eden, man hasstruggled with this problem. Sacrifices of unblemished animals showed a dedication to God andacknowledged sin, but the animals blood did not take away sin. Christs sacrifice takes away sinby grace, providing me with an opportunity to draw near to God and develop a personalrelationship with Him. My only hope is to allow Him to be my Sacrifice. 1. From last weeks lesson, how does a better covenant provide us with a better hope and better promises? 2. How is the first Covenant described in Hebrews 9:1-5? 3. How did the furnishings of the Tabernacle serve as a precursor of the New Covenant? See Exodus 25:10-40; 30:1-10; Leviticus 16:12-14. 4. What events occurred at the Tabernacle? 5. From Hebrews 9:8-9, what were the inadequacies of the Tabernacle activities? 6. When you feel guilty, how do you try to clear your conscience? What elements allow the Christian to have a clear conscience? See Hebrews 9:14; 10:22; and I Peter 3:21. 29 2
  • 30. 7. Once Christs blood has cleansed our consciences from "acts that lead to death," what is our purpose?8. How does the author support his position that the New Covenant is superior (vs. 11-25)?9. When does a will take effect? How did Moses put the Old Covenant in effect? At what time did the New Covenant take effect?10. Read Hebrews 9:24-28 and compare Christ as our High Priest to the High Priest of the Mosaic Law.11. How does the word "appear," mentioned 3 times, summarize our Lords work? verse 26 - past verse 24 - present verse 28 - future12. According to Hebrews 10:1-4, why is there a need for a Better Sacrifice?13. According to Hebrews 10:6-10, why did Jesus come to earth in human form? See also I Peter 2:24. 30 2
  • 31. 14. Comparing Hebrews 10:10-18 to Leviticus 1:3-9, how is Christs offering superior to that under the Old Law? 15. How does the sacrifice of Christ make one perfect?PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Study the chart of the Mosaical Sacrificial System. Can you understand how the Hebrews became such a legalistic society? • Discuss how serving the living God (9:14) helps one to eagerly await the second coming of Christ (9:28). • The fact that Christs sacrifice is making you holy affects the way you live your life. In what areas is God calling you to practice greater holiness? • Strive to apply Hebrews 10:16 & 17 to your life this week. Be prepared to share how you did this. 31 2
  • 32. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 9 Hebrews 10:19-39 - Faithful In ChristA worshiper of God under the Old Covenant would never have dreamed of entering thepresence of God in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. Only the High Priest visited the Holy ofHolies once a year, and only after the ceremonial cleansing and a blood sacrifice to cover hissins. How wonderful that Jesus sacrifice rent the veil, the barrier separating God from man. Theway into the heavenly sanctuary is now open. We are invited to enter into that sanctuary andone day dwell in the presence of God. Now let us remove our own personal barriers that keepus separated from God. 1. "Therefore" means some arguments or points have been made previously in order to make a conclusion. How has the preceding Hebrews message given you confidence to enter the sanctuary opened by the blood of Jesus as mentioned in 10:19? 2. How do Mark 15:38 and Romans 5:1-2 help us to better understand Hebrews 10:19-20? 3. Discuss the four conditions found in verse 22 that allow Christians to draw near to God. 4. Explain the three exhortations the author gives to the Hebrew Christians in verses 22-25. How can we obtain the boldness to apply these to our lives today? 5. Hope in Christ is a major theme of Hebrews. The wavering Hebrew Christians had been focusing upon their past religious system. Upon what is the author trying to refocus them? Name some ways we can exhort each other to keep our focus upon our hope. 32 2
  • 33. 6. What three great Christian virtues are evidenced in verses 22-24? From I Corinthians 13:13, which of these is the greatest? How does this section of Hebrews support that same concept?7. Apparently, some of the Hebrew Christians had been neglecting to assemble with the other believers. Discuss how the author does not tell them what they are missing, but what others are missing because they are not there.8. If we continue to sin and reject Christ, what do we forfeit and what is the result?9. The Hebrew author has already warned the believer not to drift from the Word (2:1-4), Drifting will soon lead to doubting the Word (3:7-4:13). Then he will become dull toward the Word (5:11-6:20) and become lazy in his spiritual life. According to the warning here in 10:26-31, what is the next regressive attitude toward the Word and the consequences of that attitude?10. After the above strong warning, how does the author appeal to previous testing, present action and future events - all to encourage the Hebrews? What can we learn from how they accepted persecution?11. What are some rewards of our confidence in Christs blood?12. Why does a Christian need endurance? 33 2
  • 34. 13. How can you identify with those the author is addressing in verse 39? 14. From todays lesson, what is meant to be an encouragement through hardships and difficulties?PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Look for ways to express the confession of your hope to others this week. • Consider specific ways of spurring others toward love and good works. How have you been spurred by others? Relate a specific time when anothers encouragement of you to be your best was especially meaningful. • Ponder how the promises of Christs return help you to "keep on keeping on." 34 2
  • 35. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 10 Hebrews 11 - Living By FaithThe faithful of old in this chapter did not gain Gods approval through repetitious religioustrappings, but rather by living their faith. Their stories challenge us to emulate that kind of faith inour lives on this earth. 1. From last weeks lesson, which of the "let us ..." exhortations has meant the most to you? 2. Read the authors definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1. Rewrite it in your own words. 3. How did the faithful of old receive Gods approval/commendation? 4. How do current teachings on the formation of the world challenge your faith? 5. From verse 4, how are these faithful of old still speaking? 6. Discuss the faithful of old mentioned in verses 4-31 and how they demonstrated that faith. Abel Enoch Noah Abraham Sarah 35 2
  • 36. Isaac Jacob Joseph Moses parents Moses People crossing the Red Sea Those at the Wall of Jericho Rahab the Harlot7. What is impossible without faith?8. What two things are necessary for those who come to God?9. From verse 13, what did these faithful of old not receive?10. The faithful of old were able to persevere because they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. How can we better see ourselves also as aliens and strangers on earth as they did?11. God was not ashamed to be called the God of those living by faith. In our lives today, how can we bring glory to God instead of shame?12. How could Moses have considered abuse suffered for the Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt? 36 2
  • 37. 13. Of the events endured because of faith in verses 32-38, which is most amazing to you? 14. As great as these faithful of old were, what do we receive that they did not receive? 15. What has God planned for us together with them?PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Share a current great story of faith. • Consider the greater blessings we receive from God than those in our lesson today received. • Think about ways that you can continue growing in your faith. 37 2
  • 38. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 11 Hebrews 12 - Enduring FaithHave you had a hard life? Are you facing struggles now? The faithful of old all faced their trials,but by faith they were able to overcome and bring glory to God. Like them, accept Godsdiscipline as weight training and let us run the race with perseverance. The reward at the finishline will be worth it. 1. From last weeks lesson, whose example of faith has most often returned to your mind? 2. What are the weights and sin to be removed so that we might win the race? 3. How is the race to be run? See also Philippians 3:14; II Timothy 2:5; 4:7. 4. Several times in scripture (Hebrews 12:2; Hebrews 3:1; II Corinthians 4:18) we are instructed how and where to focus our attention. How does focusing affect the outcome of a race and of life? 5. Share an experience in your life when you were frustrated and/or discouraged and you purposefully "fixed your eyes on Jesus." What was the outcome of the experience? 6. How is Jesus the pioneer and perfecter (author & finisher) of our faith? 7. Much of chapter 12 talks of discipline. What is discipline? 8. How are we to view the trials and sufferings of our Christian life? 38 2
  • 39. Why does God discipline us? What are the benefits?9. When we are suffering, it is easy to think that God has left us or does not love us. From the following scriptures, what other reasons are there for our sufferings here on earth? Genesis 50:20 John 5:5, 14 II Samuel 4:4 II Samuel 12:1-23 Acts 27:13-4410. How do verses 12-14 tell us to be proactive to make us ready for Gods discipline?11. What things will be avoided by those whose faith endures through struggles?12. From Exodus 19:10 - 20:20, to what event is the author referring? What was the mood of the people?13. How does the author contrast coming to God now with the event at Mount Sinai?14. Salvation, which cost Jesus much suffering and even His life, is not to be taken lightly, as verses 14-28 admonish. Contrast these instructions with the current world-view of life.15. At the end of this section, what encouragement and directions does the author leave with us? 39 2
  • 40. PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Evaluating your spiritual maturity, how difficult is it for you to accept discipline and hardship as beneficial? • Think back on a particular hardship in your life. The worldly way is to be resentful. Can you see now how God used that struggle for your spiritual growth? • Determine now to be dependent on God in your next struggle and not to be bitter, angry or resentful. 40 2
  • 41. The Book of Hebrewsstudents guide Lesson 12 Hebrews 13 - Evidences of FaithHaving reminded the recipients of the Hebrew message that Jesus is better than Moses, theangels, the prophets, and brings a better message and promises a better rest by providing abetter covenant and sacrifice, the author ends with a comforting quotation from Deuteronomy31:8 and Joshua 1:5, "I will never fail you nor forsake you." This quote points out that God, theFather of Jesus, is just as concerned for the reader now as He was while protecting thewandering Hebrew nation who left slavery in Egypt for the unknown. Faith in a faithful Godshould lead the reader to behave in a Christian manner. 1. In running the Christian race this past week, what potentially discouraging event did you overcome by looking to Jesus? 2. The first six verses of this last chapter list five qualities of the Christian that were absolutely essential to the first century Christians. Consider how these were necessary and how we can demonstrate these qualities today. Essential Qualities from Conditions that made this How can we demonstrate these Hebrews 13:1-6 essential in the time of the qualities and why would they be of Hebrew writer benefit?Brotherly love (verse 1) Heresy hunting in a hostile world. Christians had to protect one another. Christians need to be kind to straying Christians.Hospitality (verse 2) Inns were few, dirty & expensive. Christians not very welcome.Sympathy and help for Christians often imprisoned for theirimprisoned brothers (verse 3) faith. Food and support had to come from family and friends. 41 2
  • 42. Purity (verse 4) Ascetics despised marriage. Others relapsed into immorality or unnatural vice.Contentment (verses 5&6) Widespread poverty and persecution. 3. Some things in our society today can make hospitality difficult for us to practice. Identify them and suggest some ways we can negate those difficulties? 4. Living in a country where we can worship God as we see appropriate, it is difficult for us to empathize with those of the first century who were often imprisoned for their faith. Speculate on how political persecution for our faith would change our day-to-day lives. 5. Contrast a worldly view of contentment with a biblical view of contentment. 6. "I will never fail you or forsake you" is a comforting message. What makes it hard for us to always believe this to be true? 7. Whose faith should we imitate and why? 8. How does the message, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" impact us? 9. Define diverse and strange teachings. How are we to react to such teachings? See also Acts 17:11; I John 4:1 and II John 9-11. 10. Read Leviticus 16. How is this sacrifice like Jesus? 42 2
  • 43. 11. Hebrews 13:9-14 compares the sacrifice of the old Law with the perfect sacrifice Jesus made for us. What is the outcome of Jesus sacrifice according to verse 12?12. What kind of sacrifices are pleasing to God? Share with the group ways you give God a "sacrifice of praise."13. We are told to obey our leaders and submit to them. What responsibility do they have? How can our attitude make their job joyful? Sad?14. What are some of the many advantages of prayer to both the one praying and the ones remembered in prayer?15. From the benediction in verses 20 & 21, what has been done for us by God and what does the author pray will be done for us?16. As the letter to the Hebrews concludes with practical instructions, we want to reflect on the lessons we learned. Looking at your Bible and/or lessons, consider and be ready to share at least one of these: Something you learned that is special to you Some area of Christian growth for you Something about Jesus and the awesome plan of salvation for mankind 43 2
  • 44. PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEK • Think on the importance of offering up a sacrifice of praise. Look for ways to increase the time you spend praising God and Jesus for His ultimate sacrifice. • Be aware of how your attitude about material things affects your family and others.Hebrews reminds us to remain faithful and endure through lifes challenges. "Therefore, sincewe are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and thesin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, lookingto Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith ..." (Hebrews 12:1 & 2) 44 2