Weekly Readings from Hebrews

Weekly Readings from Hebrews

Join the Mosaic Community as we immerse ourselves and prepare weekly for our new sermon series, “Simply Jesus: (re)Discovering Christ through the book of Hebrews,” by reading the insights and wisdom from the book of Hebrews.

For the next 12 weeks we will cover a chapter a week from the book of Hebrews.

Week 12 Begins November 25th . Read from Hebrews chapter 12, “Run.”

1. What are the requirements for the race marked out for us (12:1)?

2. What things hinder or easily entangle you, that you need to consider throwing off?

3. Are you trying to run the race by yourself? or who are you running the race with?

4. How can fixing our eyes on Jesus help us to not grow weary or lose heart (Heb. 12:3)?

Set your eyes on the Father by reading a parallel passage. Psalm 121:1-8 

5. What are the distractions along the way that prevent your eyes from being fixed on Jesus?

This is the point of the whole book. Endure, persevere, run, fight, be alert, be strengthened, don’t drift, don’t neglect, don’t be sluggish, don’t take your eternal security for granted. Fight the fight of faith on the basis of Christ’s spectacular death and resurrection. And show your faith the way the saints of Hebrews 11 did—not by coasting through life, but by counting reproach for Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt (Hebrews 11:26-note). So the main point of this text is the one imperative: RUN! (Hebrews 12:1). Everything else supports this—explains it or gives motivation for it. Run the race set before you! Don’t stroll, don’t meander, don’t wander about aimlessly. Run as in a race with a finish line and with everything hanging on it. — John Piper

Week 11 Begins November 18th . Read from Hebrews chapter 11, “Faith.”

1. How does the author of Hebrews define faith (Hebrews 11:1)?

2. How is “hope” used differently than in current common usage?

3. Why is it impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6)?

4. What do the following verses say to support or expand his definition of faith?

Hebrews 11:3
Hebrews 11:6
Hebrews 11:7b
Hebrews 11:10
Hebrews 11:13

5. A parallel passage gives continued insight into Faith… Read Romans 4:13-22 and discuss the relationship between Abraham’s faith and God’s promises to him.

6. What characteristics do we have in common with the initial audience of the letter and the “hall of faith” examples?

7. How should chapter 11 motivate our walk our endurance our race? (Hebrews 12:1)

Week 10 Begins November 11th . Read from Hebrews chapter 10, “A New & Living Way.”

!. How did the ministry of Jesus pave the way for a new kind of relationship with God?

2. Explain how Christ has completed the work to forgive his people’s wrong deeds. What is the evidence that this has happened?

Thoughts to Context: “The hearers are in danger of turning their backs on their Christian commitment; but the author reminds them, in no uncertain terms, that in so doing they walk away from God’s provision by which people may have a cleansed conscience and a healthy, permanent relationship with him. In the new covenant alone can one find a means for decisive forgiveness from sin and, thus, right relationship with God. The Scripture bears witness specifically that the old covenant system is shown up as defunct by the ministry of Jesus.” — Guthrie, George H.; Nygren, Janet (2009-12-15). Hebrews: Running the Race Before Us (Bringing the Bible to Life) (p. 55). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

3. How has your access to God changed as a believer in Christ under the new covenant?

4. What does the passage state is our role with the family of God?

5. How do you promote/spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24) reflect a “new and improved” covenant community?

6. Would you characterize yourself as an encourager?

7. “Consider,” who you need to encourage or challenge in their walk with God, pray for them and then take the steps to invest in their life.

Week 9 Begins November 4th . Read from Hebrews chapter 9, “A New & Better Way.”

Beginning your reading this week with a little context into the Old Covenant.

“It’s easy for us to dismiss the old covenant as obsolete from our vantage point today. But we don’t appreciate what that old system meant for people at the time Hebrews was written.
The old covenant system of worship may seem formal and rigid. It certainly would not be deemed a “cutting-edge” model of worship for contemporary culture! But look beyond the ritualistic orientation of that system to its significance. The path of the priests from the outer court to the inner sanctuary paints a picture of movement toward God. The regulations provided a means of drawing near. In the Old Testament language of holiness and punishments we can miss the main point — God was at work, working out means for his people to live in intimacy with him.”

–(Guthrie, George H.; Nygren, Janet (2009-12-15). Hebrews: Running the Race Before Us (Bringing the Bible to Life) (p. 52). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.)

1. Why was the old system good news for the Israelites?

2. What were the shortcomings of the Old Covenant system of Worship?

3. How did the ministry of Jesus fulfill God’s requirements, paving the way for a new kind of relationship with God?

4. Why is Christ’s death the perfect sacrifice (gift that God considers valuable)?

5. Because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, we have a clean conscience (9:14), have been made perfect, and are being made holy. Does this describe your experience?

Week 8 Begins October 28th . Read from Hebrews chapter 8, “Christ, the only priest that we need.”

1. Hebrews chapter 8 refers to two covenants (peace agreements) between God and his people. What was the first covenant?

2. What is the new covenant? How is it different from the first covenant? Read what Jesus said about the new covenant in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

3. How would Jeremiah’s message, quoted in Hebrews 8:8 – 12, have brought hope to the Israelites of Jeremiah’s time? What do you learn about God’s character from the quote?

4.With the truths of Hebrews 8 in your mind, think through these questions. How can people know God? How does God change people’s lives? Read John 3:1-16 and 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Week 7 Begins October 21st . Read from Hebrews chapter 7, “Christ, the only priest that we need.”

Thoughts while studying the book of Hebrews.

“The New Testament itself is permeated with quotes from the Old Testament because, for the first Christians, that Old Testament was the powerful Word of God, “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). The preaching among the earliest Christians was based on the new covenant teachings about and from Christ, anchored in the Old Testament Scriptures.” — Guthrie, George H. (2010-01-13). Hebrews (NIV Application Commentary, The) (Kindle Locations 5960-5962). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

1. What is the purpose of a Priest?

2. Who is this guy named Melchizedek? How was Melchizedek different from Israel’s priests? And how was he similar to Christ? Read Genesis 14:18-20.

3. How does Hebrews chapter 7 show us that Christ was greater than Israel’s priests? What facts does the author give in order to prove that?

4. What work is Jesus doing now as our chief priest? Read Hebrews 7:24-35

5. Why was Jesus’ death the most important event in history? How can we benefit from it now? Read Hebrews 7:27.

Week 6 Begins October 13th . Read from Hebrews chapter 6, “Keep Going.”

1. What is the early challenge in Hebrews 6? Take a few moments and read through a few corresponding passages. (Philippians 3:12, Hebrews 5:12)

As you continue your journey in reading from the book of Hebrews 6 there are some things we need to understand. Author & Professor George Guthrie gives insight into Hebrews as he states, “This is one of the most controversial sections of Scripture, and we dare not pass over it or dismiss it lightly. If we don’t take the warning to heart because we think it applies to someone else, we miss out on valuable teaching that was meant for our good.” — George Guthrie

2. What are the characteristics of those who are being warned? (Hebrews 6:4 – 5)

3. Is the warning in these verses consistent with other portions of Scripture? (Matt. 13:18 – 23; 1 Cor. 10:6 – 12; 2 Peter 2:20)

4. Explain what Hebrews 6:10-12 says about faith (active belief and trust in God), hope, and love.

5. What has God done to give his people confidence that his promises are certain?

“God says that life is more than what can be seen immediately, and he offers us a wealth of spiritual resources to be found in relation to Jesus Christ. Those spiritual resources are accessed as we trust God’s Word and build our lives on it. His “oaths” help us to see beyond our limitations to his limitless power and provisions. Encouragement comes from knowing we play a part in a life both full of meaning and lasting. Thus our current circumstances can never adequately define who we are or what we are about.” — George Guthrie

Week 5 Begins October 7th . Read from Hebrews chapter 5, “Understanding Christ.”

1. What is the central purpose of the high Priest Spoken of in Hebrews 5:1-2?

2. Why was it necessary to have a high priest?

3. What does the fact that God appointed a priest tell you about God?

4. We are reminded in Hebrews 4:16 & Hebrews 7:19 that the goal of having a priesthood was for people to draw near to God>

5. Read Hebrews 7:22-28 and think about how is Jesus qualified for a better priesthood than any others?

6.Are you drawing near to God? Take time to thank & praise God for His presence & His voice.

Week 4 Begins September 30th . Read from Hebrews chapter 4, “Entering God’s Rest”

Context and Literary Style are important elements to understand when reading the scripture and extremely vital when reading & contemplating the Book of Hebrews.

George Guthrie, challenges us to remember, “The author of Hebrews does not have a linear approach to the outline of his letter, moving on from one theme after he’s exhausted the subject. Instead, he touches on themes and comes back to them again, as if he’s thinking out loud, taking some side trips, then coming back to the original thought.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a young German theologian who stood against Hitler, told his students, “When you read the Bible, you must think that here and now God is speaking with me.”

So take hold of the challenge of the Book of Hebrews, for it is God speaking to us. Hebrews 4

1. Why are some people unable to benefit from God’s promises and from his good news? Who are these people?
2. Do you consider your self to be someone who hears God’s voice?

3. What is the warning in Hebrews 4 that was also in Hebrews 3? Remember the warning is based on a quote from Psalm 95. Take a moment and read Psalm 95

4. How does Psalm 95 point to the response God desires from us?
5. What do you believe the term “REST” is speaking about?

6. How do we enter this rest? Check out Hebrews 4:2 & 3
7. What convinces us that we need to stop trusting our own resources and instead depend upon God and his provision?

Week 3 begins September 23rd. Read from Hebrews chapter 3, “Hear His Voice,” then reflect on these questions:

1. What would it mean for you to fix your thoughts on Jesus on an ongoing basis?
2. What is the author of Hebrews warning his readers against in this passage?
3. In verse 11 the author is quoting from Psalm 95:7-11. Take a moment and read from Psalm 95.
4. How does this apply to us today? What dangers do we face today in reference to an unbelieving heart? When have you struggled with an unbelieving heart?
5. What can we do to prevent hardening our hearts?
6. How can we hear the voice of God?

Week 2 begins September 16th. Read from Hebrews chapter 2, “God with us,” then reflect on these questions:

1. How is Jesus depicted differently in chapter two compared to chapter one?
2. What phrases in Hebrews 2:10-18 point to what Jesus accomplished? How do these things influence your view of Jesus?
3. How does the humanity of Jesus make Him more approachable?
4.Why was it necessary for Jesus, God’s Son, to become a man?
5. In what ways is God’s plan of rescue, described in Scripture, different from other belief systems?
6.Think through some of Jesus’ interactions with people in scripture. How do these moments highlight Jesus ability to relate to us?

Week 1 Begins September 9th. Read from Hebrews chapter 1, “The importance of God’s Son.”

1. How has God spoken to his people in the past? Compare Hebrews 1:1 with Psalm 19.
2. What does Hebrews chapter 1 say about the relationship between God the Father and God the Son?
3. What does Hebrews chapter 1 teach us about angels (God’s special servants from heaven)?
4. What does Hebrews chapter 1 tell us that Jesus is doing now? And what does it say that Jesus will do in the future?

Thanks to George H. Guthrie for insight through, “Hebrews, Running the Race before Us.”

Continue to check out the Mosaic website for thoughts and questions as we journey together.

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