13 Hebrews Homiletics Chapter 13

AIM: Live each day as a follower of Jesus Christ

I. Exhortation and guidance to live as a Christ follower

1. Keep on loving as brothers and sisters
2. Remember to show hospitality to strangers, some are angels
3. Remember prisoners & mistreated as if yourself
4. Faithful and true in marriage – God will judge
5. Trust in God, be content, don’t covet
6. Do not fear; Lord is Helper – “what can mortals do?”
7. Remember leaders and see them as models
8. Jesus Christ: same yesterday, today, forever (always)
9-10. Do not pursue strange teaching: Grace over Food
11-12. Sacrifice outside of camp – blood @ altar, old and new
13. Go to Jesus outside the “religious”
14. Not a promise of a city, promise of eternity
15-16. Seek to praise and do good and share “For God”
17. Follow leaders – they will give an account
18-19. Pray for each other

Truths:

  1. Relationships matter to God: love, hospitality, caring, honoring.
  2. If trust is in God, then contentment is the outcome
  3. If trust is not in God, then never content (always coveting)
  4. Jesus is eternal and eternally the same
  5. Don’t get sidetracked – Hold grace over acts/food/works/anything else
  6. Don’t wait for the church/synagogue/religious – just go to Jesus!
  7. When doing praise/good deeds/sharing: do it FOR GOD
  8. Follow leaders / they will have to give an account to God
  9. Pray for each other

Applications:

  1. I will write these exhortations down and review them daily.  I will pick one each day and pray that God give me an opportunity to “live it out” that day in a meaningful way.
  2. When I see a stranger, someone asking for help along the side of the road, am I able to picture them as being an angel?
  3. Do I recognize Jesus as eternal, unchanging, the constant when everything else seems to change?
  4. Am I pursuing strange teachings or do I hold fast to the grace of God?
  5. What am I waiting for to run to Jesus?  Am I waiting on someone else to give their permission or to lead the way?  What is holding me back?
  6. Do I follow my God appointed leaders?  In the roles where I am a leader, do I lead as one being held accountable to God?
  7.  Who am I supposed to be praying for today?  Did I do it yet?

 

II. Blessings, heartfelt fellowship and greetings for each other all stem from and lead back to the grace of God

20-21. May God equip and work through you
22. Bear with this word
23. I hope to come with my brothers to you
24. Greet all the Lord’s people & Leaders, We greet you
25. Grace with all

Truths:

  1. Equipping is from God and is a blessing through which He works through me
  2. Bear with the word
  3. Carry hope in fellowship
  4. Greet each other
  5. Seek and accept God’s grace

Applications:

  1. How am I receiving my equipping from God?  Am I trusting in and waiting on the Lord, or trying to do it with my own strength?  Do I try to “do the work” or ask God to “work through me”?
  2. How am I bearing in the word?
  3. How am I carrying hope to others?  Who do I long to partner with to carry forth God’s work?  (throughout the bible, followers were partnered together)
  4. Did I seek and accept God’s grace yet today?

 

Summary: Live each day as a follower of Jesus Christ by accepting God’s grace and His equipping.

Additional comments:

Sometimes these bible studies have so many points in them that cross things happening in my life that I feel like God is stitching them together right before my eyes.  I’ll try to give a glimpse from Hebrews 13 into just a few.

1. verse 2.  We stopped for dinner after a road trip the other night at a burger place in a college town on our way back home.  Sitting on the bench outside of the restaurant was a disheveled young man on a bench.  He was dirty, ill dressed and holding a sign asking for money.  I looked at him and the thoughts that crossed my mind were all negative.  Why is this healthy young man not working?  With so many businesses and so many people in this city, how is there not something productive to do?  What self-focused addictions is he chasing instead of being a good citizen?  What I did not see was the fact that he was a stranger.  What I did not see was an opportunity to demonstrate God’s love and hospitality.  What I did not see was any glimmer that the “young man” my eyes saw may have been an “angel”.  As I read Hebrews 13:2 these thoughts weighed heavily on my heart.  How would my heart and actions been more like Christs if my eyes simply saw things differently?

2. I just finished reading an amazing book, Captive in Iran. This is a story of 2 Iranian Christian women who were held in the worst prisons in Iran in horrific conditions for 250 days simply for being followers of Jesus Christ.  If anything thinks there is no longer any christian persecution, they need to read this book.  The captors and interrogators of these young women would tell them, “your religion says you must submit to the authority of your leaders.”  As I read Hebrews 13:17 I marveled at the fact that to this day Satan and those who serve his ways misquote scripture.  How convenient that they left out the second half of that sentence: “because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.”

3. Hebrews 13:13 never made sense to me until this week.  “Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.”  What was “the camp”, wasn’t it the church?  Why was Jesus then outside of the camp?  Why did I have to go to him outside instead of him coming inside?  His disgrace was turned to triumph, why is he still bearing it?  But, this week I realized I had always looked at that verse out of context.  It isn’t Jesus that is in the wrong place, it is the camp that is in the wrong place.  It isn’t Jesus who is holding onto disgrace, it is the camp who continues to view him as an outsider.  This book, Hebrews, was written to the Hebrews.  At the time of its writing, their camp was completely in the wrong place.  But anytime the camp is not in the same place that Jesus is, it is in the wrong place.  When the camp/the church puts up stakes based around anything other than the grace of God, the Word, Jesus, it is in the wrong place.  When the camp/the church sets up camp to yield to progressive social norms, instead of the facts of the gospel, it is in the wrong place.  The question is, am I in the camp or am I running to Jesus?  Am I willing to run to Jesus even if there isn’t a camp there?

4. Grace is enough.  I’ve sung the words at church.  I’ve sought the gift, especially when I’ve been confronted by my sin and inadequacy.  But do I live each day with those 3 words being a reality.  Do I chase “strange teachings”?  Do I seek the promise of an enduring city?  Am I waiting for God’s equipping and asking Him to work or am I trying to “show off” to God for how much I can do myself?  If so, where is the grace in that?

 

12 Hebrews Homiletics Chapter 12

AIM: Believers in Christ will be strengthened through discipline to help others realize God’s glory and grace

I. (1-5, 12-14) So that others may see God, pursue peace & holiness, strengthen self, walk straight path, be healed

1. Others are watching – shed weight of sin & endure
2. Fix eyes on Jesus: pioneer & perfector, cross to glory
3-4. Focus on Jesus’ suffering/endurance: yours =/= bloodshed
5. Don’t scorn God’s discipline or give up
12-13. Strengthen self + walk straight path, be healed
14. Pursue peace + holiness so that others see God

Truths:

  1. Others are watching
  2. Fix eyes on Jesus – how he ran the race
  3. Goal = finish the race = holiness
  4. Train, endure, pursue peace, be healed

 

Applications:

  1. Am I running the race (living out my faith) with the reality that others are watching?
  2. Who do I follow as my life coach?
  3. Am I training as if preparing for a race/marathon or resting?

 

II. (6-11) God disciplines His children to holiness as a father disciplines his loved ones

6. Lord disciplines those He loves and accepts
7. All fathers discipline their sons – God treating you as a son
8. If no discipline => not a son of God
9. We submit to discipline of earthly fathers => same w/ God
10. Earthly fathers disciple to make better, God disciplines to make holy
11. Disciplines is painful @ times but leads to fruit, peace, righteousness

Truths:

  1. Disciplines is done in love for growth
  2. Earthly discipline is for improvement
  3. Holy disciplines is for holiness
  4. There is pain in discipline but the reward is fruit of peace and righteousness

 

Applications:

  1. Is my view of discipline one of love or one of anguish?
  2. In discipline, do I learn and grow or just gripe?  Do look forward through the discipline to see the fruits of peace or righteousness or is my focus only on the discipline itself?
  3. Am I able to distinguish discipline from punishment or am I viewing discipline as punishment?

 

III. (15-29) Help other to not underestimate God’s full glory & grace – He shakes away heaven and earth’s “created things” as a devouring fire, only the unshaken remain.

15. See to it that others don’t become weeds
16-17. See to it that others don’t underestimate God’s blessing
18-19. Faith in God is not small or trite, it is large and powerful
20-21. Israelites could not approach God on Mt. Zion, even Moses trembled
22-24. But you can come directly to God through Christ
25. Take care: Do not refuse, if Israelites did not survive earthly warning, why think survive heavenly
26. His voice shook the earth, now shakes heaven and earth
27. Shaking = purification, but only once more
28a. We will receive an unshakable kingdom
28b. Give thanks, worship, devotion and awe to God
29. Our God is indeed a devouring fire

Truths:

  1. Believers have responsibility for others
  2. Our access to God is unprecedented in history
  3. Take care to not refuse or ignore the warning signs
  4. Heaven & earth will be shaken “once more” to remove that which is shakable
  5. The heaven we inherit is unshakable
  6. Give thanks, worship, devotion and AWE to God

 

Applications:

  1. Do I accept my responsibility as part of other Christians’ faith walk?
  2. Am I “taking care” daily?
  3. Am I unshakable?  Jesus is!

 

Summary: So that others may abide with God, the faithful must endure, be strong and not shaken

 

Additional thoughts:

There are a lot of metaphors in Hebrews 12: running, endurance, training, pioneer, discipline of fathers, bitter roots, shaking and unshakable and comparisons between our relationship with God and that of Abel, Moses and the Israelite nation at Mt. Zion.  But each is woven together in an attempt to adjust the thinking of the Hebrew audience (and ours today).

This life is not the competition to be won.  We don’t come out of it as the winner if we “do better” thank others.  We don’t achieve what God has in store for us by sitting back and taking it easy, taking life “as the sands through the hour glass.”

Life is training camp.  Life is where we accept the jersey to play on the team and train along side others.  Unbelievers are not our opponents, they are those standing on the sideline who have not yet accepted the call to be part of the team.

And like training camp, others are watching.  Other players.  Others on the sidelines.  Our coach and owner.  Training is hard.  And we aren’t training to just be “better”.  Our coach and our owner is training us to become perfect, to become holy.  We are part of a team.  It is not our own performance alone, but our example and leadership and compassion to others on the training field as well.

Our access to our coach, Jesus, is unprecedented in the history of the world.  The chosen people of God and even Moses trembled at the base of the mountain, but Jesus has walked among us and talked with us.  Our ability to see and know and follow His example is an amazing gift, but also one to not be taken lightly.

A time of shaking is coming.  Once more God will shake the heaven and the earth.  That which is shakable/impure, will be cast out, but that which stands strong will inherit the unshakable kingdom.

Train hard.  Train knowing that others are watching, constantly.  Train not as if it were a job, but as if it were your life on the line, and not just this life, but life for all eternity.  The harder you train, the harder the training, but the harder the training, the stronger the ability to stand with arms high.

 

11 Hebrews Homiletics Chapter 11

AIM: God’s plan is for something better for all the faithful of all time

I. Faith is the confidence in hope and assurance in the unseen

1. Faith: confidence in hope, assurance in unseen

Truths:

  1. Faith is confidence in hope
  2. Faith is assurance in the unseen

Applications:

  1. Do I have confidence in the hope of Christ?
  2. Do I live as one with assurance in the unseen or do I want “to be shown to believe”?

II. Bible is filled with many who lived by faith without receiving the promise

2. Forefather commended for faith
3. Believe in creation by faith
4. Abel’s faith in sacrifice, commendation, still speaks
5. Enoch’s faith: Pleased God, taken to heaven
6. W/o faith =/= please God b/c w/o faith would not approach God
7. Noah’s faith: built ark, heir to righteousness
8-9a. Abraham’s faith: Went to land, made home
9b-10. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob: Tent dwellers looking forward to City
11. Sarah’s faith: old, bore child
12. From this one old man came many descendants/nations
13a. These were living by faith @ death – did not receive Jesus
13b-16. Foreigners looking to eternal home: God prepared City
17-19. Abraham trusted God enough to obey: Isaac as sacrifice
20. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob & Esau
21. By faith Jacob blessed Joseph’s sons
22. By faith Jacob instructed his bones home @ exodus
23. By faith infant Moses was hid
24-26. By faith Moses chose life of Israelite over son of Pharaoh
27. By faith Moses left Egypt
28. By faith Moses kept the passover
29. By faith Israelites crossed Red Sea, Egyptians drowned
30. By faith walls of Jericho fell
31. By faith Rahab saved
32-38. By faith many many many more acts

Truths:

  1. Throughout the ages there have been the faithful
  2. All faithful were commended for their faith
  3. None received what was promised (before Jesus)

Applications:

  1. Is my faith like that of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham?
  2. They lived by faith without Jesus, how is the gift of Christ making me stronger in my faith?
  3. By faith, would I leave my home?  By faith would I shelter others?  By faith, am I giving and receiving blessings?

 

III. God’s plan is for something better so together all faithful “be made perfect”

39-40.Commended for faith – Together w/ us be made perfect

Truths:

  1. God planned something better
  2. Faithful – all together – would be made perfect

Applications:

  1. Am I gratefully accepting God’s “better plan” or am I trying to make my own plans?
  2. Am I yielding daily to God’s transformation of my life to “be made perfect”

 

Additional Comments:

How many times have we heard things like, “If I could only see Jesus, then I would believe.”  or “I just need some proof to have faith.”

But, Hebrews 11 explains that would not be faith.  Faith includes an element of trust.  Faith includes an element of choice.  We know that when Christ returns He will be recognized by everyone still living.  Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Rom 14).  Even the demons that there is one God (James 2:19).  But that does not mean these groups of people are living by faith – in fact we know from the scriptures that they are not.

But for the faithful, God has planned something better:  To take those who have been made holy (sanctified, set apart for a special purpose in the service of the Lord), and to make them perfect.

I don’t feel perfect.  I don’t live a perfect life.  But I recognize that God is transforming me.  Not just to make me a little bit better than what I am today, but for the ultimate goal of giving me a new life and a new body so that I can live with Him in his holy presence in the eternal city that He has build, forever.