Sermon Discussion Questions
1. How does this passage help you think about how to relate to your church leaders? What are some practical steps you can take to be supportive to your leaders and to bring joy to them?
2. What are some false teachings going around the church at large these days? Why do you think many Christians are unconcerned about false teaching?
3. How are you encouraged today that Jesus suffered the judgment of God for your sins so that you might be saved? What are some ways that we can respond to that great gift?
Scripture: Hebrews 13:7-25
I. You survive and keep the faith by having a guide.
A. Verse 7: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” One thing then that will help you persevere in your faith in Christ is faithful and good teaching from the Bible. You also need a living example of the Christian faith who can show how to live as you journey toward heaven. It is advantageous to you if you have guides and pastors who have joy in serving you. Here are 10 things that would bring a pastor joy. All 10 things are drawn from this portion of Hebrews:
1) Pastors have joy when their people pray for them (vs. 18).
2) Pastors have joy when their people show up at church and small group to hear the Word of God taught (vs. 7).
3) Pastors have joy when their people reject false teaching and don’t read bad so-called “Christian” books (vs. 9).
4) Pastors have joy when their people trust in Christ’s sacrifice alone to save them (vs. 12) rather than in their own good works or another sacrifice.
5) Pastors have joy when their people find more joy in heaven than on earth (vs. 14).
6) Pastors have joy when their people are always praising God for something (vs. 15).
7) Pastors have joy when they see their people doing good and being generous to others (vs. 16).
8) Pastors have joy when their people do God’s will (vs. 21).
9) Pastors have joy when their people love one another and want to be with one another (vs. 24).
10) Pastors have joy when their people live in the free grace of God all the time (vs. 25).
II. You survive and keep the faith by avoiding false teachers.
A. The author of Hebrews says you need a good and godly guide to keep the faith. The opposite is also true. You need to avoid bad guides. You need to avoid false teachers (vs. 9). There is a similar warning that Paul gave to the church in Ephesus in Acts 20:29: “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.” False teachers will enter the church. And what will those false teachers be like? Wolves. Wild animals. They will seek to destroy your faith in Jesus and lead you away from it.
III. You survive and keep the faith by looking at Jesus.
A. Heb. 12:1-2: “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” We keep the faith then by looking at Jesus. We always keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. And who is Jesus? Verse 8 says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. We are reminded in verse 10 that “we have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.” The author of Hebrews is saying, “If you want to go back to the Old Testament animal sacrifices to make you right with God, you will miss out on the better sacrifice of Jesus. And only Jesus and His blood can make you right with God. So, keep your eyes and your heart on Jesus and not on lesser things. Jesus is always greater.”
Keep the faith. Don’t fall away from Jesus. There is no one else like Jesus.
The letter to the Hebrews
Commentaries on Hebrews by Thomas Schreiner and Raymond Brown
Bible study on Hebrews by Michael Kruger