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Community Bible Study Engaging the Book of Hebrews

By: Ray Johnson

Lesson 16 The Value of Hardship


Our text for this lesson is Hebrews 12:1-11
All scripture, unless noted, is from the English Standard Version Bible

Hebrews 12:1 Consider the Course of Faith


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 1. According to your understanding of Chapter 11, who is the great assembly of witnesses watching us as we run our race?

2. The first word of 12: therefore is a transition word that calls attention to the text that precedes and follows it. What are the thoughts the author seeks to connect?

3. Whose responsibility is it to lay aside hindrances and sin? How could this be done?

4. Endurance means determination, continuing steadfastly to the end. What do the following verses reveal about run[ing] with endurance the race that is set before us? a. Hebrews 2:1: Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.

b. Hebrews 10:19-23 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

5. What are some specific weights that Christians today need to lay aside?

Hebrews 12:2-4 Consider Christ and Be Encouraged


2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

6. According to 12:3, why should we consider Him?

7. To whom does the author refer when he speaks of how Christ endured from sinners such hostility against Himself? (See Matthew 27:39-44).

8. How can the awareness of Christs endurance sustain you in times of weariness and discouragement?

9. What idea stated in verse 2 appears in similar form in Psalm 141:8 and Hebrews 3:1? How can you put into practice what these verses say?

Hebrews 12:5-6 Consider the Timeless Truth of Love


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And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.

10. a. Read Proverbs 3:1-17 (from which Hebrews 5-6 quotes). To whom is the advice directed?

b. What do you discern as the reason for the instruction?

11. What kind of response to Hebrews 12:5-6 do you think the author hopes to elicit? Explain your answer.

Hebrews 12:7-10 Consider the Meaning of Discipline


7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there

whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 12. Why is respect the reasonable result of true discipline (12:9)?

13. How is failing to discipline ones children a sign of not loving them well?

14. How would lack of discipline prevent a child of God from sharing in Gods holiness?

Hebrews 12:11 Consider the Result of Discipline


11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 15. What images does yields fruit bring to your mind (12:11)? From the truth this image convey, what do you learn about the result of discipline?

16. Share an example that you have observed of a person exhibiting or practicing: a. Righteousness

b. Peace

17. Why do you think someone who has been trained by discipline will exhibit these qualities?

Apply what you have learned. Jesus clearly warned, in the world you will have tribulation (John 16:33). How do you respond to hardship? Are you willing to trust in Gods love and goodness, even in trials? If you submit as a child to Gods discipline, hardship becomes the seed for a harvest of righteousness and peace. Substituting your name for Israel, read Psalm 131:2-3 I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth sand forevermore.