Our Hearts Strengthened by Grace
November 20, 2016
Hebrews 13:7-16 ESV:  Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.  We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.  For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.  So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.  Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.  For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.  Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
The author understands life is hard. He continues to lay out a foundation for our being spiritually strengthened in order that we might happily endure through whatever may come our way. No surprise. The answer is Jesus.
· We look to models of those with genuine, enduring faith.
· We understand “Jesus + Nothing”, is always the answer (Grace).
· We cling to Jesus.
· We celebrate God.
Life Group Questions:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
1. How would you summarize the big ideas of chapters 1-11?
2. How would you paraphrase the big idea of chapter 12?
3. What transition is taking place in Chapter 13?
4. Who are leaders the author is referring to in 13:7? What outcome is the author describing?
5. What does v.8 teach about Jesus? How does v.8 connect to v.7 and v.9?
6. What warning does the author give in v.9? Have we encountered similar warnings in Hebrews? Explain.
7. What does it mean to be “strengthened by grace”?
8. What altar is the author referring to in v.10? According to the author, who cannot eat from it? Explain.
9. What connection does the author seem to make between Jesus and the Old Testament sacrifices? Based on this, what does the therefore encourage the readers to do?
10. What was the reproach Jesus endured?
11. What two kinds of sacrifices does the author encourage in response to Jesus’ sacrifice?
12. What is a sacrifice of praise?
13. What does the author mean by ‘do good and share what you have’ in v.16?
14. How would you paraphrase the big idea of 13:7-16?
HOW DOES IT APPLY?
1. What has been something that has been new or sharpened during your study of Hebrews?
2. During our study of Hebrews, have you increased your search for, or found, models of genuine, enduring faith? Explain.
3. What are you still tempted to add to Jesus + NOTHING? Explain.
4. How do we encourage and challenge each other to live lives with faith that endures?
5. In clinging to Jesus, have you expected or encountered criticism or external pressure to stop enduring in faith? How have you responded?
6. How does the hope of heaven, the city that is to come, motivate you to continue to have faith that endures?
7. How does your faith influence the way you share your life and stuff with others?
8. How can we, as a life group, continue to grow in our celebration of God?