What's My Advantage?
November 27, 2016
Hebrews 13:17-19 ESV:  Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.  Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.  I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
The author reiterates his consistent concern, which is to help us be certain we have enduring faith. The author points out an advantage that God has given us toward achieving the salvation of our souls: submitting to watchful, joy-filled leaders.
· Leaders responsibly challenge their people to be faithful.
· Leaders rejoice in the joy of people’s enduring faith.
· Leaders want prayer to pursue God til the end.
Life Group Questions:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
1. How would you summarize the big ideas of chapters 1-11? Chapter 12?
2. How would you paraphrase what the author has said so far in chapter 13?
3. What leaders are being referenced in v. 17?
4. What descriptions of leaders does the author give to inspire and encourage the obedience and submission he is commanding?
5. What are leaders ‘watching’ so that the souls of the readers will be saved?
6. To whom will leaders give an account and about whom will they be giving this account?
7. In the second sentence of v 17, how is the author using the word “this”?
8. What does it mean to do “this with joy and not with groaning”?
9. What advantage are the readers receiving?
10. What does it mean to have a clear conscience?
11. What does he mean to communicate to the audience in writing ‘(we are) desiring to act honorably in all things’?
12. How would you paraphrase the big idea of Hebrews 13:7-19?
HOW DOES IT APPLY?
1. Throughout Hebrews, what are the themes or ideas that have resonated most with you? Are they new ideas? Or is there growth in some things already known?
2. Does the idea of submitting to church leaders sound abrasive? Explain. Are there limits to this?
3. How do you understand the advantage that the author outlines?
4. To what extent are we all responsible to keep watch over one another’s souls?
5. Whose Ongoing Spiritual Transformation (OST) are you ‘watching over’? Your family? Your neighborhood? Your workplace?
6. The last time you challenged someone in your sphere of influence to be faithful, to cling to Jesus, to endure in faith - what response did you encounter? What kind of response would have brought you the most joy?
7. What role does your prayer life play in personally pursuing a faith that endures?
8. What role do the prayers of our community of faith play in encouraging your desire and passion to pursue God to the end? How can we do that more?