Strand #3 – A Savior who knows suffering
Hebrews 2, New Testament
In week 7 of A CORD OF THREE STRANDS, our focus for 3 weeks will be in the New Testament letter written to the Hebrews, a group of new Christians who were Jewish, who lived outside of Palestine, in a larger Hebrew community that was growing increasingly hostile to Jewish people who had begun to believe in and follow Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah.
Why our focus in this letter? Because it taught these early believers, and us today, that to FINISH WELL, we need a Savior who can has ALREADY NAVIGATED the tough stuff that comes to us, and is EAGER TO HELP US through it to glory. He is that all important 3rd strand of our 3-fold cord. This week’s teaching, from Hebrews 2, underscored our confidence:
My confidence about finishing well is in a pioneering Savior who’s “been there, done that,” and is in charge of my salvation.
GETTING STARTED – our teaching from Hebrews noted that these 1st century Christians, like Christians today, were considering giving up their faith. Let’s take a moment with this:
- have you ever considered giving up on Christianity, and putting to an end your faith? If so, what was going on?
- Do you know of someone who has? If so, what was behind the abandoning of faith? Was it permanent, or temporary?
- Do you think a truly born-again person can stop believing?
IN THE SCRIPTURES – Hebrews 2 urges these Christians to understand both the danger of “neglecting” the salvation God has given to us and the rewarding joy ahead if we keep trusting that Jesus will bring us to glory (2:10). Let’s explore these two areas.
#1 How do the following passages describe what can happen to Christians enticed to give up? (read vss & discuss)
Hebrews 2:1-3, 3:12-13, 4:1-3, 5:11-12, 6:11-12, 10:26, 10:35-36, 12:15
Conversely… #2 What are the prospects for Christians who stay faithful in following their Pioneering Savior? (read vss. & discuss)
Hebrews 2:10-11, 3:1-6, 4:10-11a, 6:9-11, 6:19-20, 10:19-25, 10:35,
11:39-40, 12:22-24, 13:13-14
SUMMARIZE – what is sobering about #1? What is encouraging about #2?
SOME TIME TO APPLY - Because Hebrews is a book we read less frequently, what we’ve discovered in this study can raise many questions. Yet it is the Spirit’s call for Christians to realize they have a Savior who didn’t give up, and who can bring them to glory. As you finish:
- how critical is “hanging together” to each of us “staying faithful”?
- do you sense a fresh need for mutual accountability in our journey with Jesus?
Because the author of Hebrews is addressing Christians, we need to understand what Christians can lose if they give up on faith. Clearly, the Holy Spirit in Hebrews warns Christians that to give up on faith is (1) to invite God’s judgment into to their current lives, and (2) to forfeit the rewards God promises for faithfulness, rewards that are realized in the Kingdom era on earth over which Jesus and faithful saints will reign (cf. Rev. 20:1-6). NOTE: Scripture teaches that the FREE GIFT of eternal life cannot be lost…but REWARD FOR FAITHFULNESS can (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
Series key truth -- In a world of unavoidable tough stuff, we are unbroken conquerors when woven together with God and godly companions.