p style=”text-align: center;”>Group Resources
April 26, 2015
This Week’s Take Home Truth:
“Jesus, as the perfect picture of endurance, models for us faithful perseverance.”
This Week’s Resources:
- The Compass Bible Study
- Sermon PowerPoint (scroll down past the worship slides)
- Lighthouse Discussion Guide
- Lighthouse Leader Study Guide
We are nearing the end of our study in Hebrews, and the writer is starting to bring to a conclusion his sermonic letter. For several chapters we have studied the comparison and contrast between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Even though the New Covenant is supremely better than the Old, it is clear from his warnings and encouragements that the Jewish readers of Hebrews were tempted to look backward, to the familiar and comfortable rituals of their beloved Law.
In this last part of Hebrews 12, the writer takes us to two mountains to again drive home his point. He compares the horrific scene of the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai, a scene so terrifying the people of Israel pleaded with Moses to intercede for them lest they die, with Mt. Zion and the joy found in the heavenly city, where the grace of the gospel reigns supreme.
In this week’s lesson, we will focus on the topic of Law vs Grace and how we as Christians can become too comfortable living under grace. In some cases, we actually disrespect God and permit the holy to become common. We are now to be terrified of the Lord like the people at Mt. Sinai, but we are also to approach Him with awe and respect.
NOTE: A chart comparing Law vs Grace is included on p. 9. Be sure to review this to help guide your discussion on this topic.
- Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
- Can you reference a time when you experienced raw terror? Something so frightening it literally took your breath away, but you could not look away?
- As a parent, how do you use fear to teach your children? What are the advantages and disadvantages of fear?
Read the Text (Hebrews 12:18-27)
Our text this week is the picture of two mountains. One represents the Old Covenant, and the other represents the New Covenant. One filled people with the terror of the Lord, the other fills God’s people with festive joy. As we study this week’s text, we need to focus on the joy that comes with the New Covenant, yet not trample on God’s grace because we are not held to the strict conventions of the Old Covenant. Read Hebrews 12:18-27.
- How does comparison and contrast help us learn and understand abstract concepts?
- In Hebrews 12:18-21 we see a vivid description of Mt. Sinai. If you haven’t already read these verses, do so now. In your own words, describe the scene at Mt. Sinai. How would you describe this scene to someone who has no context of what is happening?
- In Hebrews 12:22-24 we see a picturesque description of Mt. Zion. What words would you use to describe Mt. Zion?
- What message do you think the writer to the Hebrews is trying to impress upon his readers by contrasting Mt. Sinai with Mt. Zion?
- For a parallel passage, read Galatians 4:21-31. In this example, Paul uses the illustration of these same two mountains along with Hagar and Sarah to make a similar point. As a group, consider the contrast between law and grace.
- Why do you think the writer warns his readers in verse 25 to “not refuse him who is speaking?”
- How do you think we take advantage of God’s grace as children under the New Covenant?
We conclude this study with some probing questions. They center around our relationship with God and our appreciation (or lack thereof) for His amazing grace. As you read these questions, are you guilty of refusing to listen to Him who is speaking (v. 25)?
- Are you taking the God of grace for granted?
- Do you talk flippantly about Him?
- Do you worship Him with casual indifference?
- Do you regard His Word lightly?
- Do you live an “I’ll do as I please” life of abusing grace?
Don’t fall short of the grace of God. He has been too gracious for us to take Him for granted. He has been too faithful for us to falter on the very steps to His throne.