HEBREWS 13:15-25 DISCUSSION GUIDE
Note—As you work through the discussion guide, remember that you do not have to answer every question; pick and choose which questions work best for your group discussion.
Introduction: Explain the “left column/right column” model. Left column are the things that concern us, but we have NO control over them. The right column are the things that concern us, but we have SOME control over them. For instance, a spouse has decided to leave the marriage. You cannot control your spouse’s choices, but you have some choices regarding how to respond. Or you have a health concern that you are waiting for results back.
Activity: Have everyone make a left and right column list regarding something of concern to them right now.
Explain: Many things in the left column are of great importance to us. But our faith empowers us to trust God with those things while also empowering us to be faithful with what is in the right column.
Read Ps. 103: As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
Question 1: How does this Psalm balance our limitations with our foundation for confidence?
Read: 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. 17 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. 18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Explain/Question 2: The writer of Hebrews is wrapping up his letter with some practical challenges.
What are the four main challenges you find in these verses?
Explain: The first “right column” item is to “Continually offer up a sacrifice of praise.”
The writer contrasts Christ’s once for all sacrifice for our sins with our continual sacrifice of praise for what Christ has done.
- Name 1 song that would be on the “playlist” or “soundtrack” of your life and tell us why?
- How are you making praise the soundtrack of your life? How are you struggling to do so?
Explain: The second “right column” item is Do good to others. The reoccurring theme in the Bible is the two-fold, “Love God and love others.”
We see this again it is pleasing to God when we offer him continual praise and as we do good to others by sharing our resources with them.
Explain: The third “right column” item is Follow Spiritual leadership within Scriptural limits.
- Why is “within Scriptural limits both assumed and so important in terms of obeying leadership?”
- Why would making it hard for our spiritual leaders to lead, be bad for us?
Explain: The fourth right column item mentioned here is to “pray.” Sometimes we struggle to pray faithfully because we are confused about how our choice to pray “works” with God’s sovereign control over all things.
Question 7: Do you find faithful prayer difficult to maintain or not? Explain.
Read: 20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
- Where do you see head/heart/hands (belief, become, do) working together in this passage?
- What does it mean, “We are to work out what God in Christ has worked in”?
Read: 22 Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter. 23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you. 24 Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. Those from Italy send you, their greetings. 25 Grace be with you all.
- How does this practical, “normal” ending speak to the reality of God and the gospel in the real word?
- Where have you seen God at work in places and situations that might not be obvious to others?
Conclude: How would you like the group to pray for you in terms of your life becoming more “single-story” (Where do you feel like you are a “different” person or how would you like to be more consistent?)