Hebrews studies series

 

FINISHING WELL

Hebrews 12:12-17

HEBREWS STUDY #27                                                             

 

·        Why do people leave jobs unfinished?

·        Why is it a poor testimony when Christians leave jobs unfinished?

·        Read the passage below and tell us what it says about finishing well.

 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 - Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. [25] And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. [26] I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: [27] But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

·        Tell us about someone you have seen finish their Christian life well.

 

After describing the Christian life as a race in Hebrews 12:1-4, we find the author again encouraging us to be faithful until we reach the “finish line”.

1. DETERMINATION – Vs. 12

 

š    Hebrews 12:1-12 tells us that there is a race to be won and discipline to endure.  Therefore, we as Christians need to be determined to finish the race and to accept discipline graciously. 

š    What is discouraging about the race we call the Christian life?

š    What is discouraging about discipline?

š    What are drooping arms, flopping hands, and wobbly knees an indication of?

š    What can we do to strengthen our drooping arms and hands?

š    What can we do to strengthen our wobbly knees?

š    What do we need from God more than anything else in order to obey this command? 

Hebrews 12:28, 2 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Peter 5:10, 2 Peter 3:18

š    How is finishing the race a team sport?

Isaiah 35:3-4 - Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. [4] Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

š    How can we strengthen the weak hands and wobbly knees of others?

2. DIRECTION – Vss. 13-14

 

V     Vs. 13 - When we run in a race why do we need straight paths?  What happens when we get out of our running lanes?

Proverbs 4:25-27 - Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. [26] Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. [27] Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

V     The word “path” refers to a track made by a wagon or chariot wheel.  It is something someone else can follow.  Who are some of the people who will follow in our paths and how can we help?  1 Timothy 4:12

V     How do Christians cause other Christians to stumble?

V     How will a straight and level path help and even start to heal someone who is lame?

V     Vs. 14 – Christians have natural enemies. Who are they?

John 15:18-19 - If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. [19] If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

V     How can we follow peace with people who are opposed to us? Romans 12:18-21

V     Who sometimes become the Christians’ unnatural enemies?  Why does this grieve our Lord?  How can we follow peace with them?  John 13:34-25, Ephesians 4:32

V     Peace and holiness go together.

Matthew 5:8-9 - Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. [9] Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

V     What is holiness?

V     How will holiness bring about peace?

V     How do I make peace and holiness a priority in my life?

3. DILIGENCE – Vss. 15-17

 

ü     Vs. 15 - How can a person fail or “fall short” of the grace of God?

ü     How can that hurt the body of Christ as a bitter root?

ü     How do bitter Christians hurt the cause of Christ?

ü     How can you tell if you are bitter?

ü     How can Christians heal bitterness?

ü     Vs. 16 – Why is sexual promiscuity something to avoid at all costs? 

ü     Esau was an unholy or Godless person.  How did selling his birthright for a cheap meal indicate this?

ü     Is it possible to believe in God and be Godless?

ü     Vs. 7 - How was Esau rejected from inheriting the blessing?  Why could he not change things even though he wanted to?

 

Note: The concept of “finishing well” was found in the book, Preaching the Word, Hebrews Volume 2, An Anchor for the Soul by R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton Illinois, Crossway Books, 1993), pp. 177-185

The outline I used for this passage is mine.