Hebrews David Jeremiah, General Editor
PRE V I EW G U I D E
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom â€” Col. 3:16a
Student ministry leader, We are excited to announce the release of Explore the Bible: Students, a curriculum designed to help students engage in God’s Word in such a way that His truth begins to dwell in them. D. L. Moody once said, “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” When students struggle to know God well and live for Him, it is because they simply don’t know His Word. Our desire is to begin changing this one verse at a time. We believe students’ lives will be transformed as they study the text in its context and begin to obey the text in their context. Each group session will be built around two major promises: • Study the text in its context: Our study will be driven by books of the Bible, not topical studies. Students will explore on their own and be equipped to read and study God’s Word personally. • Obey the text in your context: The goal of each session is to help students understand what the Bible says and how it should impact their daily lives. Each week, students will examine how the truths from that session apply and decide action steps necessary for them to put into practice what they learned. Some key features that set Explore the Bible: Students apart are: • Book-by-book studies • A focused, easy-to-follow teaching plan built around one central truth • Group times are built around an “Explore” time designed to help students dig into the Scripture personally • Students will be equipped to read and understand the Bible on their own • Leader guide designed to equip leaders for each session • Weekly training videos to help leaders prepare and catch the vision of each week’s session • Leader pack providing relevant posters, maps, and other content to drive home the context of each lesson • Aligned content across age groups • A weekly tool included called One Conversation™ to help equip parents to have spiritual conversations with their students The Bible is God’s living Word given to us so that we may know Him. Knowing Him brings us joy and living for Him gives us purpose. Explore the Bible: Students will help you lead students to explore and understand the Bible in ways that will call them into a deeper walk with God. As the Word dwells in them, their lives will be transformed. If you have any questions, please email me: email@example.com. Jeff Pratt Director, Student Ministry Publishing
How will this help? Study the text in its context Because to know Him, we must know His Word.
❯❯Students will be engaged in studying book-by-book through the Bible ❯❯Equip students to know God through studying the Bible themselves • Provide time in each session where students “Explore” the Scriptures on their own • Context is going to drive conversation
Who is Jesus? Hebrews 1: 1-4
ltural Cont ex
God spoke to the father ways. 2 In s by the pro these last day phets at dif s, He has spo all things and ferent times ken to us by made the un and in differ His Son. Go iverse throug the exact exp ent d has appoin h Him. 3 Th ression of His ted Him hei e Son is the nature, sus purification r of radiance of taining all for sins, He God’s glory things by His sat dow n at higher in ran and pow the erful word. right hand k than the After makin of the Majes angels, just as the nam g ty on high. e He inheri 4 So He became ted is superi or to theirs.
TRANSITIO N TO
Begin by reading the passage through two times.
INDIVIDUA After you hav L e shared wit h stu
Bible | Stud ents
3-5 and the s individual up setting, 1 Long ago God they exp n come bac spoken ly using the allow your haslore last days, He d. to k together ir study gui times and in different ways. 2 In these as a group des. Have the heir of all things and made to discuss m us by His Son. God has appointed Him what they glory God’s of found as radiance the is Son The 3 the universe through Him. His by things all sustaining nature, and the exact expression of His for sins, He sat down at powerful word. After making purification rank in higher So He became the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 is superior to theirs. than the angels, just as the name He inherited Session 1
Verse 3 uses the word “radiance” to describe Jesus. What do you think that word means?
1-4 Hebrews 1:
is going Focus Ththa t what we are try ing es nk sometim are still to us. If you We like to thi d pening only should respon through is hap o Jesus is and how you wh ne. to figure out You aren’t alo eration at? gen wh ond ss we find sec to Him, gue k of of Hebrews, ter of the Boo In the Book spot. The wri and us today, He in the same m Christians wer for the g a simple ans to everythin r had erio ws sup bre He rist is over ed to us. Ch es supremely is God reveal d and He rul ate cre n bee r that has eve all creation.
ents Bible | Stud
your studen dents 10-15 ts the contex minutes to Hebrews 1:1-4 t of Hebrews work thrdifferent explore the ough pages Scr ipture in the gro spoke to the fathers by the prophets at
Who is Jesus?
the 2 Explore
These Jew ish believers had been per considerin secuted for g giv ing up the on Christian Christianity. ity and return ir new religion. They The author were now how ing to Judais composed danger of tur ever, his letter abo m, ning away ut the superio which was legally rec to something ognized, unl rity of Christ that was clea ike and Christ rly inferior ianity and because he the knew their Literary Co situation wel l. ntext The genre of this boo k is a long, for ma ser mon-like l letter. It wa features, inc s written in luding a rhe arg uments. tor ica l statem excellent Koi The farewe ll shows tha ne Greek. The ent of thesis t in its presen (1:1-3) and letter has develops ste t for m, it wa p-by-step s sent as a letter.
Hebrews 1:1-4 1 Long ago
(10 -15 MI
Using the foll ow ing contex of the book tua l inform of Hebrews. ation, begin Help your gro your group author, the time by set up understan original aud ting the sta ience, and d why it is ge for this other histor important study ica l and cul to know abo tural inform ut the book, ation before the Historical you begin to Context study. When was it written? The exact date document usually dat is not menti ed around oned, but author and A.D. 95 or his readers 96, shows tha the use of Hebrews in belonged to after A.D. 60. 1 Clement t it was wri the second (36:1-6), a So, the boo tten before generation k could hav scholars agr that time. of Christian e been writte Because the ee on a dat s, it had to e before A.D n any time have been Who wrote bet ween A.D . 70 and the written it? The aut . des 60 tru and hor original rec ction of Jer A.D. 95. Mo is unknow ipients. Ori usa n. st Wh lem at . we gen, an ear do know is To whom wa ly church fat that the aut s it written? her said it hor was wel and assum Throughout l known to ed his reader the book, the best, “Only God knows his s knew Jew would show who wrote author makes ish Hebrews.” sacrificia l ritu the original reference to audience to the Old Tes be Jew ish Ch als and the priesthoo tament d of the Old ristians. Testament . This Cu
What is one thought these verses say about Jesus?
(20 -25 MI
After your group has had enough tim your studen e ts back tog ether as a gro to work its way throug explored the h the Explore up. Now is Scr iptures. the time to section of the talk about study, bring what they Begin by rea discovered as they ding the pas sage togeth about the pas er as a group. sage they rec Allow your orded on pag students to e 3 of their sha re stu som dy guides. ❯ Verse 3 e of their tho Their quick uses the wo ughts response que rd “radiance stions were: ” to describ e Jesus. Wh ❯ What is at do you one though think that t these ver wo rd means? ses say abo ut Jesus? These are tho ughts you hav students wh e at a first glance, so don at types of things to be ’t spend too answers ma looking for much time, y alert you and to specific but begin tea picking up areas to foc on as they ching your us on later study a new as you dig passage. The into those se particular verses. Call on a vol unteer to rea d Hebrews different way 1:1. At the s God reveal top of ed Himself this passag the Explore in the Old e, but help Section on Testament your studen page 4, the God used tha . The prophe ts think thr re is a list of t method for ts ough other listed. Ask that person ways God com are directly mentione if anyone can . You can eve d in municated n call on dif recall any oth and possib ferent studen er ways Go ly why d revealed ts to rea ❯ Ask for a d the stories Himself. student to share their and how the answer to y communic the Explor ate with the e questions m. about the The point her three peo e is to help ple your group different peo understand ple and proces people we are . Genera lly speaking, s why we com we know wh communic municate dif ich method ating with. ferently wit will work bes Allow this h to t mo bec ve ause we kno into the nex ❯ What doe w the t question: s it say abo ut God tha t He choose s different One though ways to spe t we want stu ak to differ dents tak ing does He rev ent eal Himself away from people? , He knows these verses way to com us better tha is that God municate to is a person n we know us. al God. No ourselves and t only He always chooses the best
over all Jesus Christ is God and reigns supreme things in the universe.
Bible | Stud ents
ning at? Now Wh writer spent these verses explai
The book of Hebrew s begins wit in many way h these wo s, God spo rds: “In ma ke.” By say ny times and times of the ing this, the Old Testam writer refe ent when the prophe rs to the God spoke ts such as to his people Isaiah and words to Isra through Jere miah. They el. Now the faithfully spo Messiah has by the pro ke God’s come and phets as Go fille d’s d per fect spo in the blan one who dec ks left kesman. Jesu lares the Wo s is the Pro rd of God phet—the like none oth er (Deut 18:1 Our God is 5). the God wh o speaks. Thi Scripture. Go s concept d created by is carried thro speaking. made from ughout Genesis tells nothing by us that the His word (Ge the “Ten Com world was n. 1:1). Go mandment d delivered s” or the “Te at Sinai (He to Moses n Words.” b. 12:19-20), His voice thu and it calls Ps. 50:1-6). ndered to the end It is God’s s of the ear Word that unto our fee th (Is. 41:1 we hide in -4; t (Ps. 119). our hearts He has sav and is a lam (Is. 43:11-1 ed us, proclai 2), and dec p med His hol lares the end y Word from the beg inning (Is. The New Tes 46:10). tament tea ches that Jesu Father (Jn. s is the Wo 1:1, 18). In rd who exp Acts 1, we the author lains the see that Jesu ity to speak s has given and teach seen in the His disciple the word of tongues of s God’s king fire and insp of the Bible dom, which ired speech speaks; fals is at Penteco e “gods” do st. The Go not speak. d There are two distinct era s of God spe Testament aking: the s. The first Old and New pointed to Consider 1 what would Peter 1:10 -12 come in the : In the Old God’s Word second. Testament little by littl , believers e. The reve “Little by littl were given lation from e” is what God was pro the ver y firs by little, and gressive. t term in Heb in many way rew s means. Litt s (such as etc.), God through dire le spoke long ct revelatio ago. Now work of Jesu n, dreams, God has spo s. ken in the person and
While the author of thi s book is not named, the eviden ce points to the fact that he was known by the orig ina l his letter. The recipients of evidence also points to the fact that the orig ina l aud ience was Jew Chr istians ish . Throughou t the book referen ces are made the Old Tes to tam sacrificial ritu ent, Jew ish als, and war against rely nings ing on ritu als that only point to Chr ist but are not Chr ist Him self.
No other boo k in the New Testament so masterfu lly combines tea ching from both the old and new covena nt. This shows the orig ina l aud ience wou ld have bee with both co n knowledgeable venants.
allenge Personal Ch teacher, or d man, good another goo eemer. isn’t simply is also our Red Dwell: Jesus in flesh. He re. He is God one thought— religious figu king about that this week thin Spend time eemer. Red and God Jesus is both rews 1:2a Memorize: Heb
think the Why do you d superiority of Jesus? greatness an
things to be ieve these sonally bel Do you per swer? with that an ions agree Do your act
Leader Exp lore
seek week. As you self to you this st to reveal Him h to obey. Tru n and strengt Pray: Ask God for ears to liste . Him daily, ask way truly is the best that His way
God’s Son, He is truly s? live superior, if If Jesus is completely with our trusting Him
ging Keep on Dig
Jesus is descri and note how wing verses Read the follo • Luke 5:17-26 1-45 • John 1:1-18 • Matthew 22:4 8 • Mark 9:2-
us from what keeps
g Jesus aren’t trustin . e where you ving in that direction of your lif in mo List 3 areas d how you can beg an completely •
the 6 Explore
ents Bible | Stud
Obey the text in your context Because we need transformation, not information.
❯❯Through the exploration of Scripture, students will realize how the truth impacts their lives • After exploring the text, we will focus on the implication for our lives • A central truth will be presented from the passage and students will identify ways this truth impacts their lives • Students will be given an opportunity to list action steps based on applying what they learned • Each lesson will end with a personal challenge and a verse to memorize The goal is to teach students how to study the Bible personally. As they deepen their knowledge of His Word, it impacts who they are and how they live.
how it works Exploration
Both the group leader and the students are challenged to explore the text in context on a personal level. For the students, that time comes during the group time. For the group leader, however, exploration time should happen before the group time. The leader can only lead the group somewhere he or she has already been. To further assist the leader, weekly videos are available in the Leader Pack. These videos will motivate, inspire and inform the leader as they spend time preparing during the week.
Who is Jesus?
(10-15 MINUTES )
Using the follow ing contextual infor matio n, begin your group of the book of Hebr time by setting the ews. Help your group stage for this study understand why it author, the original is important to know audience, and other about the book, the historical and cultu ral infor mation befor e you begin to study .
When was it writt en? The exact date is not mentioned, document usua lly but the use of Hebr dated around A.D. ews in 1 Clement 95 or 96, shows that author and his reade (36:1-6), a it was written befor rs belonged to the e that time. Becau second generation after A.D. 60. So, se the of Christians, it had the book could have to have been writt been written anyti scholars agree on en me between A.D. 60 and a date before A.D. 70 and the destr uctio A.D. 95. Most Who wrote it? The n of Jerusalem. author is unknown. Wha original recipients t we do know is that . Origen, an early the author was well churc h father said it best, know n to his To whom was it writt “Only God knows en? Throughout the who wrote Hebrews.” and assumed his reade book, the author make rs knew Jewish sacri s reference to the Old Testament ficial ritua ls and the would show the origi priesthood of the nal audience to be Old Testament. This Jewish Christians .
These Jewish belie vers had been perse cuted for their new considering givin religion. They were g up on Christiani now however, ty and retur ning to Christianity. The Judaism, which was author composed legally recog nized his letter about the danger of turning , unlike super iority of Chris away to something t and Christianity that was clearly infer and the ior because he knew their situation well.
1 Long ago God spok e to the fathers by the prophets at diffe ways. 2 In these last rent times and in days, He has spok different en to us by His Son. all things and mad God has appointed e the universe thro Him heir of ugh Him. 3 The Son the exact expressio is the radiance of n of His nature, susta God’s glory and ining all things by purification for sins, His powerful word. Afte He sat down at the r making right hand of the higher in rank than Majesty on high. 4 the angels, just as So He became the name He inhe rited is superior to theirs.
The genre of this book is a long, form al letter. It was writt sermon-like featu en in excellent Koin res, including a rheto e Greek. The letter rical statement of arguments. The farew has thesis (1:1-3) and ell shows that in its develops step-by-st present form, it was ep sent as a letter.
TRANSITION TO IND IVIDUAL
d ribe desc ess proc the f o g ndin r sins.” o rsta se 3 r unde ation f Vere down ykoinu g purif ic the Writ as “ma n at dow here sat esus J t a d th ecor er r sty? writ the e Ma je d l h u t wo of Why t hand righ
led revea nt2 Explore the Bible | Students e ke or d spo ld Testam ys Go :1-4 4 wa in the O lf dus 3 2:24-30 se xo E im H Bush, Genesis 3 2 r, rning 1. Bu e Wrestle dus 13:21-2 esis 3:8 2. T h Cloud, Exo nion, Gen 3. A en Compa rd 4. Ga
h ate wit mmunic people? you co t n way ith differen ai m e hods w and th e1 Versdifferent peopuslee different met List 3 Why do you (20 -25 MI NUTES) . em th
your group to has had eno t ways your stu ugh time to • dents back work sitsdifferen together as explored the a group.eNo choose way through the Explore Scr iptures • section of the at H w is the time to talk . th d study, bring about what t Go they discov Begin by rea y abou ered as the it sapas ding the y ? le sag about the t does Wha pas t peyop e together as a group. sag en e the er recorded on Allow your students to to diff page 3 of the share some ir study gui ❯ Verse 3 of des the . ir The tho uses the wo ir qui a ck response questio ughts rd “radiance ns were: ” to describ het or e Jesus. a prop ❯ What is one though on than What do you think tha t these ver velati t word me reabo ses of say ans? ut rm These are tho Jesus? ughts you hav a better fo students wh te at types isofChris at a first glance, so don ow thi ’t spend too ngs answers ma sh? to be looking bu mu y aleH g ch time, but rt you for and pic burninto specific areas begin teachi king up on as the to focus on ng your ant? later as you signif ic y study a new is this dig into those particu passage. These lar verses. n? Why ea m ir Call on a vol an he unteer to rea g in d He different way es be ws 1:1. At the t dobre s God revW haed top of the Exp eal this passag Himself in lore Section e, but help the Old Tes on page 4, your studen tament. The God used tha there is a list ts think thr prophets t method for of ough other listed. Ask that person ways God com are directly mentione if anyone can . You can eve d in municated n call on dif recall any oth and possib ferent studen er ways Go ly why d ts revealed Him to read the ❯ Ask for a stories self. student to share their and how the answer to y communic the Explor ate with the ts e questions | Studen m. Bible about the The poiExnt re the ploher three peo 4 e is to help ple your group different peo understand ple and proces people we are . Genera lly speaking, s why we com we know wh communic mu nic ich ating with. ate differentl method wil Allow this l y wo wit rk h bes to move int t because we ❯ What doe o the next know the question: s it say abo ut God tha t He choose s different One though ways to spe t we want stu ak to differ dents tak ing does He rev ent people eal Himself away from ? , He knows these verses way to com us better tha is that God municate to is a person n we know us. al God. No ourselves and t only He always chooses the best
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STUDY After you have share d with your stude nts the context of students 10-15 minu Hebrews in the group tes to explore the setting, allow your Scriptures indiv idual work through pages ly using their study 3-5 and then come guides. Have them back together as a they explored. group to discuss what they found as
mes? r na othe all
Leader Exp lore
each cord d re e an g a ass EW HE pBR S 1:1-2A tire enThe
book of Heb rews begins in many way with these words: “In s, God spo ke.” By say many times times of the ing this, the and Old Testam writer refe ent when the prophe rs to the God spoke ts such as to his people Isai ah and Jere words to Isra through miah. They el. Now the fait hfully spoke Messiah has by the pro God’s come and phets as Go filled in the d’s per fect one who dec blanks left spokesman. lares the Wo Jesus is the rd of God Prophet— like none oth the er (Deut 18:1 Our God is 1 55). the God wh Session o spe Scripture. Go aks. This con d created by cept is carried speaking. made from throughout Genesis tells nothing by us that the His word (Ge the “Ten Com world was n. 1:1). Go mandment d delivered s” or the “Te at Sinai (He to Moses n Words.” b. 12:19-20), His voice thu and it calls Ps. 50:1-6). ndered to the end It is God’s s of the ear Word that unto our fee th (Is. 41:1-4; we hide in t (Ps. 119). our hearts He has sav and is a lam (Is. 43:11-1 ed us, proclai 2), and dec p med His hol lares the end y Word from the beg inning (Is. The New Tes 46:10). tament tea ches that Jesu Father (Jn. s 1:1, 18). In is the Word Acts 1, we who explain the author see that Jesu s the ity to speak s has given and teach seen in the His disciple the word of tongues of s God’s king fire and insp of the Bible dom, which ired speech speaks; fals is at Pen e “gods” do tecost. The not speak. God There are two distinct era s of God spe Testament aking: the s. The first Old and New pointed to Consider 1 what would Peter 1:10 -12 come in the : In the Old God’s Word second. Testament little by littl , believers e. The reve “Little by littl were given lation from e” is what Go d was progre the ver y firs by little, and ssive. t term in Heb in many way rews means s (such as etc.), God . Little through dire spoke long ct revelatio ago. Now work of Jesu n, dreams, God has spo s. ken in the person and
the ugh thro sus. back of Je Look ription desc
While the author of thi s book is not named, the eviden ce points to the fact that he was known by the orig ina l recipie nts of his letter. The evidence also points to the fact that the orig ina l aud ience was Jew Chr istians ish . Throughou t the book referen ces are made the Old Tes to tam sacrificial ritu ent, Jew ish als, and war against rely nings ing on ritu als that only point to Chr ist but are not Chr ist Him self.
No other boo k in the New Testament so master full y combines tea ching from both the old and new covena nt. This shows the orig ina l aud ience wou ld have bee with both co n knowledgeable venants.
(20 -25 MI NUTES) After your group has had enough tim your studen e to work its ts back tog ether as a gro way throug explored the h the Explore up. Now is Scr iptures the time to section of the . talk about study, bring what they Begin by rea discovered as they ding the pas ntion sage togeth about the pas is the first me er as a group. sage they rec for sins. This tion Allow your orded on pag ifica . This draws e pur mad hasden e 3 of their h, the Son stu ts to shareJesus’ sacrifice for sins tion Sixtstudy guides rews— some of theus. ❯ Verse 3 aking purifica “Mugh in Heb . The ir me of tho uses the wo ir the all qui or for ck ts of ist se respon of a maj rd “radiance th of Chr on the Day questio llywer ecia ns ” to describattention to the dea s, esp half a verse, e:himself as a our e Jesus. t a priest doe y only be a ❯ Whwas tha ma red ing Wh at ent offe r eth is at tem one though som do you thi thly priest eve s sta ent and for sins” is earnk that wo t these ver that while thi Old Testam rd means? ses say abo nement (Lev. 16). Yet no understands essary in the here into the ut Jesus? Ato tem was nec e your group Transition These are though making sur sins. sacrificial sys per manent. ts you have sat down Spend time sacrifice for students wh that it was altering. The at a first gla cifixion), He sacrifice is at types of nce, so don tions are life ist’s lica for sins (cru Chr imp of thi the ’t spend too Son is exalted ngs to be loo answers ma e purification mad ly. The beauty ension). The mu y He kin ous ale r (asc ch g ty? rt tinu afte for tim ven you jes h, con and pic e, but in hea entg to specific and done Sevkin d of the Ma up both rules are the Fatherbeg in teachi han of on He as ht d as to ng n: ere rig han foc the you t wh us on late y study anenew righ r as the Prophet. of God next questio atrthe down at the as you rd passage. The the thro dig ’s wo d ooftho t Jesus sat ld have int t han se se par and speaks God record tha istians, wou to the righ and alludes the writer Jew ish Chr verrem ring g and Priest ticu larsup ses.acy of Christ reg ular offe lly intended, ❯ Why would rcedes as Kin the the with the ina s inte es Cal to orig rule crib ed l on des was a .vol loca unt n accustom The eertion d of God” s. He lives and ce this book o to read Hebre ld have bee at He “Right han n in Hebrew the one wh feredid t the audien ws 1:1. At the nt ways Goof . They wou alit y of whdif quoted ofte authority as r group tha d revealed supremacy top of the rificial system ortant to signify the fin Psalm 110:1, so with all Remind you to Exp thithe Himself in s pas teaching sag loreGod d r with the sac Father, doing imp ntly e, is ilia han his Sec n the but t sta fam tion Old hel y dow con righ of is p your studen sat on pag Testament er The been ver pow Goe. e ). 4, there is d use suprem . The e (1:4 e. The writer t that Jesus is ts d n fac anc nam tha thi pro n itio ific nk The a t . ow phe me list pos thr ’s sign thod for tha ts of His ough otherbears God the of sacrifices listher Fat also of great rifices and ed. .Ask if any t person. You ways God com are directly mentione Hebrews and with it sat dow n is t hand of the r all other sac one can rec can even cal municatedning sentencedofin of where He des at the righ all any oth supreme ove ut Christ, l on differe the ope and possibly er ways Go ntclud enythings abo es and interce sacrifice was stues dents to rea se 4 con d revealed ken is listing sevwh Chr ist. His VerHim er. Chr ist rul ❯ Ask for a k. Aft der the God has spo stories self ition of pow .n to this boo student to answers to: ugh whom ctio ir brings thro odu ly the signifies a pos intr re Son den share their the to sha and how the g why he sud by stating: answer to group time e y communic concludes us. seem puzzlin the Exphe allow your en we examin ate with the els. It may lore questio tion of Jes t week wh into verse 4, n the m. nsang each descrip about about ome clear nex As you move greater tha The point her becthr her things willthe it e and record furt e but ee sag two Som e, e . peo is pas and ple ry section to help your group up angels her dif ntant h the entire us to underst fere me ts oug com wan thr peo und k the up He ple gro era 4. erstand and nd in ❯ Look bac each. As a. Gen lly Hebrews 2:1process wh peopleg we en can be fou are promu s the speaking, we know wh y we Sonmu in highlightin cesnic . nic ed and all sev gers themcom ich method God thecom ating with. h the list aga ate differentl criptors list ortant messen dents; help will work bes Allow this k back throug en major des y witAng es h els are imp tell your stu to move int t because n There are sev these, but wor the angels. deliver messag Do not just ❯ What doe o the next ady discussed better thawe know the descriptor. theBible, but mostly is el h que s alre ist it e eac stio say Chr hav of t, s n: about God in Yet no ang you Firs implication Acts 1:11). many things tha -7; the do h t He 24:4 hey ; oug cho e —t 2:13 oses differ of God think thr One though r, angels wer n. 18-19; Lk. the ir ow n. ent (Ge Fur the wa t ple gs. we on ys n peoak thin want studen tospe informatio for Godto does He rev these seven to tion time: ts tak ing awa by dif lora ed fer exp crib ent . ir eal peo ays ?existed Himself, He be des y from the m the way to com se verses is could ever has alwple knows us bet question fro municate to that Go,dwh God the Son up the final ter than we names? the is aileper us. Ask your gro know ourselvcreated sonal God. n all other name than Not onl pared to es and He alw higher tha er a better e of Jesus from hisyFath the name He why He is com ays cho ritesdthe e said that kes the nam given; greater and has inheose is ist e was bes Chr ge , nam ssa ❯ What ma ond e”?t Some hav me in the sense Sec tand why His ide “better nam e of “Son” sted. Their ers bes this exi nam is und ns ays at the up reig d alw Wh has . Chr ist angels. p your gro t He is grante ngs; Chr ist but as Son, t hand of God mentary, hel n” and tha created bei the Father; r at the righ Using the com inherits is “So rs, they are ition of rule y are close to As messenge g to the pos beings, the the angels. of ascendin As heavenly the message. Chr ist was 5, tthew 22:41-4 the Father. explore: Ma ups and your group to divide into gro were listed for d by the as a group or nal passages of Christ use se together 4 Expdes Four additio lorecrip the tors N: the TIO read Bibl OP can e | Students You rm the GO DEEPER , John 1:1-18. trate and affi Luke 5:17-26 se verses illus Mark 9:2-8, see how the k together to have them wor brews. writer of He
re Leader Explo
This is the time where the group discusses what they have learned as the Scriptures were explored. The teaching plan provides the leader additional insights to help the group process what was learned. During this time there will be a shift from studying to applying God’s Word.
ents Bible | Stud
E verse listed PERSONAL CHALLENG your students to memorize the these thoughts and encourage His Word Finish your group time with allows Him to speak through Word allows it to dwell in us and this week. Memorizing God’s ge of the “Keep on Digging” section ge your group to take advanta in our times of need. Also encoura that describe Jesus. passages other studying week and spend some time this figure. He is God in flesh. He good man, good teacher, or religious ❯ Dwell: Jesus isn’t simply another one thought—Jesus is both God this week thinking about that is also our Redeemer. Spend time er. and Redeem
CENTRAL TRUTH reigns supreme over all things in the universe. Jesus Christ is God and
. coming from this passage in Hebrews try to sum up the main truth their Allow your group to discuss and your group. After they have shared is speaking to the students in daily lives. their It is important to see how God impacts truth that how Truth and ask thoughts, walk through the Central
❯ Memorize: Hebrews 1:2a
to help them understand the on of the following questions help Lead students through a discussi their lives. These questions should and how that truth applies to second implication of the Central Truth in the superior ity of Christ. The their lives display their belief well how examine students your Spend some time helping them of the students in your group. most for we “yes” a what be to likely question will Our actions are the true test beliefs to see if they match up. place their actions beside their the reality of our actions do not in Jesus, or you trust Jesus, but believe. It is easy to say you believe always support what we say. the greatness and spent these verses explaining ❯ Why do you think the writer superiority of Jesus? these ❯ Do you personally believe ❯ Do your actions agree with
daily, ask for ears to you this week. As you seek Him ❯ Pray: Ask God to reveal Himself is the best way. to obey. Trust that His way truly
❯ Keep Jesus Chris t is God an 22:41-45 d reigns su things in th❯❯ Matthew preme over e Mark unive9:2-8 rse. all ❯ Luke 5:17-26 ❯ John 1:1-18
things to be true?
truly God’s Son, what ❯ If Jesus is superior, if He is with our lives?
tely us from trusting Him comple
Central they need to take in light of the last statement to list action steps their Encourage students to use the begin thinking through this on answers. The goal is to help students His Word, and Truth. Invite them to share their own. God speaks powerfully through their on Bible the apply and telling own so they can read will help them more than simply ons implicati the see and that nd helping your students understa them what they should do next. tely and how you can you aren’t trusting Jesus comple ❯ List 3 areas of your life where n. begin moving in that directio
to listen and
Centrastrength described: l Tron verses and note how Jesus is uth Digging: Read the following
Now What? Why do you think the writer spent these verses explaining the greatness and superiority of Jesus? Do you personally believe these things to be true? Do your actions agree with that answer?
If Jesus is superior, if He is truly God’s Son, what keeps us from trusting Him completely with our lives?
Personal Challen ge
Dwell: Jesus isn’t simply another good man, good religious figure. teacher, or He is God in flesh . He is also our Rede Spend time this emer. week think ing abou t that one thought— Jesus is both God and Redeemer. Memorize: Hebr ews 1:2a Pray: Ask God to revea l Himself to you this week. As Him daily, ask for you seek ears to listen and strength to obey that His way truly . Trust is the best way.
Keep on Digging
Read the follow
ing verses and note how Jesus is des cribed: • Matthew 22:41 -45 • Luke 5:17-26 • Mark 9:2-8 • John 1:1-18 11 1 Session
Explore the Bible | Students
List 3 areas of your life where you aren’t completely and how you can begin moving trusting Jesus in that direction. • • •
6 Explore the Bible | Students
The goal of studying God’s Word is to know Him and grow closer to Him. Each week students will be challenged to take action and put feet to their faith as they seek to obey God’s Word in their context.
Session 1 7
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available products Hebrews Personal Study Guide > Fall 2014
David Jeremiah, General Editor
Personal Study Guide
A resource for students which walks through each session and provides the tools they need to explore Godâ€™s Word personally and as a group. Print: HCSB Digital: HCSB, NIV, ESV, and KJV (in PDF format)
A resource for leaders that helps them prepare personally for each session and gives them the tools they need to lead their students into a transformative encounter with Godâ€™s Word. Print: HCSB Digital: HCSB, NIV, ESV, and KJV (in PDF format)
Enhances the group experience by providing relevant posters, maps, and other content to drive home the context of each lesson. Weekly leader help videos are also included in the pack. Print and digital: Use with any translation
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Hebrews Personal Study Guide > Fall 2014
David Jeremiah, General Editor
1 Who is Jesus? Hebrews 1:1-4
Focus This Week We like to think sometimes that what we are going through is happening only to us. If you are still trying to figure out who Jesus is and how you should respond to Him, guess what? You arenâ€™t alone. In the Book of Hebrews, we find second generation Christians in the same spot. The writer of the Book of Hebrews had a simple answer for them and us today, He is God revealed to us. Christ is superior to everything that has ever been created and He rules supremely over all creation.
2 Explore the Bible | Students
pe rs on gu al id st e ud y
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Begin b yr through eading the pas s ag e t wo tim es.
o God spoke to the fathers by th times and in diff e prophets at diff erent ways. 2 In erent these last days, us by His Son. G He has spoken to od has appointe d Him heir of al the universe th l things and mad rough Him. 3 Th e e Son is the rad and the exact ex ia nce of God ’s glor pression of His y n ature, sustainin powerful word. g all things by H A fter making pu is rification for sin the right hand of s, He sat dow n at the Majesty on high. 4 So He be than the angels came higher in , just as the nam rank e He inherited is superior to thei rs.
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What is one thou ght these verses say about Jesus?
Session 1 3
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4 Explore the Bible | Students
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Session 1 5
Central Truth Jesus Christ is God a nd reigns supreme ov er all things in the univers e.
Now What? aining the Why do you think the writer spent these verses expl greatness and superiority of Jesus? ? Do you personally believe these things to be true Do your actions agree with that answer?
t keeps us from If Jesus is superior, if He is truly God’s Son, wha trusting Him completely with our lives?
Jesus List 3 areas of your life where you aren’t trusting direction. completely and how you can begin moving in that • • •
6 Explore the Bible | Students
Personal Challenge Dwell: Jesus isn’t simply another good man, good teacher, or religious figure. He is God in flesh. He is also our Redeemer. Spend time this week thinking about that one thought— Jesus is both God and Redeemer. Memorize: Hebrews 1:2a Pray: Ask God to reveal Himself to you this week. As you seek Him daily, ask for ears to listen and strength to obey. Trust that His way truly is the best way.
Keep on Digging Read the following verses and note how Jesus is described: • Matthew 22:41-45 • Mark 9:2-8
• Luke 5:17-26 • John 1:1-18
Session 1 7
1 Who is Jesus? Hebrews 1:1-4
Hebrews 1:1-4 1 Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. 2 In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. 3 The Son is the radiance of Godâ€™s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.
Explore the Bible | Students
le ad er (10-15 MINUTES)
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Using the following contextual information, begin your group time by setting the stage for this study of the book of Hebrews. Help your group understand why it is important to know about the book, the author, the original audience, and other historical and cultural information before you begin to study.
Historical Context When was it written? The exact date is not mentioned, but the use of Hebrews in 1 Clement (36:1-6), a document usually dated around A.D. 95 or 96, shows that it was written before that time. Because the author and his readers belonged to the second generation of Christians, it had to have been written after A.D. 60. So, the book could have been written anytime between A.D. 60 and A.D. 95. Most scholars agree on a date before A.D. 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem. Who wrote it? The author is unknown. What we do know is that the author was well known to his original recipients. Origen, an early church father said it best, â€œOnly God knows who wrote Hebrews.â€? To whom was it written? Throughout the book, the author makes reference to the Old Testament and assumed his readers knew Jewish sacrificial rituals and the priesthood of the Old Testament. This would show the original audience to be Jewish Christians.
Cultural Context These Jewish believers had been persecuted for their new religion. They were now however, considering giving up on Christianity and returning to Judaism, which was legally recognized, unlike Christianity. The author composed his letter about the superiority of Christ and Christianity and the danger of turning away to something that was clearly inferior because he knew their situation well.
Literary Context The genre of this book is a long, formal letter. It was written in excellent Koine Greek. The letter has sermon-like features, including a rhetorical statement of thesis (1:1-3) and develops step-by-step arguments. The farewell shows that in its present form, it was sent as a letter.
TRANSITION TO INDIVIDUAL STUDY After you have shared with your students the context of Hebrews in the group setting, allow your students 10-15 minutes to explore the Scriptures individually using their study guides. Have them work through pages 3-5 and then come back together as a group to discuss what they found as they explored.
After your group has had enough time to work its way through the Explore section of the study, bring your students back together as a group. Now is the time to talk about what they discovered as they explored the Scriptures. Begin by reading the passage together as a group. Allow your students to share some of their thoughts about the passage they recorded on page 3 of their study guides. Their quick response questions were: ❯ Verse 3 uses the word “radiance” to describe Jesus. What do you think that word means? ❯ What is one thought these verses say about Jesus? These are thoughts you have at a first glance, so don’t spend too much time, but begin teaching your students what types of things to be looking for and picking up on as they study a new passage. These answers may alert you to specific areas to focus on later as you dig into those particular verses.
Call on a volunteer to read Hebrews 1:1. At the top of the Explore Section on page 4, there is a list of different ways God revealed Himself in the Old Testament. The prophets are directly mentioned in this passage, but help your students think through other ways God communicated and possibly why God used that method for that person. You can even call on different students to read the stories listed. Ask if anyone can recall any other ways God revealed Himself. ❯ Ask for a student to share their answer to the Explore questions about the three people and how they communicate with them. The point here is to help your group understand and process why we communicate differently with different people. Generally speaking, we know which method will work best because we know the people we are communicating with. Allow this to move into the next question: ❯ What does it say about God that He chooses different ways to speak to different people? One thought we want students taking away from these verses is that God is a personal God. Not only does He reveal Himself, He knows us better than we know ourselves and He always chooses the best way to communicate to us.
Explore the Bible | Students
Leader Explore HEBREWS 1:1-2A The book of Hebrews begins with these words: “In many times and in many ways, God spoke.” By saying this, the writer refers to the times of the Old Testament when God spoke to his people through the prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah. They faithfully spoke God’s words to Israel. Now the Messiah has come and filled in the blanks left by the prophets as God’s perfect spokesman. Jesus is the Prophet—the one who declares the Word of God like none other (Deut 18:15). Our God is the God who speaks. This concept is carried throughout Scripture. God created by speaking. Genesis tells us that the world was made from nothing by His word (Gen. 1:1). God delivered to Moses the “Ten Commandments” or the “Ten Words.” His voice thundered at Sinai (Heb. 12:19-20), and it calls to the ends of the earth (Is. 41:1-4; Ps. 50:1-6). It is God’s Word that we hide in our hearts and is a lamp unto our feet (Ps. 119). He has saved us, proclaimed His holy Word (Is. 43:11-12), and declares the end from the beginning (Is. 46:10). The New Testament teaches that Jesus is the Word who explains the Father (Jn. 1:1, 18). In Acts 1, we see that Jesus has given His disciples the authority to speak and teach the word of God’s kingdom, which is seen in the tongues of fire and inspired speech at Pentecost. The God of the Bible speaks; false “gods” do not speak.
While the author of this book is not named, the evidence points to the fact that he was known by the original recipients of his letter. The evidence also points to the fact that the original audience was Jewish Christians. Throughout the book references are made to the Old Testament, Jewish sacrificial rituals, and warnings against relying on rituals that only point to Christ but are not Christ Himself.
No other book in the New Testament so masterfully combines teaching from both the old and new covenant. This shows the original audience would have been knowledgeable with both covenants.
There are two distinct eras of God speaking: the Old and New Testaments. The first pointed to what would come in the second. Consider 1 Peter 1:10-12: In the Old Testament, believers were given God’s Word little by little. The revelation from God was progressive. “Little by little” is what the very first term in Hebrews means. Little by little, and in many ways (such as through direct revelation, dreams, etc.), God spoke long ago. Now God has spoken in the person and work of Jesus.
Conversation HEBREWS 1:2
Read verse 2 and begin your conversation by explaining the words “last days.” Jesus inaugurated the “last days,” which stretches from His first coming to His second coming. This is to make sure students aren’t confused thinking “last days” is referring to Revelation and the end times. Ask your group to list ways God communicates to us today. This entire passage teaches us about the superiority of Christ. Ask your students how they responded to: ❯ How is Christ a better form of revelation than a prophet or a burning bush? Today, God has revealed Himself through His Son. Jesus is a better form of revelation because He is God. Where the prophets were given a message and then shared that message, Jesus reveals so much more. No longer do we rely on messengers or signs, we have Jesus, God’s Son and creator of the universe. The second part of this verse moves from God speaking to His people to God revealing Himself to the world through His Son. Ask your group to identify a couple of famous young people that are heirs to a wealthy family. There are many culturally popular people whose claim to fame is they were born into a wealthy family. Spend a few minutes talking about the differences in the way those people live and the way most of us live. Carrying a last name or being from a certain family carries weight. There is often a responsibility that comes with it, whether or not the heir lives up to it is another story. ❯ What does being an heir mean? Why is this significant? Often times in our culture, an heir benefits off the work done before they were born. This isn’t the case with Christ. Not only is He the appointed heir of all things, He is also the creator of all things.
Call on a volunteer to read the last two verses, 3 and 4. Begin your conversation with the first Explore question from verse 3. ❯ Write down your understanding of the process described here as “making purification for sins.” Use the commentary provided to explain how that process was performed by a priest on behalf of the people of Israel. While a priest performed the sacrifice, he was never the actual sacrifice. This statement describes the what and the why Christ died on the cross. His life wasn’t taken from Him by Roman soldiers; it was offered on behalf of His people. His crucifixion was payment for man’s sin, our sin. No longer would blood sacrifices be required; Christ’s blood was spilled once and forever paid for sin.
Explore the Bible | Students
Leader Explore HEBREWS 1:2B-4 In these next 3 verses, the writer of Hebrews tells us seven things about the Son that explain His greatness and superiority. First, Christ is the “appointed heir of all things.” This alludes to Psalm 2:8 where the psalmist writes that the Son of David will be given the ends of the earth. Christ is the Davidic king whose inheritance is “all things,” which was a common way of saying “everything that is.” He is seated at the right hand of God, ruling and reigning as the one who bears the divine name as the heir of all that exists! Second, Christ is the one “through whom He (God) made the world.” He is the divine agent of both revelation (1:2a) and creation (1:2b). In other words, Jesus is the one through whom God the Father has spoken, as well as the one through whom God the Father has created. Third, the Son is the “radiance of God’s glory.” This means that to see Christ is to see the glory of God. Radiance is not the same thing as the light (think of the sun’s light versus the sun itself). Yet through Christ, God is known. Just as the sun illuminates the earth, so also Christ radiates the glory of God. Fourth, the Son is the exact representation of God’s very nature. We may be tempted to compare the resemblance between ourselves and our parents to understand this passage. Yet here we see much more between the Father and Son than a close resemblance. The key term here is hypostasis, an uncommon word that means God the Son has the same divine nature as God the Father.
There may not be another single verse that says so much about both the person and the work of Christ than verse 3. In just 30 Greek words, we learn more about Christ’s nature, deity, sustaining power over the universe, what He accomplished as the perfect sacrifice, and the fact that He is seated in glory, ruling over all—all in one verse.
“Exact representation of God’s nature and being.” In ancient times, coins were made by pressing a die onto softened, heated metal to make a coin. As the die for a coin presses into metal, it leaves the “exact representation” of the image on the die, so also the Son is the exact representation of the Father. They are identical, but they are not the same thing. The die is not the same thing as the coin just as the Son is not the same person as the Father. To see the coin is to see the die.
Fifth, the writer says that the Son upholds all things by His powerful word. He does not just create the universe (verse 2), He also controls and sustains it. All planets, solar systems, stars, galaxies, and quasars are under His sovereign command. He is not the fabled Atlas, merely holding up the world; He is its Creator and Commander, as well as the one who will bring about its redemption.
Conversation Spend time making sure your group understands that while this statement may only be a half a verse, the implications are life altering. The sacrificial system was necessary in the Old Testament and was done continuously. The beauty of Christ’s sacrifice is that it was permanent. Transition here into the next question: ❯ Why would the writer record that Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty? Remind your group that the audience this book was originally intended, Jewish Christians, would have been very familiar with the sacrificial system. They would have been accustomed to the regular offering of sacrifices. The fact that Jesus sat down is important to signify the finality of what He did. The location of where He sat down is also of great significance. The writer is constantly teaching the supremacy of Christ. His sacrifice was supreme over all other sacrifices and His position is supreme. The right hand signifies a position of power. Christ rules and intercedes at the right hand of the Father. As you move into verse 4, allow your group time to share their answers to: ❯ Look back through the entire passage and record each description of Jesus. There are seven major descriptors listed and all seven can be found in the commentary section. Some you have already discussed these, but work back through the list again highlighting each. As a group think through the implications of each descriptor. Do not just tell your students; help them process the information on their own. Ask your group the final question from their exploration time: ❯ What makes the name of Jesus higher than all other names? Using the commentary, help your group understand why His name is greater and why He is compared to the angels. As messengers, they are created beings; Christ has always existed. Their message was given; Christ was the message. As heavenly beings, they are close to the Father; but as Son, Christ reigns beside the Father.
GO DEEPER OPTION: Four additional passages were listed for your group to explore: Matthew 22:41-45, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 5:17-26, John 1:1-18. You can read these together as a group or divide into groups and have them work together to see how these verses illustrate and affirm the descriptors of Christ used by the writer of Hebrews.
Explore the Bible | Students
Leader Explore Sixth, the Son has made purification for sins. This is the first mention of a major theme in Hebrews—Jesus’ sacrifice for sins. This draws our attention to the death of Christ for all of us. “Making purification for sins” is something that a priest does, especially on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16). Yet no earthly priest ever offered himself as a sacrifice for sins. Seventh, after He made purification for sins (crucifixion), He sat down at the right hand of the Father in heaven (ascension). The Son is exalted to the right hand of the throne of God where He both rules and intercedes as King and Priest and speaks God’s word as the Prophet. “Right hand of God” describes the supremacy of Christ and alludes to Psalm 110:1, quoted often in Hebrews. He lives and rules with the power of God his Father, doing so with all authority as the one who bears God’s own name (1:4). Verse 4 concludes the opening sentence of Hebrews and with it the introduction to this book. After listing seven things about Christ, he concludes by stating: the Son through whom God has spoken is greater than the angels. It may seem puzzling why he suddenly brings up angels here, but it will become clear next week when we examine Hebrews 2:1-4. He wants us to understand two further things about God the Son. First, Christ is better than the angels. Angels are important messengers of God—they do many things in the Bible, but mostly deliver messages for God to people (Gen. 18-19; Lk. 2:13; 24:4-7; Acts 1:11). Yet no angel could ever be described by these seven things. Further, angels were created, while God the Son has always existed. Second, Christ has inherited from his Father a better name than the angels. What is this “better name”? Some have said that the name He inherits is “Son” and that He is granted the name of “Son” in the sense of ascending to the position of ruler at the right hand of God.
Jesus Christ is God and reigns supreme over all things in the universe. Allow your group to discuss and try to sum up the main truth coming from this passage in Hebrews. It is important to see how God is speaking to the students in your group. After they have shared their thoughts, walk through the Central Truth and ask how that truth impacts their daily lives.
Lead students through a discussion of the following questions to help them understand the implication of the Central Truth and how that truth applies to their lives. These questions should help your students examine how well their lives display their belief in the superiority of Christ. The second question will likely be a “yes” for most of the students in your group. Spend some time helping them place their actions beside their beliefs to see if they match up. Our actions are the true test to what we believe. It is easy to say you believe in Jesus, or you trust Jesus, but the reality of our actions do not always support what we say. ❯ Why do you think the writer spent these verses explaining the greatness and superiority of Jesus? ❯ Do you personally believe these things to be true? ❯ Do your actions agree with that? ❯ If Jesus is superior, if He is truly God’s Son, what keeps us from trusting Him completely with our lives? Encourage students to use the last statement to list action steps they need to take in light of the Central Truth. Invite them to share their answers. The goal is to help students begin thinking through this on their own so they can read and apply the Bible on their own. God speaks powerfully through His Word, and helping your students understand that and see the implications will help them more than simply telling them what they should do next. ❯ List 3 areas of your life where you aren’t trusting Jesus completely and how you can begin moving in that direction.
Explore the Bible | Students
Finish your group time with these thoughts and encourage your students to memorize the verse listed this week. Memorizing God’s Word allows it to dwell in us and allows Him to speak through His Word in our times of need. Also encourage your group to take advantage of the “Keep on Digging” section and spend some time this week studying other passages that describe Jesus. ❯ Dwell: Jesus isn’t simply another good man, good teacher, or religious figure. He is God in flesh. He is also our Redeemer. Spend time this week thinking about that one thought—Jesus is both God and Redeemer. ❯ Memorize: Hebrews 1:2a ❯ Pray: Ask God to reveal Himself to you this week. As you seek Him daily, ask for ears to listen and strength to obey. Trust that His way truly is the best way. ❯ Keep on Digging: Read the following verses and note how Jesus is described: ❯ Matthew 22:41-45 ❯ Mark 9:2-8 ❯ Luke 5:17-26 ❯ John 1:1-18
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Explore The Bible With Groups Of All Ages Book-by-book study for all ages. Each week, adults and students study the same passage of Scripture while kids study the same concept in the same book, incorporating related narrative from throughout the Bible to create a kid-friendly lesson. Memory verse for all ages. A Bible memory verse helps everyone from babies to adults dwell together on each weekâ€™s concept.
STUDY PLAN Studying the Bible book-by-book may seem daunting. That's why Explore the Bible is designed around a three-year study plan. Every type of biblical literature will be covered to provide a balanced view of Scripture.
Genesis (part 1)
1, 2 Peter, Jude
Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah
Matthew (part 1)
Genesis (part 2)
Matthew (part 2)
1, 2, 3 John, Revelation
Jeremiah & Lamentations
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Hebrews Fall 2014 > HCSB
David Jeremiah, General Editor
Personal Study Guide > Fall 2014 David Jeremiah, General Editor
PERSONAL STUDY GUIDE
Personal Study Guide > Fall 2014
David Jeremiah, General Editor
Published on Jan 15, 2014
Published on Jan 15, 2014
Explore the Bible: Students is a book-by-book Bible study designed to equip students to study the Bible personally. Each session is uniquely...