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Session 1: Christ superior to prophets and angels 1—7 July Icebreaker If you had to write a phrase or sentence to describe yourself to your yet unborn greatgreat grandchild, what would you say? How would this form of communication compare to a video diary of you? Key thought In a world of many faiths and of many different views about Jesus, the writer to the Hebrews wants to establish beyond all doubt that Christ is the visible human incarnation of the invisible God. In a world of many prophets, philosophies and ways to fulfilment, Jesus Christ is God’s last Word. Key verse ‘The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being ...’ Hebrews 1:3 Discussion starters 1. Why might we describe the Old Testament as God speaking with a stutter?

The Perfect One JUL/AUG 2010

Every Day with Jesus group resource

7. Why does the worship of Jesus not break the first two commandments? (See Exodus 20:1—6.) The example of Jesus ‘He is the image of the invisible God ...’ Colossians 1:15 Prayer pointers * Worship God the Father that He gave us His only Son. Worship God the Son that He came to reveal God to us and to die for our sins. Worship the Holy Spirit that He continues to help us discover more about God. * Pray for churches and initiatives such as the Alpha course, that there will be a clear message that Christianity is not about a godly philosophy but a Person who is God.

Session 2: Superior to Moses Icebreaker As we are considering the building of God’s house, you could introduce a game such as Jenga, involving building ‘bricks’ or building a ‘house’ of cards. Alternatively, ask people to share a testimony of how God has brought them through a difficult period into a new time of blessing. Key thought This session contains warnings about unbelief producing hard hearts and consequent rebellion against God. We need to need to acknowledge all that Christ has done for us and continue to trust Him when faced with temptations and difficulties. Key verse ‘Jesus has been found worthy of greater honour than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honour than the house itself.’ Hebrews 3:3

2. Why is hell a result of what we don’t do rather than what we do?

Discussion starters

3. List the characteristics of Jesus that help us understand what God is like.

2. What is our lost inheritance? (See Genesis 1:27—28; Revelation 5:9—10.)

4. In what sense did Jesus stagger to a throne?

3. How is our lost unity demonstrated and how can the Church reveal its recovery?

8—15 July 4. How has Satan lost his whip of deathly bondage? 5. Why was the woman restored in Mark 5:25—34? 6. Compare and contrast the achievements of Moses and Jesus. 7. How may our hearts be hardened against God? 8. What is the difference between doubt and unbelief?

The example of Jesus ‘But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house.’ Hebrews 3:6 Prayer pointers * Thank God that He is building you and those in your group into His spiritual house. * Pray that we will always have soft hearts, trusting souls and obedient wills towards God.

1. Why are Christ’s words important?

5. What role do angels perform today? 6. What do you understand about eternity?


Session 3: Superior to the priesthood Icebreaker What is your favourite form of rest and relaxation? Key thought Because Christ is superior to Old Testament priests we can stop striving to please God through religious ritual and enter into a place of rest by faith in the One whose whole being is one of perfect peace and confidence. Key verse ‘Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.’ Hebrews 4:1 Discussion starters 1. What is the difference between belief and faith? 2. How can we enter into God’s rest? 3. How should Christians keep the Sabbath? 4. Why is it important to expose ourselves to the written Word of God? 5. What is easier — meeting the Queen of England or spending time with God? 6. How did Jesus fulfil the qualifications of a priest? 7. Why can Christ fully sympathise with sinners? 8. What is your spiritual age and in which areas do you need to mature?

The Perfect One JUL/AUG 2010

Every Day with Jesus group resource

16—24 July

9. Outline the basic doctrines of spiritual milk; or do you need a refresher course? The example of Jesus ‘During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission ... and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.’ Hebrews 5:7,10 Prayer pointers * Pray for a maturity in the Body of Christ. * Thank God that you do not have to strive to please Him, but simply enter into the rest prepared for us by Jesus.

Session 4: Superior to Melchizedek

25 July — 2 August

Icebreaker What difficulties (or disasters!) have you experienced in growing up (eg schooldays, learning to drive or cook(!), dating, finding a job, leaving home etc)? Life (and particularly the Christian life) is about growing in maturity and overcoming challenges.

4. In Psalm 37 David uses the words ‘fret’ and ‘trust’. How can a decision overcome an emotion?

Key thought We need to set our wills in the direction of moving ahead to become mature believers in Christ.

7. Compare and contrast Melchizedek and Aaron.

Key verses ‘… until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ ... we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.’ Ephesians 4:13,15 ‘But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever! Amen.’ 2 Peter 3:18 Discussion starters 1. Why may people be contented with immaturity? 2. What are the causes of a hardened heart towards God? (See Hebrews 3:13.) 3. How vital is personal discipline to being an effective and growing Christian?

5. Does your own soul currently need an anchor in a tempestuous time? 6. How could there be priests of God before Aaron and the Levitical priesthood?

8. Why was a new order of priesthood required? 9. Briefly share your own story of knowing Christ as your personal Saviour. The example of Jesus ‘… but because Jesus lives for ever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.’ Hebrews 7:24—25 Prayer pointers * Thank God that Christ is a perfect priest and perfect Saviour who has perfectly removed our sin and perfectly won our perfect salvation. * Pray that those who are experiencing the storms of life will be anchored in God’s love and presence.


Session 5: Superior to the Mosaic sacrifices

3—10 August

Icebreaker We are considering the concept of making sacrifices for the benefit of others. As an introduction to this subject, contemplate the question: ‘What sacrifices do parents make for their children?’ Any examples are but a shadow of Christ’s sacrifice for us.

2. Why did God instruct Moses to build the tabernacle? (See Exodus 25:8.)

Key thought The old covenant provided for the covering of sin by the death of an innocent animal substitute. The only acceptable ultimate penalty for sin was the death of the sinner. If a substitute was to be provided as a completely suitable penalty for human sin, it could only be the death of a perfect human being. Christ, the perfect man, has paid the penalty of sin for us. Hallelujah!

6. How much do we work for God for Him to love us, and how much do we work for God because He loves us?

Key verse ‘In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.’ Hebrews 9:22 Discussion starters 1. In what sense is the cross a timeless event rather than an historic event? Could you consider other events such as the Magna Carta or Declaration of Independence in a similar way?

The Perfect One JUL/AUG 2010

Every Day with Jesus group resource

3. Why was the first covenant replaced? 4. What is the difference between a contract and a covenant? 5. Why should guilt or inferiority not prevent us worshipping God?

7. Why are man’s attempts to remove guilt and sin unsuccessful? 8. Is an understanding of Old Testament sacrifices necessary to understand the crucifixion? The example of Jesus

Session 6: Heroes of faith

11—19 August

Icebreaker Who are your heroes from the Bible, history and the present day? Should we have heroes?

7. Is faith an emotion or a decision?

Key thought Faith in God is the oxygen for the vitality and effectiveness of our spiritual life. We can gain much inspiration from past and present heroes of the faith who overcame great obstacles through their trust in God.

The example of Jesus

Key verses ‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see ... And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.’ Hebrews 11:1,6

‘How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant ...’ Hebrews 9:14—15

Discussion starters

Prayer pointers * Thank God for so great a way of salvation and the sacrifice of His Son. * Pray for the Holy Spirit’s help to be able to fully understand Christ’s sacrifice and explain it to others.

4. Should confession precede worship?

8. How can we see things that are invisible? 9. How can our faith grow stronger?

‘... he [Jesus] entrusted himself to him who judges justly.’ 1 Peter 2:23 Prayer pointers * Pray for greater faith. (See Luke 17:5.) * Pray that you will be an inspiration to others and pass your faith on to them.

1. How can rituals and shadows replace a Redeemer and Saviour? 2. Describe the character of a person who lives in utter dependence in God. 3. Is there a difference between forgiving sin and forgetting sin? 5. Define ‘perseverance’. What are the characteristics of a person who perseveres under pressure? 6. Why may discontent be a positive spiritual influence?


Session 7: Superior to heroes of the faith Icebreaker How has discipline helped improve your life (eg studying for qualifications, dieting, physical exercise etc)? Key thought We will all experience trials and discipline which we can use to strengthen our faith if we keep our eyes on Jesus and continue to receive His grace. Key verse ‘Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ Hebrews 12:3

The Perfect One JUL/AUG 2010

Every Day with Jesus group resource

20—25 August

sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ Hebrews 12:2 Prayer pointers * Pray for those experiencing trials. * Pray that you may experience the joy of the Lord as you take Scripture seriously and reverence Him. * Pray that you may be so deeply rooted in God that you will not be moved by earthshattering events.

Session 8: The final Word! Icebreaker What has most impacted you from our studies of the book of Hebrews? Key thought Because of all that Jesus is and has done for us, our lives should be full of love, grace, compassion, contentment, purity, praise and Christian service to His glory. Key verse ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.’ Hebrews 13:8

26—31 August the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ Hebrews 13:20—21 Prayer pointers * Thank God for the blessings of the new covenant available to us through faith in the blood of Jesus. * Pray that the written words we have studied will become living words in our daily lives.

Discussion starters

Discussion starters

1. How could you be involved in a ministry of compassion?

1. Is faith incomplete without endurance?

2. How do you cope with change?

2. Why does God allow trials? 3. How may we treat spiritual things in a lighthearted way?

3. Why may Christians face embarrassment and shame? (See Luke 21:10—19; Romans 1:16—17; 1 Corinthians 1:18—25; 2 Timothy 1:8.)

4. Have we lost a sense of the fear or reverence of the Lord?

4. Why is submission (or willingness to yield) to authority so important?

5. Why may a church not allow the Son of God to speak to it?

5. What is the secret of effective Christian service?

6. How can we be shaken but not moved? (See Acts 20:24, NKJV.)

6. How does the book of Hebrews complete and fulfil the story of the Old Testament?

The example of Jesus

The example of Jesus

‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and

‘May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of

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