Introduction: Have you ever had an event or a song that just made you feel like shouting praises to God? I recall that feeling when I was in college and I was singing in Pioneer Memorial Church. The organ and the voices swept me up into this wonderful praise to God. More recently, the same is true for the chapel praise services at Regent University. The music draws me into this joy of praising God. And then I return to the real world. Today’s study of Hebrews is a lot like that. It starts with praise and then turns to the serious matter of living while still holding onto the hope that inspires our praise. Let’s dive into our new study in Hebrews and learn more!

  1.         Praise

  1.         Read Hebrews 1:1-2. Many students of the Bible believe that Hebrews was written by Paul. Does Hebrews start out the same as Paul’s other books, for example, Ephesians? (Read Ephesians 1:1-2. Hebrews has no greetings or identification of the writer or the recipients.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 1:3-4 and Matthew 6:9. What similarities do you see between the beginning of Hebrews and the beginning of the Lord’s prayer? (They both start with praising God.)

  1.         Why would you guess that the writer of Hebrews starts out by praising Jesus? (He was just full of praise! He was swept up into the feeling of expressing his love and devotion to Jesus.)

  1.         Starting Out Right By Paying Attention

  1.         Read Hebrews 2:1. I hear speakers tell me to pay attention before they say something, but I never hear them tell me to pay attention after they are done speaking. Do you agree that this is asking us to pay attention after the speech?

  1.         If you agree with me, what can this possibly mean? (After starting out with praise in Hebrews 1, the writer gets into the real world problems of people who were paying attention to the gospel at first, but who have lost their focus.)

  1.         What is the danger of losing focus to what we have been taught as Christians? (That we will lose interest and “drift away.”)

  1.         Read Hebrews 2:2. What is the argument for remaining focused on the gospel? (It is reliable and bad things happen if you stop obeying.)

  1.         What does that mean? When the text refers to “just retribution,” does that mean that God slaps the side of your head when you disobey? (I think this is explaining the natural consequences of disobedience.  That is why we were told that the message is “reliable.” It has proven to be a sound way to avoid getting into trouble.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 2:3-4. Why should we consider the gospel message to be reliable? (This lists several reasons. First, God is the source of the message. Second, human experience validates it. Third, supernatural events witness to it.)

  1.         The end of verse 4 has an interesting statement. It refers to “gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.” How does that prove the gospel message is reliable? (The partnership between humans and the Holy Spirit in the form of spiritual gifts is further proof that the gospel is the real thing.)

  1.         Living Your Best Life?

  1.         Read Hebrews 2:18. Let’s assume that you have not lost your focus on the gospel message. How do you feel when you are tempted to sin?

  1.         This verse refers to “suffering” as a reaction to temptation. Is that how you would view it?

  1.         Who is the “He” referred to in this verse? (If you look at the context, this is Jesus.)

  1.         Jesus never yielded to temptation. Does that increase His suffering, compared to you?

  1.         Read Hebrews 3:12. Do you struggle with unbelief, doubting that God exists, or if He does, that He is concerned about you and your situation?


  1.         Read Hebrews 3:13. What will help you with this kind of struggle? (Encouragement by other believers.)

  1.         What can happen if we fail to encourage others? (They become hardened in their sin. They are deceived by their sin.)

  1.         Recall the Introduction to this lesson and my experience of praising God among a group of others singing praises. If you have experienced this same thing, does it encourage you in your faith?

  1.         Imagine how much poorer your life would be if you had never experienced such a thing?

  1.         Read Hebrews 10:32-33. This seems to paint a picture of those who face temptations but who do not yield to it. What can happen as a result? (That you suffer. You may have people making fun of you and giving you a difficult time.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 10:34-35. I don’t think this is about prison ministries, this is a reference to the readers being thrown into prison and their property being stolen or damaged. How would you feel about that?

  1.         This suggests that you greet the loss of your property with joy. How is that possible? (You have other, better property that cannot be taken from you.)

  1.         What property is this? (Heaven!)

  1.         Look back at Hebrews 10:32 and read Hebrews 10:24-25. Are these events being stated chronologically? (No. Verse 32 tells them to recall the days that they suffered. Thus, Hebrews 10:24-25 follows the time of suffering. That is why I have reversed the order of the reading.)

  1.         How can we place ourselves in a position to be encouraged? (By meeting together with other believers. And, by giving encouragement to others.)

  1.         Is getting together with others to praise God part of this encouragement? (Of course it is. This is part of returning to the best life.)

  1.         As we get closer to the end of time, is getting together with other believers more or less important? (Verse 25 suggests it is more important.)

  1.         Faith For the Future.

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:1. What does it mean to have faith? (To believe in the things that we hope for, and those things we have not seen.)

  1.         Hebrews 11:2-12 tells of many heroes of the Bible who had faith and did not realize the full reward of that faith. Read Hebrews 11:13-16. What is essential for maintaining our faith? (That we “desire a better country.”)

  1.         What is that better country? What is the “city” that God has prepared for us? (The better country is heaven and the city is the New Jerusalem.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:39-40. Hebrews 11 identifies heroes of the past. Why does verse 40 say “apart from us they should not be made perfect?” (We are all in this together. The heroes of the Old Testament looked forward to the victory of Jesus over sin. We look back to that victory. We all, together, look forward to our eternal home in heaven made possible by what Jesus has done for us!)

  1.         Friend, we serve a great God! Life, however, can be challenging. We are challenged when we disobey. And we are challenged when we obey and are attacked by pagans. The important part is to retain our faith in God and the future that He has planned for us. Praise Him!

  1.         Next week: The Message of Hebrews.