Synopsis and Homework Week 10

It is a comforting thought that medical technology will advance to the point one day of simply allowing your body to be scanned by an “all seeing” MRI type device. The device will look into the deepest recesses to assess our overall health. Knowing that not even the smallest cancer cell can escape its penetrating gaze, we joy in the long and healthy life anticipated with its aid.

Upon detecting the unwanted, our miracle device constructs a series of “nanobot” doctors who enter the body through the smallest drop of liquid in the eye. No invasive surgery, no long recovery periods, only busy little robots working silently inside your body. These tiny doctors locate, subdue, and destroy disease like the perfect instruments they are.

Instinctively, the body knows it’s been healed. The morning walk to the office is with light energetic steps. You feel like singing…and you do! You frequently visit the device for continuing medical and health assessment. It becomes part of daily life.

Hebrews chapter four verses twelve and thirteen paints a strikingly similar image of daily life in the Word of God for the believer.  The Word of God, like a sharp penetrating gaze, looks deep into the soul and spirit. Its job is to assess the heart. Like cancer, unbelief can take your life. The Scriptures destroy unbelief and rest the heart firmly on the promises of God.

Instinctively, the heart knows it’s healed. The morning walk to the office is with light energetic steps. You feel like singing…and you do! You frequently visit the Word for continuing spiritual health assessment. It becomes part of daily life.


Read John 8:39-47 (Jesus and the Pharisees argue over who belongs to God and truth)

Sometimes one can see the power of the Word of God in a believer’s life by looking at a negative example. The Pharisees would not hear the Words of Jesus. They didn’t believe. Jesus goes on to explain that they didn’t hear His Words because they couldn’t bear the sound of them. Jesus correctly assessed that they didn’t belong to God. Their father was the devil. Their father is the father of lies.

In verse 42 what does Jesus say about a true child of God in relation to Himself?

In verse 47 what does Jesus say will happen when the Word of God is spoken to a child of God?

Teaching Outline Week 10

The Joy in Responsibility

(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews)


Resting On Promises

Hebrews 4:12-13 


The Context of Chapters 2, 3 and 4 (so far):

The main idea is “There is a rest for the people of God” (4:9)

Enter by:

Trusting in the promises of God (4:3)

Trusting comes through the Word by faith (4:2)

Strive to enter that rest (4:11)

2:1 Pay much closer attention [to the Word]

3:1 Consider Jesus…the Apostle [the message, or Word]

3:12 Take care brothers…evil unbelieving heart [not believing the Word]

3:15 Today if you hear His voice [Word], don’t harden your hearts

For… (our focal verses 12 and 13) we are taught about the Word…

About the Word:

Living and Active

Sharper than a double edge sword

Dividing – Soul and spirit, joints and marrow

Discerning – thoughts and intentions of the heart

The point of verse 12 is:

The Word of God penetrates very deep into the whole person

Once deep inside it assesses the heart

The assessment is NOT Good vs. Bad

The assessment is Belief vs. Unbelief

Are you resting on the Promise of Sin or the Promise of God?


The point of verse 13 is:

All are exposed in God’s sight. God sees and understands all about all.

However:        Believers are “naked and unashamed”. (Genesis 2:25)



Everyone is a promise believer.

There must be a function to assess the promises on which we rest.

Spend time with God’s people allowing the Word to assess us.




Synopsis and Homework Week 9

I grew up and lived the majority of my adult life in the cold war era. We had an enemy. The enemy was well defined. Its name was communism. I feared communism. I would strive to live a life free of communism. The thought of including anything in my life that reflected communism was repugnant.

I don’t say this to start a debate about democracy verses communism. That’s not the point. Please don’t go down a political trail. Just understand, in my culture, in my upbringing, and in my heart communism was feared…deeply.

I say this to introduce you to how I see the author of Hebrews introducing the idea that we as Christians have one thing to fear…unbelief. Unbelief is the root cause of everyone who falls away from God. Unbelief is the root cause of everyone who fails to enter God’s rest. It should be feared. (Hebrews 4:1)

Therefore, in this paradox we call the Christian life, we live without fear in this world by fearing unbelief. We rest in God by striving to live in God’s design for the Christian. (Hebrews 4:11) We fight to win a race we know we can’t lose.

There is only one way to live a fearless life resting in God and that is striving to destroy unbelief.  To strive means to devote serious effort or energy. The reason we devote serious effort toward destroying unbelief is clear. Whoever fails to strive, as did OT Israel, will fall on the way, fail to enter God’s rest, and be yet another example of disobedience.


Read Philippians 2:12-18

Paul is instructing the church in Philippi to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. (Verse 12) How does this idea of Paul’s line up with the idea of striving to enter God’s rest? (Hebrews 4:11)

Paul presents an example of working out your salvation as (verse 16) holding fast to the Word of life. How does this idea of Paul’s line up with the idea of exhort one another as long as it is called today? (Hebrews 3:13)

Paul urged the Philippians to stand true, to have the mind of Christ, and to work out their salvation in obedience. Above all, they were called to be like Christ. And in verse 17 and 18 what was the end result of this striving? Hint: Rejoicing!…Joy in Responsibility!

Teaching Outline Week 9

The Joy in Responsibility

(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews)


Fear Unbelief and Live Fearless

Hebrews 4:1-11 


(Verse 3:19)

We ended last week with the idea that unbelief is the great enemy of the Christian

(Verse 3:12, 13)

God has a design for the Christian life to destroy unbelief – Vigilance and Exhortation

Chapter 4:1-2 The promise of rest is still open…

Therefore, fear unbelief (only thing that can keep you from entering God’s rest)

For, everyone heard the Gospel, but only those with faith received the benefit.

Example : Joshua and Caleb

They heard the Gospel : Exodus 34:6-7

They believed God: Numbers 14:8-9

This example and the author of Hebrews presents; It is not Biblical to think that the Gospel life is a single act of faith with all else being idle and automatic.

God is restful but not idle.

Vs 4 – Creation

Creation is complete, on the seventh day God rested… (Genesis 2:2)

But God is at work in creation (John 5:17)

Basic Science – Matter cannot be created or destroyed,

But it is ever changing and moving.

Rest happens in the heart

Vs 7-8 – Not feet crossing a boundary, but a heart in harmony with God.

Paradox of the Christian Life

Vs 11 – Strive to Rest

Resting in God’s promises because we have faith, we believe; but living out our salvation in fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)


Receive great joy in the promises and live fearless of death/world by fearing unbelief and longing for God’s design for perseverance.

Synopsis and Homework Week 8

One doesn’t hear the word exhort much any more. Simply put, when the Bible requires us to “exhort one another” we are to talk to each other. (Hebrews 3:13)  Not just trivial conversation, but life changing, life molding, conversation. Such conversation can only happen when we exhort one another with the Word of God.

Patriarch Project places a heavy emphasis on mentoring through Bible study. When the author of Hebrews tells us to exhort one another every day the picture that it paints is Christians hungry for the truth gathering often with mentors and peers growing in Christ.

The result is living a life of solid Christ-like decisions and holding firm our hope to the very end. God has a design for living out the Christian life. Part of that design is life together, in the Word, growing and holding fast.


King Solomon was wiser and more impactful in the world in which he reigned than any other king in history. Most of us are familiar with the account of God asking Solomon what he desired. Solomon responded that he desired to lead the nation with wisdom. God gave him wisdom unparalleled by any before or since. Wisdom enabled his life to overflow with accomplishments. God was so pleased with Solomon’s response that He gave Solomon much more. (Read 2 Chronicles 1:7-13)

Now, how did Solomon come to ask so wisely for wisdom? Did he just happen to ask God for the right thing at the right time? The answer is clear: Solomon had a father, King David, who years before spent time with his son in exhortation. That’s right, Solomon had a mentor. It was his father who told him what to seek. It was his father who passed on the wisdom of the Word of God to his son. If King David had not prepared the way for his son, Solomon would not have known what to ask for and how to build all those wonderful projects. (Read 1 Chronicles 22:11-16)

List all the ways Solomon stood on the shoulders of his father…

Teaching Outline Week 8

The Joy in Responsibility

(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews) 


Community Project

Hebrews 3:7-19


Verse 6… 
We are His household IF,
               We hold fast in Hope. 
Therefore, (picking up in verse 7) 
               Don’t be like those who didn’t enter the Promise land. 
The point of verse 14 is:
               If you are born again, you WILL endure faithful to the end. 
                               Same as John states in 1 John 2:19; They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 
                               Same as Paul states in Philippians 1:6; And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 
However, (Verse 12) Persevering involves vigilance  
                               We must be “taking care” in our daily lives 
That “taking care” happens in community and is God’s design (Verse 13) 
                               God uses means by which we endure and verse 13 states that YOU are the means 
of another’s perseverance.  
How the Cross and Eternal Security come together: 
               Luke 22:20  ----------  Jeremiah 32:40 
To run from community is to run from God’s design to keep you.
Assurance of salvation is directly linked to necessity of community. 
The most awesome life is to live in this beautiful design.


Synopsis and Homework Week 7

The author of the book of Hebrews attests to the Scriptures being the very Word of God when chapter 3 verse 7 opens our study with the words… “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says”. The proceeding verses are a direct quote from Psalm 95. By implication then, God wrote the Psalms (and the rest of Scripture).  Don’t overlook this amazing truth.

The Bible, though penned by human hands, is not man’s words about God. It is God’s word about Himself. To open the Bible and read is to step into the presence of God.  That is why Romans 10:17 says;

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Psalm 95 and 96 were utilized as a call to worship in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem. Both paint glorious pictures of our God and both make very serious warnings about those with hearts that fall away from God’s Glory.

The author of Hebrews has our best interest at heart with the very serious warnings that we encountered in chapter 2 verse 1 and now in chapter 3 verses 7 through 19.  The book of Hebrews paints a majestic picture of Jesus and announces stern warnings to all who do not treasure Him.

So, Hebrews is teaching us that true faith, saving faith, is enduring faith. So far we have seen that God uses (but not limited too) two “means” by which our faith WILL endure to the end. The first being a heavenly host of angels as life long helpers (chapter 1 verse 14). The second is His Word (the Bible) as stated in chapter 2 verse 1 and chapter 3 verses 7-8, 15 as warnings.

It is clear the author of Hebrews does not think a born again believer can lose their salvation. In fact, verse 6b and verse 14 teach just the opposite. However, they both teach eternal security not by looking to the past, but look to the future as proof one is truly part of the house of God.

This is the way all believers must live! In community, in the Word, growing in faith each day. This life is a war. The enemy, the devil, would have us drift blissfully into hell. Instead, we swim with all our might upstream, fighting against the schemes and darkness of this world. The reason we fight to persevere is not because we may be lost, but to prove we are not.


Read Hebrews 3:7-19 again. Now focus on verse 12 and answer the following question:

Is verse 12 a “throw away” verse for the Christian? If not, why not?