Thursday, November 13, 2014

LifeWay Explore the Bible: The Discipline of Suffering

"Jesus is Superior. . . By Faith Others . . . Therefore Let us . . ." 

This is the constant progression in the book of Hebrews. The "Let us" of chapter 12 will be the focus this week in the LifeWay Explore the Bible: The Discipline of Suffering study.

While Hebrews provides us with the rich theology about the doctrine of Christ and the grand testimonies of past faithful followers, we must not ignore the "Therefore Let Us" emphasis in this book.
Everything we have learned requires a response. This is why "Let Us" is repeated 12 times in the book of Hebrews! It is about how we should respond to what we have come to understand and hopefully believe.

So how do we respond based on Hebrews 12? We respond like a runner who has to endure hardship in order to complete the race. This is how the writer of Hebrews introduces the message of the final chapters of Hebrews. We are now taken to how we must respond to what we have come to believe. The author lovingly teaches us about all that is involved in faithfully enduring the race of life that is set before us as we move toward the finish line of our faith and we enter Heaven to see the Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfecter of our faith face-to-face!

I introduce the study using the marathon and half-marathon symbols. I conclude with two other numbers significant to how long adults are expected to live. I have also included an illustration from an Australian endurance race about a man named Cliff Young

Cliff Young was an unknown 61-year-old farmer who shuffled off his farmland and destroyed 10 professional runners in a 544-mile race. The ordinary gave birth to the extraordinary as Young beat the field by 10 hours.

STORY OF CLIFF YOUNG (click for full story)
As I think about all we are trying to teach I wanted to share with you a verse that helps us understand the message of hope, faith, and endurance we are focusing on. I hope it will encourage you as much as it encourages me. Share with your group as well!
You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. -- 1 Peter 1:8-9 HCSB
If you need training for your Bible study group leaders, check out the 4:12 Network. If you need further information about curriculum, see the Explore the Bible page. Receive the Explore the Bible teaching helps and other regular 4:12 blog posts by submitting your email address in the Receive Blog Updates by Email box to the right.

When the file opens, choose "Download" located in the upper right corner of the window.
 Feel free to copy, paste, delete, or edit any of the content.