Discussion Questions to Follow
Hebrews 5:12-14 – 6:12
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do, if God permits.
4 For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
9 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.
Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.
How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
18 “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'”
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
22 “Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23 shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.
2 Kings 23:25-27
25 Before him (Josiah) there was no king like him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him. 26 However, the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath with which His anger burned against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him. 27 The LORD said, “I will remove Judah also from My sight, as I have removed Israel. And I will cast off Jerusalem, this city which I have chosen, and the temple of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.'”
Romans 1:18, 24-26, 28
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness… 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie… 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions… 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind…
but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.
1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1
Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me… Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:6
You also became imitators of us and of the Lord…
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author/leader/pioneer of their salvation through sufferings.
Hebrews 3:1, 6
1 … consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession… Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
1 … since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also … run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author/leader/pioneer and perfecter of faith… 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
Ephesians 4:32 – 5:2
32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
- Do you think you have ever equated maturity with how much of the Bible you know, or how much you think you know about God? How would you define maturity in light of Hebrews 5:14 & 6:1?
- Does it cause you any concern that someone may ‘fall away’ after having experienced the Christian faith in terms of Hebrews 6:4-6?
- The scholar Peter O’Brien states, “If Hebrews 6:4-6 are not addressed to their situation (actual or potential), it is hard to see why the words were written at all.” Does that make sense to you? If not, why do you disagree? Does it make sense that someone could fall from somewhere they had never been?
- Are there godly believers around you that you imitate in the way they live their faith? What standard should you use to determine that others are living a godly life that should be imitated?
- Are your greatest hopes for experiencing God’s promises rooted in your present earthly life now or in God’s eternal kingdom? Do you question God’s love when He doesn’t respond the way you think he should in your present life? If so, what might be the reasons for that?
- Do you think eternity actually is a determining factor in how you live your life now?
How much of your life is lived without much thought toward eternal ramifications?