Bronx Household of Faith
Summer Sunday School, 2018
since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,
and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Download a Sunday School booklet!You can also scroll down for an online version of the questions for each week.
- Week 1
- Week 2 (July 8)
- Week 3 (July 15)
- Week 4 (July 22)
- Week 5 (July 29)
- Week 6 (August 5)
- Week 7 (August 12)
- Week 8 (August 19)
- Week 9 (August 26)
- Week 10 (September 2)
|Week 1||July 1, 2018||Introduction (combined)|
|Week 2||July 8||Hebrew 10:19|
|Week 3||July 15||Hebrews 10:20|
|Week 4||July 22||Hebrews 10:21–22a|
|Week 5||July 29||Hebrews 10:22b|
|Week 6||August 5||Hebrews 10:23|
|Week 7||August 12||Hebrews 10:24|
|Week 8||August 19||Hebrews 10:25a|
|Week 9||August 26||Hebrews 10:25b|
|Week 10||September 2||Review and Response (combined)|
We will memorize 1 or 2 verses each week throughout the summer over a ten-week period beginning July 1st and ending on September 2nd.
There are also questions to answer each week. The questions are connected with the verse(s) to be memorized for that week. It would be profitable for you, as appropriate to the question, to find your own cross references in addition to those provided (some of the cross references provided are longer passages, so try to give yourself time to read through them before answering the questions!)
The key to Scripture memory is review, review, review. So, while you are memorizing a new verse for a given week, also be reviewing all the verses memorized up to that point.
In place of our regular Sunday School, we will gather at 10:00 AM to say our verses and discuss the questions which you answered during the week.
The first and last weeks we will all meet together. During weeks 2–9, we will divide into three groups so that more of us get the opportunity to ask our questions and share our insights about the passage. Please “respect” the assigned groups and stick where you’re assigned throughout the summer so that we can make sure each group has enough participants.
That said, please feel free to talk to brother Jack if you have any questions or suggestions about the groups. (Please direct guests to the group that meets in the main room on the first floor, unless they’ve come with you—in which case they are welcome to join your group!)
To get the most out of the Summer Sunday School, please prepare your lessons ahead of time. Study the parallel texts in each question so that when we meet, we can have an informed discussion.
*These instructions are taken, with slight modification, from Bob Hall’s booklets for previous summers.
In addition to memorizing Heb 10:19 for next week, we encourage you to read through our whole memory passage, Heb 10:19–25, writing down questions and observations. Then read the whole book of Hebrews. Note ways that other passages shed light on our memory passage.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus…
1. What truths lie behind the author addressing us as “brothers” here? See Heb 2:10–18; Rom 8:12–17; esp. Gal 3:25–29.
2. What is the significance of this phrase “the holy places”? See Lev 16, esp. vv. 1–6; Heb 6:19–20; 9:1–7, 24. How do these references just listed highlight the significance of this claim that we (i.e., brothers) are to enter the holy places ourselves?
3. The word “Therefore” at the beginning of this verse points us back to what comes before this passage. How does Hebrews 10:1–18 show that the blood of Jesus gives us boldness to enter the presence of a holy God? (See also Heb 6:19–20; 9:22, 24–26.)
4. If we have access to God’s throne room (i.e., the holy place) through Jesus, how does this impact how we relate to trials or persecution? To temptations? To our sin? Can you give specific examples of a time (maybe the first time) this truth impacted your response to any of these pressures? See Heb 4:14–16; 7:25–28; 9:13–14; 10:14; 12:1–6; Romans 8:31–39.
5. The author says that we have (possess) confidence to enter the holy places for ourselves. He doesn’t seem to be describing a feeling but a fact: we have every reason to come to God freely and without fear (cf. Eph 3:12). But what are the feelings or subjective experiences that can keep us from taking advantage of this confidence Christ’s blood provides? How does this passage, or other truths in Scripture, call us to respond to these feelings and experiences? See Heb 10:32–39, esp. v. 35; 12:3–11.
…by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh…
1. If this “way” into the holy places is new, what was the old way? Why was a new way needed? What is better about the new way? See Heb 9:6–14; John 14:1–7; Heb 6:19, 20.
2. List some possible interpretations of why the author calls this a living way. Then look at other passages in Hebrews (e.g., Heb 2:14, 15; 7:23–25; 13:20–21) that might help us move toward an accurate interpretation. (See also John 14:6; Matt 27:50–53; Col 3:1–4; 1 Thess 5:9, 10; 1 Pet 3:18.)
3. What is “the curtain” the author is referring to? Why does he identify this with Jesus’ body, “his flesh”? What does it mean that we have a “way” to God through Jesus’ body?? See Matt 27:50–51; Heb 6:19; 9:3; 1 Cor 11:24; Eph 2:18; Rom 5:2; 1 Pet 3:18.
4. Look back at last week’s verse, where the author refers to our confidence to enter because of the blood. In this verse, his emphasis is entrance (“way”) through Christ’s body. Are these two ways of saying the same thing, or is there something to learn from each image?
5. What are the implications of this language for how we should view what is happening when we participate in the Lord’s Supper? See Matt 26:26–28; Luke 22:27–20; 1 Cor 11:23–26.
Week 4: Memorize Hebrews 10:21–22a (Review Hebrews 10:19–20).
… and since we have a great priest over the house of God, [22a] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…
1. What is a priest? What role did the priests play in the Old Testament? See, for example, Heb 5:1; Exod 28:1, 29–30; Lev 10:8–11; Num 18:5–7 (there are many more relevant passages!).
2. Who is the “great priest” being referred to here? How do we know? Why is he called a great priest? See Heb 2:17–18; 3:6; 4:14–5:10; 6:19–7:3, 22–25; 8:1–6; 9:13–14.
3. What is the “house of God” mentioned here? In what sense is this great priest over the house of God, and why does that matter to us? See Exod 28:29; Heb 3:1–6; 6:19; Gal 6:10; Eph 2:19–22; 1 Cor 3:16–17.
4. Do we tend to think of Christ functioning as a priest for us now? What are the truths about Christ, our priest and advocate, that should draw us to God, strengthen our faith, and motivate perseverance today? See, for example, Zech 3:1–10; Romans 8.
5. How in v. 22 does the author apply these preceding truths about the blood, body, and priesthood of Christ in vv. 19–21? What does it mean for us to “draw near” to God? What does it mean to do this with a true heart? See Heb 3:7–8, 12–14; Heb 11:6; etc.
…with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
1. What is the imagery of “sprinkling” supposed to remind us of? Is this a literal sprinkling, or something “spiritual”? How do we know? See, for example, Num 8:5–7; Exod 29:21; 24:8; Num 19:18–19; Ezek 36:25–28; Heb 9:13–14.
2. Consider this section together with last week’s, “…let us draw near to God with a true heart and full assurance of faith…” What is the difference between a true heart and an evil conscience? In what sense are our consciences “sprinkled clean”? See 1 John 1:5–2:6; Ezek 36:25–27; John 3:5; Mark 1:8.
3. What are we to make about this exhortation that we “draw near…with our bodies washed with pure water”? What might this refer to? What connection does this have with our ability to draw near to God with boldness? See Lev 16:4b; 1 Cor 6:9–11; Titus 3:4–7; 1 Peter 3:21–22; Eph 5:25–26.
4. What do this verse and the verses that precede it show about how the sacraments (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper) speak to us of Christ’s work for us? About the Spirit’s work in us? About our relationship with God?
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
1. What is “our hope”? What does it mean to “hold fast the confession” of that hope? See Eph 1:11–14; Rom 5:2; 8:18–25; Heb 3:1–19; 6:9–12, 17–20; 4:14; 2 Cor 9:13; 1 Tim 6:12, 13.
2. The author says that because we have access to God and an advocate with God, we can draw near to him and hope in him “without wavering.” What are the pressures and temptations in our context that make us inclined to waver? What are we pressured or tempted to put our hope in instead of the hope referenced in this verse? See 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Peter 3:13–17; 4:12–14; 1 Tim 6:17–19.
3. What promise or promises is the author referring to in the second part of this verse? See Heb 4:1; 6:13-20; 9:27–28; 1 Cor 1:4–9; 2 Pet 3:9–13.
4. How does God’s faithfulness as “the promiser” of these specific promises provide a basis for us, today, to hold fast our confidence without wavering? See Heb 3:7–4:13.
5. As we will see in more detail next week, the author views this “holding fast” as a group Even here, notice that he is talking about Christians together—he even includes himself: “let us.” What are ways that we help each other hold fast our confession without wavering? What are ways we can grow in this respect?
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…
1. Notice that the author has moved from discussing the implications of Christ’s person and work for our faith (“the confession of our hope”) to its implications for our faithfulness (“love and good works”). How does the author see what Christ did as grounds for encouraging each other in what we are to do? See, for example, Heb 12:1–2 (look also for other passages that speak to this question).
2. Here the author clearly treats the Christian life as inseparable from community. What are other clues in this passage and elsewhere in Hebrews that sharing faith and life is an important element of perseverance?
3. What does the word “consider” imply about our approach to relationships with our fellow believers? What are obstacles to taking this to heart and putting it into practice? What are incentives for doing it? See Gal 5:13; Col 3:12–17; Eph 4:25–32.
4. The word translated here as “stir up” is very strong: in other places, it’s translated as “provoked” (picture a parent urging his or her child to jump into a pool or come down a slide!). How does that change how this verse challenges us? Are we inclined to this sort of involvement in each other’s lives? Why or why not?
5. Why are both “love” and “good works” important? How is this different from “salvation by works”? See 1 John 3:10–18; 1 Cor 13; Rom 13:8–14; Eph 2:1–10; Phil 2:12–13; Heb 13:21.
6. “Love” and “good works” are pretty broad terms! Are there examples in the book of Hebrews of what sort of things the author might have in mind? Is it possible that at BHOF there are particular aspects/expressions of love and particular good works that we need to grow in?
…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…
1. What is the connection between this clause and the preceding exhortation that we are to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works”?
2. What are the implications of this instruction for how we view our Sunday gatherings? Might this affect our approach to relationships throughout the week as well? If so, in what ways? See Heb 3:13; 13:1–7, 16; James 5:19–20; 1 John 3:16–18; Rom 15:7; etc.
3. The author says it is “the habit of some” to neglect meeting together. What are different reasons why the original audience of this passage would have been inclined to do this? See Heb 2:1; 3:12; 10:32–36; 12:3–17. What are reasons some of us would be tempted to do this, either in regard to Sunday worship or in general?
4. Based on other passages in Hebrews, the author seems to view this “meeting together” as essential to the individual’s faith and life. What is the connection between our relationship with God’s people and our relationship with God? See 1 John 1:7; 2:19, 24; 4:6; Heb 3:12–14.
5. What is mentioned here as the “alternative” to neglecting meeting together? How is this instructive for the tone we are to take with one another? Do we do this—encourage one another? What are barriers to us being able to encourage each other wisely and wholeheartedly, and how can we continue attempting to overcome them?
…and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
1. What is “the Day” the author is referring to? What will happen on that Day? See Ezek 7:10–13; Heb 9:27–28; Titus 2:13; 1 Thess 4:13–5:11; Acts 17:31.
2. What does it mean that the Day is “drawing near”? In what sense can we “see” it approaching? See Rom 13:11–12; 1 Pet 4:1–7; Matt 24, esp. vv. 1–14, 32–35, 36–51; Luke 17:20–25; Rev 1:3; 22:12.
3. What does this imply about the role “the Day” is to play in how we see our lives and the world in general? See Eph 5:6–21; Heb 4:1, 9–11; 6:4–8, 11; etc.
4. What are particular ways we’re tempted to forget the approaching Day? What are the bad effects of this “amnesia”?
5. How is the approaching of “the Day” reason to encourage one another “all the more”? How does it put the difficulties of community life in perspective? 1 Cor 3:13–17; Eph 4:25–32; James 4:1–12; Titus 2:11–3:11.
6. Is it possible to be “too spiritual” by always focusing on the return of Christ and heaven, so that we somehow fail to connect well with people, especially unbelievers, in the here and now? Do we need to guard against being “so heavenly minded we’re of no earthly good”?
1. In what ways have you been encouraged by this passage?
2. In what ways have you been challenged by this passage?
3. What can BHOF do to help us apply the truths/commands given in this passage?