The Bible as a Source of Courage, Part III
Yesterday we introduced a particular approach for Bible study, known as the SOAP method. Each letter of the word soap stands for one step of Bible study:
- Scripture – Begin by reading a passage of the Bible.
- Observation – Notice what you are reading, and ask questions of the text.
- Application – Find a way to apply this to your life. Ask questions of yourself based on the text.
- Prayer – Finish by asking God to make the Scripture come alive in your mind and heart, that we would be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
Let’s try it with Hebrews 13.
Scripture: Hebrews 13:6-16
6 So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?" 7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them. 10 We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tent have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood. 13 Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. 15 Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
- What does it mean to say that Jesus is the same, yesterday and today and forever (v. 8)?
- What is the altar for (v. 10)? What kind of sacrifices did the Israelites make?
- What does it mean that “we have no lasting city” (v. 14)?
- What is the mood of this passage, and the tone of the author?
- If I believe that Jesus is the same now and forever, what does that mean for our current situation?
- What kind of sacrifices am I making during this time? What further sacrifices am I willing to make? How is our sacrifice of travel, shopping, and normal life providing some good for our community?
- How is our hope for the city that is to come an encouragement for the difficulties we are facing right now?
Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, give us the confidence to trust in you so that no matter how things change around us, you would be our constant, reliable Lord and Savior. Amen.