"If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons."
* JESUS, THE PERFECTER OF OUR FAITH (1-6)
1. Read verse 1. To what does the author compare the Christian life? (Compare 2 Ti 4:7) (Who are the spectators who are not running this race? [Ps 73:1-7; Hab 1:13])
2. Who are the cloud of witnesses? In what ways do they encourage us? What are the things that hinder our running? What must we do about them? How?
3. What is the course marked out? What is the starting line? The finishing point? What does it mean to run with perseverance? How can we?
4. Read verses 2-4. Why must we fix our eyes on Jesus? What does it mean that he is the author and perfecter of our faith? What does it mean to "consider him"? How does he help and encourage us in our struggle?
5. Read verses 5-6. What makes us lose heart? Why should we not? What should be our attitude toward God's discipline? Toward God who disciplines?
* DIVINE DISCIPLINE (7-13)
6. Read verses 7-9. How are we to regard hardships? Why does God discipline us? What should be our attitude toward parental discipline? Toward God's discipline? Why?
7. Read verses 10-13. Why is God's discipline higher and better than even parents' discipline? What is God's ultimate purpose in disciplining us? What does it mean to share in God's holiness?
8. Read verse 11. What does this teach us about the "pain and gain" of discipline? What is the outcome of divine discipline? (2 Pe 1:4; Jn 17:18,19) What then, must we do when confronted by a hard course to run? (12,13)
* WARNING AGAINST REFUSING GOD (14-29)
9. Read verses 14-15. What are we exhorted to do in verse 14? Why? How can we live in peace with all men? (Ro 8:32) What does it mean to be holy? What is a bitter root? How can we uproot bitter roots?
10. Read verses 16-17. In what way is Esau an example of unfaithfulness? Why could he not receive God's discipline? Why must we be faithful? (17,2 Co 7:10)
11. Read verses 18-21. To what event do these verses refer: How did God demonstrate his holiness? Why (Ex 19)? Read verses 22-29. Why is the new covenant greater? Why must we not refuse to be God's covenant people? What are the blessings of covenant people?