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Loving One Another: Stirring Up and Encouraging
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: Salvation is both an individual pursuit and a congregational project. Individually, we must come to terms with our sinful state and helplessness before God by recognizing the provision Christ has made for us and our need for the new birth. Congregationally, we are called to stir up one another to love and good works, and to encourage one another. Our own walk with the Lord is thus strengthened by fellow church members who share our confession of faith; attend public worship with regularity; refuse to let us live in sin without repenting; and come alongside us when our lives are turned upside down. By loving one another in these ways and more, we gain assurance of our own salvation and are enabled to endure as the final Day draws near.
01. In order for us to be assured of our salvation, we must come to Christ by faith, continue to confess the faith, and live by faith in a world that rejects and denies the faith.
02. In order for us to endure to the final Day, we need to gather with our church family, invest ourselves in the lives of church members, and choose the church instead of the world.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. In what way is salvation an individual pursuit and a congregational project? How is this connection related to the distinction between justification and sanctification? What grounds of assurance can we have if we neglect the commands in Scripture to attend and participate in the church?
2. Note that verse 24 tells us to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Take time to consider ways in which you can stir up others in the church to love and good works. What is the role of good works in the Christian life? Why is love essential to every good work?
3. We are told not to neglect our meetings together in verse 25. What patterns of neglect can believers fall into with regard to church attendance? What legitimate reasons are there for missing church on occasion? How important is balance in understanding exceptions to the rule of church attendance?
4. What warnings should we derive from Hebrews 10:26-31? What does Scripture teach about people who profess Christ at one time but eventually deny or turn away from the faith? Are you praying for anyone who has once confessed Christ but is no longer living a Christ-like life?
5. Note the ways in which the early church assisted those who were persecuted for their faith in verses 32-34. In what ways can we as a church family assist those who are persecuted for their faith at work? In the home? In society at large?
For Further Reading: Gregory Cochran, Christians in the Crosshairs: Persecution in the Bible and Around the World Today (Weaver Book Company, 2016).