The Gospel According to Jonah – Session 5
February 3, 2021
and create enmity between us and God.
Share about a time when you felt like God didn’t respond to a situation the way you wanted or asked Him to. How did you feel at the time? How do you feel now?
Share about a time when you found yourself after the fact saying, “If I’d only known . . .”
In this session J.D. will look at the first half of the fourth and final chapter in the Book of Jonah. Here we will see how Jonah’s idolatry and his ignorance created enmity between him and God. Again we will see God’s patience and grace at work.
Watch the Session Five Video.
What’s the difference between the gospel and religion?
What eventually happens when we merely change our behavior to avoid consequences?
Read Jonah 4. How was Jonah’s sin worse than Nineveh’s? Did this convict you in any way personally? Discuss.
J.D. said to “see yourself as sinner first, second sinned against.” How does this change your approach to your relationships?
J.D. pointed out that when you see yourself as a recipient of great , then God’s becomes His most precious attribute to you, and you want to be like Him. The people who understand God’s grace in their lives are continually amazed by how much of it they have in their lives. A spirit of and a lack of is the indication you are out of touch with the grace of God in your own life.
Unpack the biblical text to discover what the Scripture says or means about a particular topic.
Jonah, representing Israel, had forgotten the true grace of the God he served. The result was a hardening of his heart toward God and His purposes. The same predicament awaits anyone who allows the sins of pride, idolatry, and the like to reign in their heart and mind. As we study this brief passage in Hebrews, consider how we can keep from walking the same path Jonah, Israel, and so many others have walked in the past.
HAVE A VOLUNTEER READ HEBREWS 3:12-14.
Verse 12 warns against departing from the living God. How does one “fall away” (ESV) from God?
Verse 13 says to exhort one another daily. What are we exhorting one another with?Why might we need exhortation daily? How does Jonah validate this?
In Hebrews 3:12-14, the author is writing to the Hebrew community urging them to not “fall away” (ESV) from God. The author is remembering the hard-heartedness of Israel when they refused to believe in God’s love and trust in His power when they were called by God to take Canaan in Numbers 14. Instead of taking the land, the very people God had led out of Egypt by way of some amazing supernatural activity did not believe God would give them victory.
How does a community of people help us deal with our propensity toward ignorance of God’s grace?
What could this look like in our small group?
What role does confession of sin play in the church? What about in your life?
For Jonah, his anger toward God by the end of Jonah 4 revealed what he really cared about. What are the weighty rocks you care about right now in your life?
For Jonah, his ignorance of God’s grace in his own life resulted in anger toward God and His purposes. For Israel at the border of Canaan, their ignorance of God’s grace resulted in flat-out disobedience to His command. For both Israel and Jonah, the previous experience of God’s grace in their own lives was not sustaining them in the present.
Explore how the truths from the Scripture passage apply directly to our lives.
Do you have a spirit of unforgiveness? Have you considered how much God has forgiven you?
Do you struggle with generosity? What might that say about the condition of your heart?
What is one achievable action step you can take this week in response to what we’ve discussed in this group?
Thank God for His grace and forgiveness toward those in your group. Praise God for the message of the gospel and pray that it would change the way each person approaches life—that the gospel would make them more forgiving, more compassionate, and more generous.
3:12. Verse 12 grabs our attention by giving us the main thrust of the warning. First, in light of verses 7-11, the readers of Hebrews were to watch out that unbelief did not take root in their lives or in any fellow believer’s life. In other words, they were to be concerned both for themselves and for one another as the body of Christ.
The idea of watching out is the same warning found also in Hebrews 12:25, where the readers were to take care not to reject the message of Christ. In Luke 21:8, Jesus used the same expression to warn His disciples about being misled by a false messiah. Paul gave a similar warning about false teachers in Philippians 3:2.
In Hebrews 3:12, the writer addressed believers to warn them that each one should examine his or her heart so that none of them would possess a heart of unbelief. Any believer can stumble into sin. God’s grace is sufficient to forgive us of our sins as we confess them (see 1 John 1:9). However any professing Christians who develop a pattern of disobedience and retreat from their confession of Christ as Savior and Lord are warned to make sure, to watch out, to see to it that their faith in Christ is genuine.
As surely as God judged and punished the rebellious Israelites in the Old Testament, He will hold accountable disobedient believers today. For genuine believers, that judgment will be disciplinary in nature and redemptive in effect. For unbelievers, judgment can result in an ever-hardening heart in this life and an eternity in hell in the life to come. The stakes are that high. There the warning is passionate and urgent: Do not harden your heart to God’s voice!
3:13. Verse 13 tells us how to carry out the command of verse 12. We come alongside one another as believers to exhort and encourage each other. We do this day after day. As recipients of God’s grace, each of us can be a vessel of grace to other believers, encouraging all to endure and grow in faith (see 1 Pet. 4:8-10). We endure in community and as a community. God has designed it this way!
None of us are called to walk the road of the Christian life alone. We are sure to fail if we try! Haven’t we all been carried along by others at times when we were at our weakest? We live out our faith together, as God’s sojourning people of faith. This is why Hebrews 10:25 commands believers not to neglect meeting together. Do not miss church if at all possible! The gathered meeting is when the people of God encourage and exhort one another in the faith. We sing doctrinal truth in our hymns. We hear the Bible preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. We read the Word together, confess our sins together, worship and pray together.
We need one another as believers, because sin is subtle and deceitful. Remember the Garden of Eden? The serpent told Eve a mixture of truth and error—this is deceit at its core. It can slowly erode our faith and harden our hearts.
3:14. Hebrews 3:14 is similar to 3:6, arguing backwards from the present to the past. If we persevere now and until the end, then we know (now in the present) that we have (in the past) become partakers in the salvation Christ has accomplished. We are in Him. Our present walk with Christ is evidence that our past confession of Him as Lord and Savior was true. The phrase companions of the Messiah is also in 3:1, where believers partake of or are sharers in a holy calling. The past action of believing in Christ for salvation has continuing effect in the present and the future. Our profession of faith in the past is proven to be valid by the fact that we persevere to the end.
The logical progression is this: We know that in the past we have come to know Christ if we are holding fast to Him in the present and continue to do so until the end—all by His grace and for His glory. Genuine faith is a persevering faith. This verse means that if someone does not have faith that endures, then it is not genuine faith. It is false faith, since the faith that God gives and sustains is one that endures. He will keep and preserve His children until the end. Not one will be lost!