The Person and Work of Jesus

2012 Doxology & Theology

In this 40-minute session from the 2012 Doxology and Theology Conference, Afshin Ziafat uses Hebrews 13 to remind you that when rooted in the grace of the gospel, your messages have the power to transform congregants into thankful, selfless, and courageous witnesses. 

Afshin is Lead Pastor at Providence Church in Frisco, Texas. Having been disowned by his family because of his faith in Christ, Afshin understands the call of Christ on each of our lives—to follow Him regardless of the cost. He also partners with Elam Ministries and travels into the Middle East to train Iranian pastors. 

Hebrews 13:7 (ESV)

7Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hebrews 13:7 is a reminder that congregants will remember the the words you speak, consider your life, and imitate you faith. How does that make you feel? Does it humble you to holy fear and dependance on God?
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Because congregants follow your lead, Afshin explained the necessity of speaking, living, and believing the Word. How does the Word lead you? If congregants looked at your life and faith, would they see fruit and an eternal hope?
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Hebrews 13:8-17 (ESV)

8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.9Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.10We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.11For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.12So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.13Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.14For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.15Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

17Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The person and work of Jesus should be the content of your message for six reasons:
  1. The gospel message is necessary for people to come to faith (v. 8).
  2. God is glorified through thankful hearts (v. 15).
  3. It leads worshippers to treasure Christ above all (vv. 13–14).
  4. It encourages worshippers to lead selflessly (v. 16).
  5. It empowers worshippers to be courageous witnesses (v. 13).
  6. We will have to give an account to the Father (v 17).

Afshin explained that thankfulness rises and entitlement dies when we realize the grace we have received. How has this been true in your own life? Why do you think people feel entitled to faith? How do you rightly communicate the grace of the gospel to your congregants?
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Afshin described the impact of an eternal perspective. Who do you know with this perspective and how is it displayed in his or her life? When Afshin shared his testimony, were you encouraged or scared?
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Hebrews 13:17 is a reminder that we will give an account to the Father for the souls we lead in worship. How does that make you feel? Is there anything you would change about the way you currently lead worship?
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Lord, may we consider your presence for eternity as our reward. Grip our hearts with more of your grace that we may lead others to treasure you above all. Amen.

For more information about the Doxology and Theology Conference and how you can attend an upcoming event, visit