Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on 1 Peter, “A Living Hope in Christ” by Jen Wilkin. We just completed Week Three of our study, “The Believer’s Identity.” We observed 1 Peter 1:13-25 in quite some detail. Peter tells us that we are called to be holy in everything we do, because God chose us to be holy just as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). This brings a question to mind… “how can we be holy when we live in such an unholy world?” We don’t always have the answers, but God does.
Peter begins our study this week by telling us to prepare our minds for action and be sober-minded (1 Peter 1:13). Therefore, we need to be mentally alert so that we think clearly and not let the worries of life hinder us from living a holy life. Daily living can be a real struggle when difficult circumstances rage out of control. We must constantly exercise a disciplined mind so that we can live as God’s obedient child. BEWARE….the enemy is always waiting around every corner….watching, waiting, wanting…. an opportunity to devour us!
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
You might be asking how do I discipline my thoughts when my thoughts are all over the place? It’s not easy, and it takes a great deal of practice and exercise to discipline your mind. I have found that if I lingered on a thought even for a second, that thought would lead to another thought, which led to a lie, and soon it would snowball out of control. That is why we must prepare our minds for action and pull our thoughts together, and we do that by the reading of God’s Word. Replace untruths with the truth of God’s Word. God’s Word works, but it only works if we allow it to. The choice is ours to make.
“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
So be on the alert and ready in your whole spiritual and mental attitude, because it is so easy to slide, especially when you are suffering. In those moments, it is very difficult to “pull your thoughts together,” and to “be realistic” about your circumstances. Therefore, we must set our hope fully on the grace of God in Jesus Christ so that we can live a holy life pleasing to Him.
Remembering that we cannot become holy on our own, but God gives us His Holy Spirit to help us obey and to give us the power to overcome sin.
BIBLE STUDY TIP: Write out Week 3 Scriptures (1 Peter 1:13-25) in your journal.
DIGGING DEEPER: Memorize 1 Peter 1:13-25
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a Small Group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
- Complete your study of Week Four, “Living Stones” 1 Peter 2:1-12
- Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR WEEK THREE (answer in small groups or post a comment below:
- What does 1:15-16 indicate should be our motive for pursuing holiness? Give an example of pursuing a form of holiness for wrong motives. (Page 34)
- God is both Father and impartial Judge. Is it harder for you to identify with one of these ideas than the other? Why? How does your focus need to shift to bring these two views of God into balance? (Page 37)
- In 1:1-25, what does Peter note is perishable (temporary)? What does he note is imperishable (eternal)? (Page 42)
- What perishable things are most likely to demand your attention and affections? How does a focus on those things diminish your ability to love others earnestly from a pure heart? (Page 43)
- What impacted you the most within this week’s passage of 1 Peter? How has Peter challenged you to pursue what lasts and put away sin? How has he encouraged you?
- How do you find assurance that your faith in Christ is real?