Back

Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 4 - THE TRIUMPH OF FAITH (1 PETER 1:6-12)

INTRODUCTION:  THIS WEEK WE STUDY 1 PETER 1: 6-12.  I PROMISED YOU
LAST WEEK THAT I WOULD WIND UP OUR DISCUSSION FROM LAST WEEK OF v.
3-5. FORTUNATELY, THAT FITS INTO OUR DISCUSSION OF v. 7 TODAY.  SO
LETS GET INTO THIS WEEK'S LESSON!

I. REVIEW 

     A. LAST WEEK PETER STARTED OUT: PRAISING GOD! 
     B. WHY? BECAUSE:  
          1. GOD SHOWED MERCY TO US 
          2. IN THAT JESUS, THROUGH HIS RESURRECTION GAVE US HOPE
          THAT WE TOO WOULD BE RESURRECTED, 
          3. INTO THE INHERITANCE THAT WILL NOT SPOIL OR FADE.
     
     C. LETS CONTINUE NOW WITH v. 5 (BUT READ v.3-5 FOR THE PURPOSE
     OF UNDERSTANDING v.5.)
     
     D. WE KNOW THAT THE REWARD ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE, BUT THAT
WOULD NOT BE MUCH COMFORT IF WE WOULD NOT BE AROUND TO GET IT. 
WHAT IS THE KEY TO HAVING IT?  TO BEING AROUND? (FAITH. "THROUGH
FAITH ARE SHIELDED BY GOD'S POWER")

          1. WHAT IS FAITH?
          2. HOW DO YOU GET FAITH?
          3. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE IT?
     
     E. LETS EXPLORE THIS MORE IN v. 6-7. READ.

     F. LETS LEAVE ALONE FOR A MINUTE THE QUESTION OF TRIALS. WHAT
     DO TRIALS PROVE ABOUT OUR FAITH? (THAT OUR FAITH MAY BE PROVED
     TO BE GENUINE.)
     
     G. DOES THIS MEAN THAT THERE IS REAL AND FAKE FAITH?
          1. IF YOU SAY THAT, "I BELIEVE IN JESUS," AND YOU TRULY
          BELIEVE, CAN THAT BE FAKE FAITH?

     H.  SO SIMPLY SAYING, "I BELIEVE" IS NOT ENOUGH? 
          1. SEE JAMES 2:18-20.  THERE IS GENUINE FAITH AND FAKE
          FAITH.  IF YOU HAVE THE REAL THING, THEN JAMES SAYS YOU
          WILL HAVE DEEDS.  IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE REAL THING, THEN
          IT DOES YOU NO GOOD.  AND TO HAVE THE FAKE FAITH IS WORSE
          THAN HAVING NONE AT ALL BECAUSE YOU THINK THAT YOU HAVE
          SOMETHING.)

     I. IS THERE SOME MIDDLE GROUND BETWEEN GENUINE AND FAKE FAITH? 
     IS IT POSSIBLE THAT YOU CAN BE PROGRESSING FROM FAKE TO
     GENUINE FAITH?  TO HAVE SOMETHING IN BETWEEN? 

     J. OR IS THIS AN ALL OR NOTHING SITUATION?

     K.  WHY DOES PETER MAKE THE COMPARISON IN v. 7 TO REFINING 
     GOLD?  
          1. CAN GOLD CAN BECOME MORE PURE BECAUSE OF THE FIRE?
          
          2. IS IT STILL GOLD EVEN IF IT IS NOT REFINED?
 (IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES, "I BELIEVE" IS ENOUGH. 
BUT, IT YOU SIMPLY CONTINUE TO SAY THIS WITHOUT ANY GROWTH OR
DEEDS, THEN YOU DO NOT HAVE GENUINE FAITH.  IF YOU FAITH IS
GROWING, THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE IDEA OF BEING REFINED. REV.
3:18 I THINK SOME WOULD CALL THIS SANCTIFICATION.)

II. TRIALS

     A. LETS LOOK AT TRIALS NOW.  v. 6 SAYS THAT WE "GREATLY
REJOICE." 
          1. IS THIS BECAUSE OF OR IN SPITE OF TRIALS? 

          2. DO YOU REJOICE WHEN YOU HAVE TRIALS?
(THE REJOICING DOESN'T SEEM TO BE A RESULT OF THE TRIALS.  WE
REJOICE IN SPITE OF THE TRIALS BECAUSE OF THE COMING SALVATION.)

     B. THE NIV MISSES SOMETHING IN v. 6 THAT IS IN THE GREEK (EI
DEON OR DEI) AND IS IN ALL OTHER TRANSLATIONS THAT I CHECKED.  NKJV
SAYS, "THOUGH NOW FOR A LITTLE WHILE, IF NEED BE, YOU HAVE BEEN
GRIEVED BY TRIALS."
          1. WHO DECIDES IF WE NEED A TRIAL? (THE GREEK WORD FOR
"TRIAL" CAN ALSO MEAN "TEMPTATION." LOOK AT JAMES 1:12-14 ON THIS.
JAMES FLATLY SAYS THAT GOD DOES NOT TEMPT US, THAT WE GET DRAWN
AWAY BY OUR OWN DESIRES--GETTING IN TROUBLE BECAUSE OF THE DEVIL
TEMPTING US.)

     C. DO YOU THINK THAT TRIALS COME BECAUSE OF OUR OWN FAILURES
OR THE DEVIL'S WORK: AND THAT THE GOOD THAT COMES FROM THIS IS JUST
THE RESULT OF THE PRINCIPLE IN ROM. 8:28--THAT GOD TURNS SOMETHING
BAD INTO SOMETHING GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM?

     D. HAVE TRIALS AND TEMPTATIONS STRENGTHENED OR WEAKENED YOUR
     FAITH?
     
          1. I VISITED WITH A FORMER MEMBER OF OUR CHURCH THIS WEEK
          WHO IS NOW A PRESBYTERIAN.  HE WENT THROUGH SOME TERRIBLE
          THINGS FOR REASONS I DO NOT KNOW.  MY FEELING IS THAT HIS
          FAITH WAS WEAKENED BY THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT HE WOULD
          DENY THAT.

          2. IT SEEMS THAT GENUINE FAITH COMES THROUGH THE TRIAL
          INTACT. (GOLD IS GONNA BURN, BUT GENUINE FAITH IS NOT.)
            
          3. IS THIS A WAY TO LEARN ABOUT THE NATURE OF OUR FAITH?

III. SALVATION NOW

     A. READ v.8-9

     B. PETER SAYS THAT WE ARE NOW RECEIVING "THE GOAL OF OUR
FAITH" -- SALVATION.  
          1. HOW DO WE RECEIVE SALVATION NOW?

          2. I THOUGHT THAT v. 5 SAID THAT IT WAS TO BE REVEALED
"IN THE LAST TIME?" (SALVATION IS GOING TO HEAVEN TO LIVE WITH
JESUS. IF WE ARE FILLED WITH THE HS, THEN WE HAVE GOD LIVING WITH
US TODAY. IT SEEMS THAT v.8, WITH ITS DISCUSSION ABOUT BELIEF
RESULTING IN BEING FILLED WITH JOY IS AN ILLUSTRATION OF THIS.)

IV. PROPHETS

     A. READ v.10-12.

     B. WHAT PROPHETS DO YOU THINK PETER IS SPEAKING ABOUT? (OT.
DANIEL, JEREMIAH, ISAIAH, ETC.)
     
     C. WHAT SO YOU THINK THE PROPHETS WERE LOOKING FOR? (PETER IS
PAINTING A TOTAL PICTURE HERE.  HE STARTS OUT SAYING "PRAISE GOD"
BECAUSE HE HAS GIVEN US THE NEW BIRTH OF JESUS.  THAT IS "THE GRACE
WAS TO COME TO" THE READERS.)

     D. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOUR NORMAL VIEW OF PROPHECY--THAT
PROPHETS HAVE TO SEARCH INTENTLY FOR THEIR VISION? (IT SEEMS THAT
TWO THINGS ARE INVOLVED HERE.  FIRST THE H.S. HAS REVEALED TO THEM
ABOUT JESUS.  BUT THEY WANTED TO KNOW MORE--AND SO THEY STUDIED THE
WRITINGS OF OTHER PROPHETS TO TRY TO FIND THE DETAILS (THE TIME AND
CIRCUMSTANCES)

     E. WHAT A PLUG THAT IS FOR BIBLE STUDY.  EVEN THOSE WHO WERE
PROPHETS WERE "INTENTLY AND WITH THE GREATEST OF CARE" STUDYING THE
BIBLE.  SO HOW MUCH MORE SHOULD WE!

     F. DID THESE PROPHETS FIND BAD NEWS OR GOOD NEWS? (BAD NEWS
FOR THEM, GOOD NEWS FOR PETER'S READERS. IT WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN
DURING THE TIME OF THE PROPHETS, BUT IT DID HAPPEN DURING PETER'S
TIME.)

     G. WHY DO ANGELS LONG TO LOOK INTO THESE THINGS? (THEY ARE
INTERESTED IN THE OUTCOME OF THIS CONFLICT.)  (ONCE AGAIN, WHAT AN
OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE. WE SHOULD NOT BLOW IT BY NOT LEARNING
EVERYTHING THAT WE CAN FROM THE BIBLE.) 

V. NEXT WEEK: CALL TO HOLY LIVING: v.13-25.
Y WE HAVE. WE SHOULD NOT BLOW IT BY NOT LEARNING EVERYTHING THAT WE CAN FROM THE BIBLE.) V. NEXT WEEK: CALL TO HOLY LIVING: v.13-25.