Bible Studies for Life Lesson for July 13: Focused Faith
July 1 2014 by Hilary Ratchford, writer, Carmel Baptist Church, Matthews

Focal Passages: 1 Peter 1:3-9, 13
 
In 1 Peter 1, we are reminded that our faith is focused in a sure hope. Think of the kind of light that is emitted from a flashlight rather than a lantern. The flashlight beam is directed on an object while the light of the lantern floods out in all directions. In the same way, our faith is focused on one person, Jesus Christ.
 
Thankfully, our faith is grounded in the One that is far greater and far more certain. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” How’s that for constancy?
 
We can divide this week’s passage into those same categories: the past (yesterday), the present (today) and the future (forever).
 
In 1 Peter 1:3-4, we look to the past for what has already been accomplished in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
 
In the present, we can have confidence that our faith is being shielded by God’s power and refined through our trials so that it may be proved genuine (v. 5-7). Lastly, we can look forward in the future to the salvation revealed in Jesus Christ when He returns again (v. 9, 13).
 
As an encouragement to the believers who were experiencing local persecution in Asia Minor, Peter outlines three actions in verse 13: “Prepare your minds for action, be self-controlled, set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
 
How can you renew your mind (Romans 12:1-2), practice self control (1 Peter 5:8-9) and focus your hope on the One who never changes (Hebrews 13:8)? Biblical hope is more than a desire or wish with no guarantee.
 
You may hope for a winning season for your favorite team or hope for a job promotion.
For those who are in Christ, we have been given a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19-20), a hope that is focused on what Christ has done, is doing and will do.

As the lyrics say, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”

Is your hope misdirected?

7/1/2014 10:25:27 AM by Hilary Ratchford, writer, Carmel Baptist Church, Matthews | with 0 comments
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