Introduction: In the last few years I have been reading the
foundational writings of some other world religions. I was surprised
by some of the similarities with Christianity. For example, Islam
shares our Old Testament heroes. Buddhism parallels, in several
respects, Christ’s teaching on how we should live. Christianity is
unique, however, in worshiping a God who came from heaven, died for
our sins, was raised to life, returned to heaven, and intercedes for
us now so that we might have eternal life. This is our “living
hope,” so let’s dive in and learn more from the Bible about our hope!

  1. Praise to God

    1. Read 1 Peter 1:3. Who should we praise according to this

      1. What did God the Father do that causes us to praise
        Him? (He gave us “new birth into a living hope.”)

        1. What does it mean to have a “new birth into a
          living hope?”

        2. How does that change the way you look at today?
          The way you look at tomorrow?

        3. What impact would this have on your mental

      2. How did God give us this “new birth?” What does the
        text say are the mechanics for this gift? (God gave
        us this new hope by resurrecting Jesus from the

      3. What makes our hope “living?” (The fact that Jesus is

    2. Let’s add verse 4 to 1 Peter 1:3. Read. What else has God
      the Father given to us? (An inheritance.)

      1. Do you know anyone who inherited a lot of money from
        a relative or a friend who died?

        1. When you see that happen, what do you think? (I
          think: “Wish that were me!” My wife told me
          about a relative of hers who would become
          friends with the elderly and then “be
          remembered” in their will. This relative
          collected quite a bit of money doing this. The
          “collector” recently died, leaving a good sum of
          money behind. It crossed my mind that I should
          have stopped to see the collector more often!)

      2. What kind of an inheritance do we stand to receive
        from God the Father?

        1. When I was writing the note about the
          “collector,” I was thinking of the couple who
          were named in her will and got her money
          (instead of me). I wondered if they put their
          inheritance in the stock market – and if so, how
          much is left now. Is this idea about potential
          loss a concern we have with the inheritance
          given us by God the Father? (The Bible
          specifically states that this inheritance from
          God cannot be diminished!)

          1. Why can’t our inheritance be diminished?
            (It is kept safe for us in heaven.)

        2. Is this inheritance part of your living hope?

    3. Let’s read on: Add 1 Peter 1:5. What else, other than
      your inheritance, is protected? What else is shielded?
      (You! Verse 4 ends with the note that “you” have your
      inheritance waiting for you in heaven. Of course, having
      your inheritance in heaven does you no good if you don’t
      get to heaven.)

      1. How are you shielded? (By God’s power.)

        1. How does this shield work?

        2. Is your special shield part of your “living

      2. When verse 5 tells us that “the coming of salvation”
        is “ready to be revealed in the last time,” what do
        you understand this to mean? (It could mean a couple
        of things. First, it could mean that “the coming of
        the salvation” might not be perfectly clear to us
        right now. So, don’t be arrogant about your
        understanding of end-time prophecy. Second, it could
        simply mean Jesus’ Second Coming will be revealed “in
        the last time.”)

  2. Hold On

    1. Let’s continue with Peter by reading 1 Peter 1:6. How does
      your “living hope” affect your life? (We greatly rejoice.)

      1. Is it all good? (Our spirits are lifted. We “greatly
        rejoice” in our living hope. At the same time, the
        reality of life may not be so good. We may have to
        “suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” The world
        would expect some one who has trials to be unhappy –
        but we are not.)

        1. Isn’t there a problem with this text? How can we
          “greatly rejoice” (a mental attitude) and at the
          same time “suffer grief” (another mental

          1. How can these two attitudes be rolling
            around together in the same brain? (I
            think the key is the phrase “a little
            while.” I did not particularly enjoy law
            school. It was a lot of work and tension.
            I recall clearly sitting in the library
            looking out the window at the sunshine and
            grass – wishing I were out there. I didn’t
            leave the library, however, because I knew
            that after a few years of this I would be
            a lawyer. My goal would be accomplished.
            We know after a “few years” our heavenly
            goal will be accomplished.)

  3. The Reward

    1. Read 1 Peter 1:7. Is there a “silver lining” to suffering
      grief? (It refines our faith.)

      1. Do you want your faith refined?

      2. What reason does verse 7 give for refining your
        faith? (Faith is an extraordinarily important
        possession. Verse 7 tells us it is of greater worth
        than gold.)

        1. Wait a minute. Do you agree that faith is of
          greater worth than gold? Why is faith even
          compared to gold? (At first thought, it seems
          that faith and gold have no connection. Ask
          yourself this: Why would you like to have gold
          (money)? Isn’t it because of the security and
          freedom that money brings? Faith gives us
          security and freedom! It is better than gold
          (money) because the stock market, or thieves, or
          decay cannot take away your faith.)

      3. Verse 7 tells us that the result of faith is praise,
        glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Does
        this mean that the “fruit” of our faith – praise,
        honor and glory – will only come at Jesus’ Second
        Coming? (It means at least that. However, I think
        that a refined faith “reveals” Jesus right now. That
        is why praise, honor and glory can be present in our
        life now, even during trials.)

    2. Read 1 Peter 1:8-9. We just discussed that faith gives us
      security and freedom now. What else does Peter tell us
      faith provides? (The salvation of our soul. The ultimate
      goal of faith is not simply security and freedom here on
      earth. The ultimate goal is our salvation.)

    3. Read 1 Peter 1:10-12. We have been discussing the Second
      Coming of Jesus as a time when our faith will be
      fulfilled. What time period were the prophets trying to
      figure out? (The time these verses point to is the First
      Coming of Jesus – His coming to earth as a baby, living
      with us, His perfect life, His sufferings, His death and
      His resurrection.)

      1. Verse 12 has a very interesting statement. It says
        that prophets “were not serving themselves but you.”
        What do you think that means? (The prophets were
        looking to a time in the future – and that time,
        Peter says, is now!)

      2. Why do angels long to look into these things? (The
        plan of salvation, our living hope, is a study even
        for the angels.)

  1. The Plan of Action

    1. Read 1 Peter 1:13. What is our role in getting ready for
      our salvation? (Preparing our minds.)

      1. What do you think it means to “prepare” your mind?
        (Our lesson (Thursday) points out that we make our
        choice for or against Jesus with our minds – the
        battle for the soul is won or lost in the mind. The
        rest of verse 13 tells us to be self-controlled and
        to set our hope on the grace that comes from Jesus.
        While we cannot win the battle against sin on our
        own, we can decide to put our minds in the best
        possible position to accept the grace that Jesus
        offers. This grace has won the battle against sin.)

    2. Read 1 Peter 1:14-16. Friend, we have a living hope, we
      have been offered a gift, we have a choice, will you chose
      to accept the gift and to be holy as your heavenly Father
      is holy?

  2. Next Week: Hope and “The Delay”: Part 1