Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Proven Faith
Pastor Andy Murry
“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Ro 8:29). God knew who we were going to be and what we were going to do before we even existed. He deeply knew us and still chose to die for us and make a way for us to live with Him forever. This truth is so amazing and never gets old! Not only that, but He also decided that He wanted us to be conformed to the image of His Son. We like to remember that God is at work for us (and He is!), but sometimes we forget that He wants to also, and even more so, work in us. Today we’re going to look at Scripture and the world around us and remember the opportunities we have to become more like Jesus.

1 Peter 1:3-7
God has shown us grace by giving us the new birth and giving us an inheritance in heaven. While Peter begins this passage by praising God for what He has given us, he continues by writing about the suffering that the church is experiencing because of persecution. Though it is a dark time for the church, Peter points to the hardships as an opportunity for growth and advancement of the faith.

Living hope (1Pe 1:3-5; Ro 8:22-25)
The apostle Peter praises the Father for causing us to be born again (“born up, from low to high”), but he doesn’t end there. He goes on to explain that we have not only been born again but have been born into two incredible blessings: a living hope and an eternal inheritance.

This living hope and eternal inheritance are set aside for those that have trusted Christ and are living for Him. Our hope is real; it is powerful, and it is secure. The Father will not allow anyone or anything to steal this inheritance from us and will finish what He started in us (Php 1:6).

Tried and true (1Pe 1:6-7)
Peter spoke of our future and hope in verses 3-5, and it sounds so good! Though we have cause for rejoicing, let’s pause with Peter and look at our current situation as he writes verse 6.

Just like gold, our faith goes through fire, is tested, is tempted, and we are pressed in by situations and people. What makes it through and comes out of the other side of these difficult experiences is pure, refined and strong. Only when our faith is tested can we be sure that it is proven. How we react in the process will determine the outcome.
• Proverbs 27:21-22

Having a faith that is pure and strong can only happen if it is tested and put through intense heat. According to Peter these kinds of pressures and trials are a part of life and may even be a necessity of living life in this fallen world. We cannot run away from them, but we can choose to put our roots down deep in Him and let the heat and pressure refine us. Following this logic can bring up a challenging question for us; let’s look at it!

Does God test us?
This question can cause all kinds of theological problems for people trying to learn more about God and His goodness. If He wants me to grow, wouldn’t He put me through bad situations? If He is good and kind, would He make bad things happen to me? These are difficult questions. The Bible would say the answer is both yes and no.
• Exodus 16:1-5
• James 1:13

God tested Israel by bringing them into the wilderness and asking them to rely on Him for their provision. He was not causing starvation and poverty, but was instead seeking a people that would follow and trust Him. As James says, God does not tempt (same word as trial - “pierce”) us because His goal is not to break us, but to grow us.

A word from James (Jas 1:2-4)
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Keeping the end in mind
1 Peter 1:13
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Romans 8:18
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Romans 8:28-30
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

Let’s be a people that choose to grow! A people that choose to take joy in the refining process as we become more like Jesus!

Discussion questions
1) What is one difficult situation in your past that caused you to grow in your faith?
2) What is one situation in your life right now that is difficult? Do you see ways that the situation could make you more like Jesus?
3) How can we look at every tough experience as an opportunity to grow in our faith? 

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