Explore the Bible Study: Resolved to Live Differently (New Title)

1:35 PM

There is an old Hymn written by James Fillmore in 1896 that expresses a commitment we should all have regarding being resolved. Here are some of the words in the hymn: "I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight; things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight." Every verse of this hymn begins with the phrase, I AM RESOLVED. This week's Explore the Bible study: Resolved to Live focuses on this very subject as we look at 1 Peter 4:1-11.

I have tweaked the title of this week's session in order to focus on what I believe is the TARGET of the study - Because of Christ’s sufferings and our new lives in Christ, we should be resolved to live differently before a world that doesn’t understand us.

Below are some suggestions that might help you as you prepare to teach this session. Be sure to download the complete teaching helps if you need more ideas.

LOOK UP: Getting focused on the text.
  • Ask (Once most adults have arrived): On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most, how stubborn would someone say you are? What are the advantages of being stubborn?
  • Display the word: Resolute.
  • Explain: This word means “purposeful, determined, and unwavering.”
  • Ask: Could resolute be another way of describing someone who is stubborn?
  • Explain: Synonyms of “resolute” are: determined, purposeful, resolved, adamant, single-minded, firm, unswerving, unwavering, steadfast, staunch, stalwart, unfaltering, unhesitating, persistent, tenacious, strong-willed, or unshakable.
  • Introduce: In today’s passage the apostle Peter uses the word that carries the same meaning; that word is translated in the HCSB as resolve. This word is meant to convey that we are to be resolved to live a certain way as believers.
  • Transition: With Jesus as our example, Peter tells his readers and us to equip ourselves with the same resolve.
LOOK IN: Unpacking the text.
State: First we are to resolve to no longer live our remaining time here on earth pursuing our human desires, but we are to be focused on living out God’s will.

1 Peter 4:1-6
  • Discuss: Why should we live lives now pursuing God’s will? What are the advantages? What is our motivation?
  • Identify: What were the human desires, the actions pagans chose to do that Peter mentioned? How would those be expressed today?
  • Discuss: How do you evaluate your life daily to determine if you are still pursuing things that pagans choose to do? If someone isn’t willing to change their lifestyle or if they try to justify their lifestyle, then what might this indicate about their relationship with Christ?
  • Identify: In verse 4, what did Peter say would be the response of unbelievers to their new way of living? (Surprise and slander)
  • Ask: In what situations have unbelievers responded this way to you? Did they try to convince you to join them in their activities? Were they surprised? Did they mock or slander you? How did you respond to them?
  • Discuss: What situations might arise in these following settings which require a believer to remain resolute in their faith? -  At work | At a dinner party | At a company picnic | At a gathering of family members | At a meeting with new business clients | At a class reunion | When you are viewing Facebook or other social media | When you are speaking to or teaching a group | When you are traveling for work | When are at a cookout with neighbors (Note: Use these situations or create your own situations based on your group's lifestyles)
  • Ask: How hard is it to remain resolved to live for Christ when you face these types of situations? What other types of situations have you experienced?
  • Reflect: On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the greatest, how strong is your resolve to avoid anything that would draw you away from Christ?
  • Determine: What are the best actions someone can take in order to remain resolute about their faith? How can we support each other when we encounter such behavior among our friends, family, or colleagues?
  • Discuss: How can the reality described in verses 5-6 help you remain resolute?
  • Transition: Being resolved also means we are to live as if the end is near, whether that end is when Jesus returns or it is when our lives on this earth end. We should live everyday as if it is our last day here on this earth!
1 Peter 4:7-11
Identify: What are the actions Peter gives us?
  • PRAYER - Discuss: How would you describe serious, disciplined prayer? What would it look like? What would your prayers look like if you knew the end was near? Do we pray as if the end is near?
  • LOVE  - Discuss: How do we maintain this kind of love with one another? What are the results of this kind of love? Does Peter mean that this kind of love covers-up sin? (No) What does Peter mean when he says that this kind of love covers a multitude of sins?
  • HOSPITALITY - Discuss: What does being hospitable look like? How much do you complain when you are expected to be hospitable to those who come to our church? How much do you complain when someone is looking for a seat in our auditorium? How much do you complain when someone gets your parking space at church? How much do you complain about unruly children? What does your response communicate about your resolve to live your faith?
  • SERVICE - Discuss: Does this passage say that gifts are earned? (No, they are received from God.) Does this passage state that some believers haven’t been given a gift? (No; see "each one received") What is the purpose of gifts? (To serve others in the body of Christ) Does Peter say we are accountable for how we serve? (Yes; see "as good managers") Are all gifts the same? (No, they are varied but they all express the grace of God.) How does serving others help us be good managers of God’s grace given to each of us? What is the purpose of this service? (So that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything.)
Reflect: Consider these four actions of end-time living: prayer, love, hospitality, and service; which one are you the strongest in expressing? The weakest? What insights from this passage can you use to better redeem the time God has given you?

LOOK OUT: Responding to the text.
Conclude: There is an old Hymn that expresses a commitment we should all have regarding being resolved. The hymn was written by James Fillmore in 1896.  Listen as I read the words to this Hymn and consider how you need to become more resolved to live differently in the time you have here on this earth as a believer.

Verse One: I am resolved no longer to linger,
charmed by the world’s delight;
things that are higher, things that are nobler,
these have allured my sight.

Verse Two: I am resolved to go to the Savior,
leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true one; He is the just one,
He has the words of life.

Verse Three: I am resolved, and who will go with me?
Come, friends, without delay;
taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit,
we’ll walk the heavenly way.

I will hasten to Him,
hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest,
I will come to Thee.

Video Option: Play one of the videos below as an option rather than reading the words to the hymn.

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