May 22, 2005

1 Peter 3:8-12 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - NT - 1 Peter :: Permalink

1 Peter 3:8-12
(May 22, 2005, Sermon Notes)

Peter has been calling us to live such good lives that the unbelievers around us join us in praising God. That good lifestyle involves submission to those in authority and honouring others. After giving several examples, Peter now calls all of us to bless others so that we receive God’s blessing.


Peter has told us that we are dead to sins and alive to righteousness (2:24) and that new life becomes visible in our relationships with each other. We are to be “of one mind.” That doesn’t mean that we all have the same tastes or opinions, even on doctrinal matters. But it does mean that we are united in trusting Christ, living by God’s word, and following Jesus’ footsteps, especially when it comes to humbling ourselves to serve others.

Our world is characterized by division, but Jesus has formed us into His own special people and He gives us unity. Because we are one, we must have compassion for one another and be tenderhearted. Because we are one family, we must “love as brothers” (see John 13:35).

Peter isn’t saying that we should be busybodies (4:15), always in each other’s business, but he is saying that we should sympathize with each other and do what we can to meet each other’s needs.

Doing so also requires courtesy, the kind of friendliness which puts others ahead of ourselves and treating them with honour.

That’s hard work. We’re afraid we’ll get hurt. But that is what Jesus did for us. And in showing us love, He was hurt. But He died so that now we might live a life modeled after His own, even when it hurts.

Even when people reject our love, Peter points us to Jesus’ command (Luke 6) to love our enemies, to return good for evil, to bless those who curse us. Christ calls us to break the spiral of hostility with love.


Why should we bless others who curse us? Because only in this way will we inherit God’s blessing. You can’t earn that blessing; it’s a gift you inherit. But you receive that inheritance only on this path: If you want to be blessed, you must be a blessing.

What motivates our love isn’t primarily a sense of duty or even a sense of gratitude to God. It’s hope. It’s our anticipation of God’s reward. That’s what Psalm 34:12-16 teaches us. Those who want a good life must turn our mouths — and our lives — from evil, do good, and pursue peace.

Those who live that way receive God’s blessing, the final inheritance He promised and good days right now. Peter isn’t saying we’ll never suffer. But even in our suffering we will have the Lord’s eyes on us and His ears will be open to hear our prayers and His face against our enemies.

Posted by John Barach @ 9:34 am | Discuss (0)

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