This teaching of 1 Peter 3:8-17 was given by pastor Barry Forder and recorded on 9th August 2020.
In this study Peter builds on the admonitions he has already given:
- Christians are to submit to those in authority (particularly the government) (ch 2 13-17)
- Christian employees are to submit to employers (ch 2 18-20)
- Christian wives are to submit to their own husbands & Christian husbands in turn are to honour wives (ch 2 1-7)
All this is do be done, not because the recipient is deserving, but because it is pleasing and glorifying to God.
Now Peter speaks about how Christian’s should be in relation to each other in the midst of a hostile world.
In v.8 Peter gives us 5 qualities that should be evident in every believer:
- 1) homophrones: like-minded; harmony;
- 2) sympatheis: sympathetic;
- 3) philadelphoi: to love as brothers;
- 4) eusplanchnoi: compassionate, tender hearted
- 5) tapeinophrones: humble.
“This unique vocabulary stresses the importance of these Christian virtues which keep one from being deceitful” (dolon; cf. 1 Peter 2:1, 22). – Chuck Missler
Peter then highlights that, for Christians, there is no room for taking matters into our own hands if we are wronged! Instead we should show grace and love – as we have been shown!
In making his point, Peter quotes from Psalm 34, but interestingly he does not complete the quote, but rather omits the last line. It would be easy to miss this if you were just reading Peter’s quote, but when you compare the verse he is quoting from what is actually recorded in Psalm 34 you see that Peter misses the line that states “to cut of the remembrance of them from the earth”!
Jesus does exactly the same in Luke 4:16-21 when quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2 – much to the dismay of his hearers!
Why this is interesting is that this phenomena occurs 24 x in the Bible, where we see ‘dispensation gaps’ that anticipate the Church Age. What is provocative is that the number 24 seems to be associated with the Church (See Rev 4-5). This would seem to be clear evidence of design throughout the pages of the Bible.
Peter tells us that if we suffer for being a Christian, we should be happy – for this too will glorify God whilst at the same time strengthening our faith.
In fact, Peter goes further and says that because we should expect persecution and ridicule, we should always be ready to give a ‘reasoned defense’ of the hope we have as Christians, in a gentle way.
Sadly, many Christians are happy being followers of Christ, but are not ready to defend why they believe when the world asks them why!
Yet, in truth, we have so many good and powerful arguments (reasons) that can be presented to our unbelieving friends and family that no one we know should EVER reject Christ on the basis of thinking there is not enough evidence to support our faith! We need to be able to remove any intellectual arguments they have for not accepting Christ so that it becomes clear that the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart! In other words, there is not a single good intellectual reason for rejecting Jesus, only a moral one! – because Jesus calls us to acknowledge our sinful nature and repent!
So, if you are going to be laughed at, mocked and challenged because your believe in Jesus, make sure you use as an opportunity to shine brightly for Him – Remember that God used Gideon’s army – the few that were willing to step out in faith – to defeat the enemy. All it took was for those few to make a shout and let the light shine from the broken vessels!
May you be challenged and encouraged by this teaching.