• Slide #1
• Behave while living in a lost world.
• Dealing with the issue of government.
• Conduct at work.
• Conduct within the home.
• Up to this point the focus of our behavior has been focused on how to live with those outside of the church. Today, the focus is going to change to how we are to deal with our brothers and sisters in the church.
• Today we are going to look at how the Christian is to live within God’s family!
• One of the things we need to understand in life is that we need each other. Peter was writing to Christians as they were in the midst of persecution.
• When things are going bad around us, it is easy to start turning on the ones we say we love; it is easy to turn on family.
• During times of difficulty, we need one another even more. The tough times of life is not the time (there is never a time) to turn on our family or our Christian family.
• The family dynamic can be tricky at times because in any family, there are times when we say things and do things to one another that are wrong, insensitive and dumb.
• In your biological or adopted family, what do you do when another family member treats you poorly or in a hateful manner? I hope we try to work through it and not just hate the person forever.
• The bottom line concerning how we live with one another is that we are to love one another. Jesus said in John 13:35
• SLIDE #2
• John 13:35(ESV) 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
• Doesn’t that sound nice, we are to love one another? The question then becomes, “How do we know if we truly love one another?
• It is one thing to say we love one another; it is a different thing to actually love one another! How do we function within the structure of God’s family?
• AS we learn to live with God’s family, we will learn what it means to truly love one another!
• The world needs to see that we really love one another. Our love for one another must be real. It cannot be just a show.
• This section begins with “FINALLY.” This indicates Peter he is addressing the last group of people concerning our conduct. This section will deal with how we are to live with God’s family!
• SLIDE #3
• Let us begin with 1 Peter 3:8
• 1 Peter 3:8(ESV) 8Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
• SLIDE #4
To live with God’s family we must learn:
I. The proper attitudes to cultivate.
• Attitude is a good indicator of the true heart within us. If we really love one another, it will be evident in the following attitudes.
• If we are going to live as the family that God wants us to be our attitude will be very important! Verse 8 gives us a few attitudes to cultivate in order to be pleasing to God.
• SLIDE #5
A. Unity of mind.
• Do we display an attitude of unity, a spirit of harmony?
• The word “unity”(or harmony in some translations) literally means “to be of one mind.” We are like-minded; we realize we are part of a team. That team includes brothers in Christ from other churches who have been obedient to the call of Christ.
• Having unity of mind means that we are working together for a common goal of spread the gospel.
• Jesus prayed for unity in John 17:20-23
• SLIDE #6
• Paul reminds us of the importance of unity.
• Philippians 1:27(ESV) 27Only let your manner of life be worthy£ of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,
• Warren Wiersbe in his commentary on 1 Peter states the following concerning Christian unity. “Unity does not mean uniformity; it means cooperation in the midst of diversity. The members of the body work together in unity, even though they are all different. Christians may differ on how things are to be done, but they must agree on what is to be done and why.
• A man criticized D.L. Moody’s methods of evangelism, and Moody said, “Well, I’m always ready for improvement. What are your methods?” The man confessed that he had none! “Then I’ll stick to my own,” said Moody.
• Whatever methods we may use, we must seek to honor Christ, win the lost, and build the church. Some methods are definitely not scriptural, but there is plenty of room for variety in the church.”
• SLIDE #7
• The next attitude is…
B. A heart of sympathy.
• A sympathetic person is able to enter into another person’s feelings and show regard and concern for them and their welfare. You can walk in their shoes and feel their pain.
• This attitude should be shown to saved and lost, but in this context it tells us we are to be sympathetic to our brother.
• To be sympathetic we need to get involved in the other person’s life instead of being aloof or indifferent about them and their situation.
• Jesus did that for us!
• SLIDE #8
• Hebrews 4:15(ESV) 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
• SLIDE #9
C. True brotherly love.
• This is a special love we are to have for one another that is like the love we have for a family member. We give family a lot of latitude as we deal with them, we should do the same for the family of God!
• SLIDE #10
D. A tender heart.
• This is the ability to be compassionate. It involves the ability to show pity to another person. We are sensitive to the burdens that others are bearing.
• Not only are we easily touched, but a person with a tender heart will be moved to action. They will be driven to help fix the suffering that comes from the depth of the soul.
• SLIDE #11
E. A humble mind.
• This is an inner attitude of voluntary submission to authority. It leads to an honest view of oneself when we are submitting to God.
• Jesus exhibited this mind-set while living among us.
• SLIDE #12
• Philippians 2:3(ESV) 3Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
• That is what humility is all about!
• Let’s look at verses 9-12
• SLIDE #13
• 1 Peter 3:9-12(ESV) 9Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
• SLIDE #14
To live with God’s family we must learn:
II. The appropriate actions to pursue.
• The key to right actions is right attitude! If we are pursuing the right attitudes the appropriate actions will be easier to pursue!
• SLIDE #15
A. Pursue divine responses.
• We are told in verse 9 not to return evil for evil, insult for insult.
• There are at three levels of living we can practice.
o We can give evil for good. This is a satanic path.
o We can give good for good or evil for evil. This is the worldly path.
o We can give good for evil. This is the divine path.
• We are not only called not to retaliate, but we are to give the person a blessing? We are to be a blessing to the person who is committing evil against us. We are called to actively do appropriate deeds to minister to them.
• Peter tells us we were called to do this from the day of our conversion.
• The next action we can pursue is…
• SLIDE #16
B. Control our speech.
• Verse 10 tells us we must keep our tongue from evil and our lips from speaking deceit. Verse 9 says we are not to exchange insult for insult.
• Deceit means to say something to try to mislead someone; it is saying one thing and meaning another.
• SLIDE #17
• James 1:26(ESV) 26If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
• The tongue can do a lot of damage to people. James 3:5-8!
• SLIDE #18
C. Pursue peace.
• Verse 11 tells us as we turn away from evil, we are to seek and pursue peace.
• Seeking and pursuing pictures a person diligently looking for buried treasure.
• Pursuing denotes a great effort exerted. It is to be an intense pursuit.
• The spoken of here is most likely with our brother, but it can include peace with God or an inner spirit of peace.
• Effective peace-makers seek and pursue peace. It does not happen by accident.
• Let’s conclude by seeing that…
• SLIDE #19
When we learn to live with God’s family we have…
III. The blessings to enjoy!
• Verse 9 tells us we have been called to do what we are asked to do so that we might inherit a blessing! Verses 10-12 which starts with “FOR” explain what blessings we can receive as we love one another. Here are three of them listed in the text.
• SLIDE #20
A. We will have a life we will love!
• You life will have meaning and purpose. You will have a life that is delightful. God can and will make sure your life is sweet and enjoyable!
• We are told our days will be good!
• These days can be good when we know that we can win the spiritual battles. It will be a good day when we know we have put a smile on the face of our God for standing string with Him!
• Good days involve an inner quality of spiritual triumph. It not so much deals with material prosperity. This reminds us that God is in control of the day, even the days of persecution.
• SLIDE #21
B. We will enjoy God’s approval.
• Verse 12 tells us that God’s eyes are on the righteous.
• Since we are saved and we are living for Him, God’s approval will shine down upon us! On the negative side, God’s face is turned away from those who do evil.
• We are called to live an upright Spirit lead life!
• SLIDE #22
C. God will hear our prayers!
• The picture to see is one of God bending down so as to better hear the prayers of His children.
• This is a true blessing to possess and it is one of the reasons the Christian can have a life that they love!
• 12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
• The context seems to indicate that if we are NOT doing the above things that we are then doing EVIL in God’s eyes and His face will be against us!
• Remember, the church is God’s family!
• God calls us to love one another. Sometimes that can be difficult, but we must remember that we need each other as we strive to live our lives for Jesus!
• When we fail to love one another, it is a poor witness to the lost world, it hurts those whom we will not love and it will hurt us in the way of withheld blessings from God.
• We must remember that ALL Christians are family and we need to make sure we act that way.
• It must not only talk the talk, but we must walk the walk!