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Summary: Christ has called us to treat others the way He treats us.

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Ethical Living

Text: 1 Peter 3:8-12

Introduction

1. A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world. Albert Camus

2. Ethics are the body of moral principles or values governing or distinctive of a particular culture or group.

3. To put it in relatable terms, Christian ethics deals with how we treat each other and those to whom we are called to minster.

4. Peter tells us about ethics...

a. Toward Those Inside The Church

b. Toward Those Outside The Church

c. Reason: God Is Watching

5. Read 1 Peter 3:8-12

Proposition: Christ has called us to treat others the way He treats us.

Transition: First, Peter tells us how we are to act...

I. Towards Those Inside The Church (8).

A. All Of You

1. In this section of Peter's letter he has talked about specific relationships.

a. People in authority

b. Our Boss

c. Our husbands

d. Our wives

2. Now he is going to talk on more generic terms. He is going to address those inside the church and those outside the church.

3. He says, "Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude."

a. While the previous three sections were addressed to specific kinds of people (slaves, wives, husbands), this exhortation is for "all of you." the focus in these virtues is on how Christians demonstrate these virtues as they live with one another in a hostile world.

b. They must begin with "harmony" in both mind and spirit.

c. Be of one mind refers to working together for the common goal of spreading the gospel, having common attitudes and ideas. Just as different notes form chords to make beautiful harmonies, so different people can live and work together for God.

d. Sympathize with each other means being willing to share in others’ needs and being responsive to their feelings, having sensitivity and compassion toward others.

e. Loving one another means loving fellow Christians (brothers and sisters in Christ). The Greek word is philadelphos, referring not only to family love, but to the special love that should draw all Christians together.

f. This word’s meaning of “loving one’s brother or sister,” has been found on ancient gravestones (Bauer). It is a compound of phileō (5205), “to love,” and adelphos (79), “brother, near kinsman.” In 1 Peter 3:8 (its only usage in the New Testament) philadelphos conveys the idea of “loving as brethren.” (Gilbrant, ed., “5198. in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Sigma-Omega, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991).

g. To have tender hearts means to be conscious of others’ needs but includes a drive to alleviate the need in some way. Believers ought to be deeply touched and moved by the hurts, pain, needs, and joys of fellow believers and then act to help them. They should be affectionate and sensitive, quick to give emotional support.

h. To have humble minds means having an honest estimate of oneself before God. Humility does not negate one’s own worth or abilities, nor does it inflate them. Instead, a humble Christian can honestly view his or her characteristics and abilities with thankfulness to God. Humble people can encourage one another and rejoice in each other’s successes (Barton, Life Application New Testament Commentary, 1116).

B. Brothers And Sisters

1. Illustration: It was February 1941, Auschwitz, Poland. Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan priest put in the infamous death camp for helping Jews escape Nazi terrorism. Months went by and in desperation an escape took place. The camp rule was enforced. Ten people would be rounded up randomly and herded into a cell where they would die of starvation and exposure as a lesson against future escape attempts. Names were called. A Polish Jew Frandishek Gasovnachek was called. He cried, "Wait, I have a wife and children!" Kolbe stepped forward and said, "I will take his place." Kolbe was marched into the cell with nine others where he managed to live until August 14. This story was chronicled on an NBC news special several years ago. Gasovnachek, by this time 82, was shown telling this story while tears streamed down his cheeks. A mobile camera followed him around his little white house to a marble monument carefully tended with flowers. The inscription read: IN MEMORY OF MAXIMILIAN KOLBE HE DIED IN MY PLACE. Every day Gasovnachek lived since 1941, he lived with the knowledge, "I live because someone died for me." Every year on August 14 he travels to Auschwitz in memory of Kolbe. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends" (John 15:13).

2. As Christians we are to love our family of faith.

a. Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

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