Summary: Peter gives guidelines for relationships with Saints, Sinners & the Savior.
I Can Relate
Text: 1 Peter 3:8-22
I have different kinds of relationships with different people in my life--and that’s appropriate.
Proposition: In the same way as Christians we should relate diferently to different people.
Interrogative: This morning as we look at the last half of 1 Peter chapter 3 I’d like for us to ask ourselves "As a Christian How should I relate to those around me?"
Transition: Now, obviously there are many kinds of relationships that the bible gives us insight into: family relationships, Leader/Follower relationships, and many other kinds and this passage isn’t going to address each of those specifically, But I believe there’s some good basic instruction about some broad categories of relationships.
When I went to Primary Leadership Development Course at Grafenwoer in a previous life (as an enlisted soldier before I was a chaplain) , they taught us that there were certain things that an Non-Commissioned Officer should BE, KNOW & DO. As we look at three categories of relationships each of the three seems to focus on on of those. The first verse of our passage talks about how we should relate to...
1. The Saints
v. 8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
The phrase "one another" in verse 8 makes it clear that the focus here is relationships within the church. Peter is writting to the church and so he is saying treat your fellow believers--treat "one another" in this way.
And notice that His spirit inspired instruction to the saints about how they shouldlive in harmony emphasizes not what they should do but what the should BE. Of course the way we are is in some sense a result of what we know and it of course it has consequences in what we do, but the emphasis here is what we should be. And what is that?
be sympathetic, - not that we should act sympathetic but really be sympathetic.
The apostle Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 12:25-26: there should be no division in the body, but its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
In the body we should be sympathetic sharing our sorrows and triumphs.
love as brothers, Here the emphasis is that as believers we should consider one another family. Our love for one another should be strong and fierce and loyal.
be compassionate, Caring for our Brothers and sisters in Christ not because they deserve it but simply because we care--merciful as Christ is merciful, being kinder than they deserve, It’s a way of Being that brings us to doing--compassionate.
and finally be humble. Not thinking of ourselves as better than our brothers and sisters in Christ but as fellow sinners save by grace.
How should we be in our relationships with the saints? sympathetic, brotherly, compassionate and humble. And how can we be this way? Only as the Character of Christ shines through us by the Holy Spirit’s transforming power.