Summary: Peter writes here about six things that are relevant in the Body of Christ.
Six Words that Make a Big Difference
March 13, 2016 (1Peter 3:8-12) Command Baptist Church
ILLUSTRATION on DIVISION –
Could we agree this evening that we are living in a very disruptive and divided world? I think we can agree on that. Any thinking person can see that there is much division in our country and the world in general. Not only is there division in the world; there is a great amount of it in the church as well. There are so many issues that divide the church. For example,
• “What kind of music should we play and sing when we meet for worship?”
• “What style of worship do we prefer: traditional, contemporary, or blended?”
• “What translation of the Bible will we use?”
• “What group of Christians will we associate with if we associate with any at all?”
• “What type of preaching and preacher do we prefer: expositional or story teller?”
• “How will we support missions or will we support them at all?”
• “How will we determine who should give and then how we should spend the money that comes into the church?”
• “How can we meet the needs of the different affinity groups in the church?”
These are just a few of the more relevant issues facing the church in America today. That’s not counting the insignificant things that people “want” to do or expect others to do.
These may seem trivial to you, but believe me, they are serious issues in the church today. The church needs to decide what they believe and what they will do about these issues. However, what we really need to do is to focus on the things that unite us. You see, there will always be as many differences in the local church as there are people in that church. What we must do is to decide the essential things and lovingly deal with the rest.
What are the essential things?
• The Bible is the Word of God. It is inspired, infallible and completely without error! (2Tim. 3:16; 2Pet. 1:19-21)
• Jesus is the eternal Son of God, and as the Son He was virgin born. As the Son of God He lived a sinless life. As the Son of God He died a vicarious death. As the Son of God He arose from the grave three days after He was buried. As the Son of God He is co-equal with God the Father, and the author of our salvation! (John 1:1-5; Heb. 1:8; Heb. 12:2).
• Salvation is by grace through faith. There is nothing anyone can do to earn or merit God’s salvation! Jesus did it all – we believe it and receive it! (Eph. 2:8-9) In the words of the hymn writer, “Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
• Jesus is the only way to Heaven and eternal life. There is no other way to Heaven! (John14:6; Acts 4:12)
• Jesus ordained the institution of the local church to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth, win men to Christ and make disciples to follow Him! (Mt. 28:16-20; Mk. 16:15; Luke 24:47-49; John 20:21; Acts 1:8)
• Heaven is for the saved and Hell is for lost! (Mt. 7:13; Mt. 25:46).
These are the things that unite us. The world does not need to see believers arguing, bickering, backbiting, enticing, complaining and brawling. They need to see us walking in unity. How can believers walk in unity? I’m glad you asked because Peter used 6 words in (verses 8-12) of the 3rd chapter that will make a big difference in the church between believers. Let me share them with you this evening. The first word that can make a big difference is found in verse 8. It is the word:
1. Harmony – (vs. 8a) “Finally, be ye all of one mind…”
Simon Peter is saying that believers should to be in harmony with one another. The idea of being of “one mind” is that of living in “harmony, unity, kinship, or togetherness.” This word comes from a family of words used in the New Testament to express oneness or harmony.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, (Acts 2:1).
The word that is used in Acts 2:1 is used 7 times in the book of Acts alone to describe unity and harmony in the church. God has called us to live in harmony with Him and one another. He desires us to grow in unity and maturity until we become Jesus Christ Himself.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, (Eph. 4:13).