April 2: Living in a Hostile World (1 Peter 3:8-12)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
Josh Herring will continue a series on spiritual disciplines at 10 am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament).
1 Peter 3:8-12
8) Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9) Do 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. 10) For
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11) let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12) For 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.”
Peter's intention with his letter is to instruct the church on how to conduct themselves as pilgrims in a hostile world. Over the last few weeks, Peter has addressed our conduct in various relationships in life, as citizens, workers and spouses, but now he turns to the church as whole and says, ‘finally, all of you.’ In our passage, Peter calls us to walk in love with each other. The church is to be a place of spiritual satisfaction and safety. He also calls us to bless those who persecute and hurt us. We are not to act with revenge or retaliation. As Christian pilgrims, we do not pull away from the world but live among them with such goodness, truth and beauty that even in times of suffering they may see the redemptive power of God through our lives. Peter reminds us that to this we have been called so that we might to receive a blessing both in this life and the life to come. He motivates us by reminding us of God's mercy in Psalm 34 where we have the promise that his eyes are on us, his ears are open to us and his face is against those who do evil. God will make all things right.
Review and Apply
Out of the five attitudes in vs. 8, which is the hardest for you to walk in? Why?
Explain how Peter can command us to have certain emotions.
Explain a time you sought revenge or retaliation and the outcome of your actions.
What does he mean that we have been called to bless those who do evil?
What blessing do we obtain? How does this fuel goodness to others who do evil?
How does God promise to help his children?
How does the passage comfort us that justice will ultimately be served?
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