On to 1 Peter 3:8-12
v8: (literally) “The end is that all (of you) need to think in the same way, being sympathetic, having brotherly love for one another, be compassionate, be courteous.”
The end: Peter is making a summary statement. This is our objective or goal.
- All (of you): All believers
- Think in the same way: Thoughts lead to action. As believers we all need to be of one mind, having a unity of thought – thinking similar thoughts – we all need to have the mind of Messiah (1 Cor 2:16). We can only be thinking and acting in unity if truth is our foundation.
- Sympathetic: This means that we share in each other’s suffering.
- Compassionate: Feeling another’s pain in the pit of our stomachs. Loving others should affect us, it hurts, but it brings about a good outcome. Having this type of compassion for others prepares us and enables us to do ministry, to really have a G-dly influence on someone else.
- Courteous: The Nestle Aland translation of the New Testament translates this word as ‘humble’. The TextusReceptus translates it as courteous – thinking in a loving manner toward others. Thinking in a way that shows (demonstrates) commitment to another.
v9: Returning evil for evil, or reviling for reviling (insult): These are things that come naturally to us. We are not called to live according to human nature, but a spiritual change comes upon us when we live contrary to that which is natural.
- Blessing: We are called to be a blessing – this does not mean that we always do what someone else wants, but we always do what G-d wants for that person. We always want to be a G-dly influence, seeing G-d’s purposes and plans unfold in the lives of others.
- You were called to this: We are called to be a blessing to others (Gen 12:3). G-d will often only reveal His own personal plans for our lives after we have first committed ourselves to being a blessing to others.
- That you inherit a blessing: If we want to inherit blessing we need to be a blessing. G-d’s principles and truths are simple, easy to understand and easy to put into practice (Ps 119:130).
v10: Life: Yeshua came to give us abundant life. Eternal life is gained by saying “yes” to Him, but abundant life (the life we are able to live while we are still alive) is obtained by hearing His teachings and applying them to our lives.
- Good days: Days that are lived out according to the will (plans and purposes) of G-d – i.e. being a blessing to others.
- Speaking guile – deceit: When we say deceitful things G-d hears us saying them, but the enemy also hears – and that gives him an advantage over us. Deceit puts us at a spiritual disadvantage by making us spiritually weak. When we are weak, we are more vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks
v11: Do good: Pursue the will of G-d. It is difficult to do what we ought to, as we are constantly being pulled back into our “old man” habits – Roms 7:15-25. G-d does not give us victory over our “old man” until we have turned away from evil and begun to pursue and do that which is good. Likewise, G-d is not going to reveal His personal plan for our lives to us until we begin to do that which is good.
- Peace: Peace is what we experience as a result of the fulfilment of G-d’s will.
- Pursue it: Follow after it. Be tenacious about actively chasing after the will of G-d.
v12: The L-rd: When this name for G-d is used, we need to recognise that it is a name that reminds us of the authority of G-d – He is the One who we are to submit to.
- The righteous: Being in a New Covenant relationship with G-d positions us to do what is right. We now have access to the provision of G-d and so are able to serve Him.
Note: Again we see here that G-d looks at our behaviour. G-dly behaviour is not a requirement for salvation, but it is a necessary ingredient for walking and living out sanctified lives. Our behaviour brings about a holy change in our lives. We become committed and obedient to the purpose of G-d so that we are able to demonstrate that which is good. Out of this we begin to see G-d’s glory and power being manifested, and with that comes a G-d given ability to be a blessing to others as well as to receive G-d’s blessing in our own lives (Acts 20:35).