1. The apostle Peter wrote two of the New Testament "epistles" [letters]. 2. Peter wrote his first letter to Christians who were facing severe trials (1:6-7). 3. Even while facing trials, Christians are responsible for: a. being holy before God (1:15-16) b. living honestly before unbelievers (2:11-12). 4. Fulfilling these responsibilities includes: a. submitting to civil leaders (2:13-17) b. servants submitting to their masters (2:18-20) c. wives and husbands carrying out their duties (3:1-7). 5. This lesson is a study of the information presented in 1 Peter 3:8-17. 6. The Lord requires His followers to carry out their duties: a. to each other (vs.8-12) b. when persecuted for doing good (vs.13-17).
I. (vs.8-12) THE LORD REQUIRES HIS FOLLOWERS TO CARRY OUT THEIR DUTIES TO EACH OTHER
A. (vs.8) Christians are to: 1. be "of one mind" (Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 2:2; 4:2) 2. have "compassion one of another" (Luke 10:33-35) 3. "love as brethren" (Romans 12:10a; Hebrews 13:1) 4. "be pitiful" (Ephesians 4:32) 5. "be courteous" (Philippians 2:3-4). B. (vs.9) Christians are not to render "evil for evil, or railing for railing." 1. Jesus set the proper example (2:21-23). 2. Jesus requires Christians to follow His example (Matthew 5:38-39; Romans 12:17a; 1 Thessalonians 5:15). 3. Those who comply with these instructions will "inherit a blessing." C. (vs.10-11; Psalm 34:12-14) In order to "love life, and see good days," a Christian must: 1. "refrain his tongue from evil" (2:1) 2. "eschew [turn away from] evil, and do good" (1 Thessalonians 5:22) 3. "seek peace, and ensue it" (Romans 12:18; Matthew 5:9). D. (vs.12) A person's response to these instructions determines whether the Lord will watch over him and hear his prayers (Psalm 34:15-16).
II. (vs.13-17) THE LORD REQUIRES HIS FOLLOWERS TO CARRY OUT THEIR DUTIES WHEN PERSECUTED FOR DOING GOOD
A. (vs.13) This question is based on the assurance mentioned in vs.12. B. (vs.14) Those who suffer for doing the Lord's will have no reason to be afraid. 1. Matthew 10:28 2. Hebrews 13:5b-6 C. (vs.15) The Lord wants His followers to always be prepared to give a defense with meekness and reverence. D. (vs.16) By carrying out his duties when persecuted, a Christian will maintain a good conscience, even though he may be falsely accused. E. (vs.17) Peter earlier explained this principle when he dealt with the responsibilities of servants in 2:19-20.