1. In these verses Timothy learned how to be a good soldier in the Lord's army. a. He had to: 1) "endure hardness" (vs.3) 2) avoid entangling himself with "the affairs of this life" (vs.4). b. By fulfilling these responsibilities, Timothy would: 1) be "a good soldier" (vs.3) 2) please the Lord who chose him to be a soldier in His army (vs.4). 2. To help us carry out these responsibilities so we can be good soldiers, we are studying the instructions given in 1 Peter 3:8-12. 3. Let us begin by showing that . . .
I. THESE INSTRUCTIONS APPLY TO ALL OF THE LORD'S SOLDIERS
A. Vs.8 begins with the word "finally" [indicating that this information is a summary or concluding statement]. B. Some specific instructions have just been given to certain groups of Christians: 1. "servants" (2:18-25) 2. "wives" (3:1-6) 3. "husbands" (3:7). C. Beginning at vs.8, Peter said, "Finally, be ye all . . ." D. This indicates that the matters being addressed apply to all Christians.
II. (vs.8) THE LORD WANTS HIS SOLDIERS TO:
A. Be "of one mind" [live in a state of harmony] (see 1 Corinthians 1:10) B. Have "compassion one of another" [be sympathetic] (see Romans 12:15) C. "Love as brethren" (see Romans 12:10a) D. "Be pitiful" [tenderhearted] (see Ephesians 4:32] E. "Be courteous" [humble] (see Philippians 2:3-4).
III. (vs.9) THE LORD WANTS HIS SOLDIERS TO AVOID RETALIATION
A. Christians are not to take vengeance personally (Romans 12:14, 17a, 19-21). B. Jesus serves as our great example in this area (1 Peter 2:21-23). C. We are shown why we must avoid retaliation in 3:9b.
IV. (vs.10) THE LORD WANTS HIS SOLDIERS TO AVOID SINNING WITH THE TONGUE
A. We are to refrain from using our tongues to speak "evil" [wicked speech]. B. We are to speak no "guile" [deceitful speech]. C. The way we speak is an indication of whether we really love life and want to see good days.
V. (vs.11) THE LORD WANTS HIS SOLDIERS TO:
A. Turn away from evil and do good (Romans 12:9b) B. Seek peace and pursue it (Romans 12:18).
VI. (vs.12) WHY THE LORD'S SOLDIERS MUST PRACTICE THESE INSTRUCTIONS
A. These instructions are designed to help us be "holy" [righteous]. B. Those who are righteous enjoy special blessings. 1. The Lord's eyes are over the righteous. 2. The Lord hears the prayers of the righteous. C. Those who do evil are not righteous -- the Lord's face is against them.
1. Serving as a soldier in the Lord's army is an honor and privilege. 2. By complying with these instructions we can be good soldiers and we will please the One who chose us to be His soldiers.