The Bible Teaches God's People How to Be Holy (1 Peter 3:8-12)
1. As we study this letter we must understand that it was written to Christians (1:1-2). 2. We learn from 1:22-23 how people become Christians (John 3:3,5). 3. After we become Christians, God wants us to "be holy" (1 Peter 1:13-16). 4. The Bible contains numerous instructions that teach us how to be holy. 5. In our lesson we are concentrating on a small portion of these instructions given in 1 Peter 3:8-12.
I. (vs.8-11) INSTRUCTIONS RELATING TO HOLINESS
A. Vs.8 1. "Finally" indicates that this information is a summary statement. a. Specific instructions have just been given to: 1) servants (2:18-25) 2) wives (3:1-6) 3) husbands (3:7). b. Beginning at vs.8, some important instructions are given to all Christians. 2. God wants His people to: a. "be all of one mind" [in a state of harmony - 1 Corinthians 1:10] b. "have compassion one of another" [sympathetic - Romans 12:15] c. "love as brethren" (Romans 12:10a) d. "be pitiful" [tenderhearted - Ephesians 4:32] e. "be courteous" [humble - Philippians 2:3-4]. B. (vs.9) God wants His people to avoid retaliation [taking vengeance personally -- Romans 12:14,17a,19-21]. 1. Christ is our example (1 Peter 2:21, 23). 2. (1 Peter 3:9b) We are shown why retaliation must be avoided. C. (vs.10) God wants His people to avoid sinning with the tongue. 1. Evil speaking is mentioned (see 2:1). 2. Guile is also mentioned (see 2:21-22). D. (vs.11) God wants His people to: 1. turn away from evil and do good (Romans 12:9b) 2. seek peace and pursue it (Romans 12:18).
II. (vs.12) WHY THESE INSTRUCTIONS MUST BE FOLLOWED
A. God makes us "holy" [righteous] when we become Christians. B. Following these instructions will help us to "be holy" [righteous]. C. Those who are righteous enjoy great blessings. 1. The Lord's eyes are over the righteous. 2. The Lord hears the prayers of the righteous. D. Those who do evil are not righteous -- the Lord's face is against them.
1. It is God's will that His people be holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). 2. Let us strive to practice the instructions we have studied today so our conduct will be described as "holy."