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Submission In The Assembly - Part 2

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1st Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:37
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Living in unity with one another requires us to hold our tongues, do good in the face of evil, and seek peace.

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Introduction

After giving counsel to the Jewish husbands and wives that are reading his letter to them for the first time, Peter turns his attention to those that are members and participants in the assembly of the righteous. It is known that 1 Peter 3:8-9 is Peter’s exposition of Psalm 34:12-16. He actually quotes this psalm in verses 10-12. These concerns come from the three exhortations in that psalm.
1 Peter 3:8–9 NKJV
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
Psalm 34:12–16 NKJV
Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
In Peter 3, verse 8, you will find a listing of the virtues that will keep your tongue from speaking evil. Keeping our tongue from evil is the first exhortation that Peter presents to us.
Peter writes to those individuals, telling them: 1. Be unified in your minds.
Harmony - unity
2. Have sympathy for each other.
3. Display brotherly love to each other.
4. Be compassionate, having a tender heart.
5. Be humble in your thinking and in your actions.
These actions keep our tongues from speaking evil. Psalm 141:3 tells us:
Psalm 141:3 NKJV
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
The 2nd exhortation is to not repay evil for evil. We are told to turn away from evil and in so doing, we are taught not to retaliate when a person treats you in an mean and harmful manner. This idea originally comes from Psalm 34:14 and is seen in our text in verse 9.
1 Peter 3:9 NKJV
not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
He clearly points out that Christians are prone to be confronted with evil actions leveled against them. We also are called to respond to evil in a Godly manner.
Psalm 34:14 NKJV
Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
Paul says the very same thing in Romans 12:17.
Romans 12:17 NKJV
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
Note that Jesus teaches the very same thing in Matt. 5:39. In fact, Jesus amplifies the idea by presenting yourself prone to the very same evil action.
Matthew 5:39 NKJV
But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Seven: Preparing for the Best! (1 Peter 3:8–17)

As Christians, we can live on one of three levels. We can return evil for good, which is the satanic level. We can return good for good and evil for evil, which is the human level. Or, we can return good for evil, which is the divine level. Jesus is the perfect example of this latter approach (1 Peter 2:21–23). As God’s loving children, we must do more than give “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Matt. 5:38–48), which is the basis for justice. We must operate on the basis of mercy, for that is the way God deals with us.

Peter goes further with the third exhortation found in verse 11. 1Peter 3:11.
1 Peter 3:11 NKJV
Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.
The third exhortation is for believers to seek peace and pursue it!
Again this is Peter quoting Psalm 34:14.
Psalm 34:14 NKJV
Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
Peter suggests that instead of cursing those that persecute us, we ought to give them a blessing. 1Peter 3:9.
1 Peter 3:9 NKJV
not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
The word for blessing in this regard means to speak kindly or well of someone.
Jesus teaches this very thing in Matthew 5:44.
Matthew 5:44 NKJV
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
Peter continues with the use of anthropomorphic images to attribute physical attributes to God. He’s really saying that God has enormous oversight and gives careful attention to all of the needs of his people. Nothing is lost on our heavenly Father. He sees and watches all. God is keeping score.
My addendum to that is Psalm 121. God is a watchful God. Though trouble may come in the form of terrorist acts, God is a watchful and protecting God.
Psalm 121 NKJV
A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
Peter continues in 1 Peter 3:12 by reminding us that the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
1 Peter 3:12 NKJV
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
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