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Faithlife

(1 Peter 3:8) The Family of the Church

1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Peter begins to describe the great potential the relationships in the church could have in 1 Peter 3:8. He gives 5 characteristics that our church bodies should posses if we are truly yielded to the Word of God and the Gospel.

Notes & Transcripts
INTRODUCTION:
Watching children grow-up is perhaps one of the most profound changes that we can watch.
ILLUSTRATION:
I have 3 kids.
One is a 6 year old.
One is a 5 year old boy.
and one is an 18 month old boy.
But all three of these entered the world as a naked new born.
- They are cute, fitting fragility in your arms.
- They can’t really see much yet.
- They typically are only responsive to food, cold, and messy diapers.
(You can tickle them all you want, but usually it makes them mad)
- You can tickle them all you want, but usually it makes them mad
- And they do not even move much yet. A small wiggle out of their blanket is their big motion.
And then they grow up. Parents of grown children will always tell you, they grow up fast.
My oldest now
is fully able to run and play.
She can read basic books.
She can add and subtract.
She knows how to jump on daddy while he is on the coach.
She knows how to turn her nose up to Salad, but devour Crispy Chicken.
She loves babies and tries to take care of them like a mom.
She is not fully grown, but wow, she has changed.
There is only one other change that is as dramatic as a new child being born.
A New Spiritual child being born again.
This idea was first described .
1 Peter 1:23 ESV
23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
And the idea of the Word of the Gospel changing us is worked out through out the rest of the book.
Including .
Let’s looks at the kind of change that the New birth should give us.
1 Peter 3:8–12 ESV
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
1 Peter 3:8
We were
Military boot camp changed.
Moses or the transfiguration - faces glowed
1 Peter 3:8 ESV
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
1 Peter 3:8–12 ESV
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
This morning, as we began to look at this new paragraph, and we will focus on .
This morning, as we began to look at this new paragraph, we will focus on .
1 Peter 3:8 demands that:
1 Peter 3:8 demands that:

Proposition: The Gospel Changes Believers

TRANSITION: And Peter Gives us 5 characteristics that should be changed.

Understand,
1) The Character of our congregation should be changed.
this text is written to the entire congregation and is a description of what the character of our congregation should be.
The Character of our congregation should be changed.
2) Our Response to Persecution should be changed.
So first,

1) The Character of our congregation should be changed.

It is interesting that Peter discusses:
Our relationship to government.
Our relationship as slaves to slave-owners.
Our Wife and Husband Relationships.
And the final relationship he concludes with is our relationship with other members of the church.
Each of these are to be transformed and changed.
Think about it this way. If our relationship with potential or even likely unbelievers should be changed;
How much greater should our fellowship be transformed by the Gospel?
If there was a place in which people loved each other as Christ loved, should it not be the church?
After all, didn’t Jesus tell us that we shall be known for our love. ()
If we consider Heaven, what will Heaven be like.
Johnathan Edward put it this way:
“The God of love Himself dwells there, and this renders heaven a world of love; for God is the fountain of love, as the sun is the fountain of light.”
(Johnathan Edwards, Sermon: Heaven, a World of Love)
If we in Heaven are to love one another, then should we not love one another here on earth?
In , we are challenged to: “put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”
This is what our relationships were like before our new Birth through the Gospel.
And isn’t that how we act when we fail to allow the Word of God to guide our thoughts, our tongues, and our choices.
But that is not to be the case. Instead, we are love the Word like newborn babies allowing to transform us. .
Peter names 5 Characteristics we should have because of the Gospel.
Before the Gospel,
we would have been:
divided, - Every one demanding he have his own way.
unsympathetic, - having no compassion or care for the hurting
haters of one another - having contempt for those we are close too.
with hardened hearts - uncaring about the concerns or suffering of others.
and arrogance. - boasting in our greatness, whether position, or knowledge, wealth, skill, …
But then God saved us.
He sent his son to die, be buried, and rise with victory of sin and death.
Which meant,
we were born again, just he rose, we rose to new lives transformed by the Word of Christ.
And so the church ought to have changed relationships with one another. We as the church ought to have these characteristics.
What are these 5 characteristics:
1 Peter 3:8 ESV
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
We ought to have
“unity of mind” -

a) “unity of mind”

This means we have like-mindedness.
What does it mean to have unity of mind or like-mindedness?
It could mean we never have disagreements and we all think the same way.
But, if you are in church long enough you will find yourself not agreeing with everyone else and everyone else not agreeing with you.
So does that mean the minute you disagree, you have broken God’s word?
No.
May I say this is a call to have agreement on what’s important.
We are not going to agree on everything. Most often there are more than one choice.
Sometimes that means we have sinful choice and moral choice.
Sometimes that means we have amoral choice vs another amoral choice.
In other words, it is not a category of sin and not sin, but a wisdom choice.
And we may disagree.
So how does a church member seek unity?
How does a church have unity?
How does a church member disagree?
These are all important questions to this text and how we conduct ourselves in the church.
I would say that we must have unity on the major issues of the church.
That is, that which the Bible majors on or that which has a dynamic impact on the church.
For example:
I am going to propose that we rank issues according to 4 categories.
CAVEAT: These are not original to me, but I found to be very helpful.
Essential for the life of the church. - These doctrines are necessary for salvation; without them, there is no true church.
Essential for the health of the church. - These are necessary for Christian growth; getting these doctrines wrong doesn’t put people outside the kingdom, but it may make them sick and unable to thrive. This category is best regarded as a spectrum—the closer you get to Category 1, the sicker you get.
Essential for the practice of the church. - These doctrines are necessary for functional unity. While you may not regard Christians who differ with you as sick or unhealthy, the practical considerations necessary to get along may prove too burdensome.
Non-essential doctrines or adiaphora (things indifferent). - These doctrines should never divide Christians, meaning that those who differ could be members and even elders at the same church with no division at all.
Our understanding of the Gospel. - The Gospel defines who is a believer and who is not. It is a major bible doctrine with a massive impact on the church.
ILLUSTRATION:
And, may say we need to be prepared to forgive one another.
Our purpose statement - Though, it may not be as major of theme as the Gospel, it’s effect is massive on the church. What we do as a church, Why we do it? and How we do it? are all related to our purpose statement. A change of that understanding is to change our direction as a church. It is not the most important doctrine, but it has massive impact on the direction or church.
How about the time of our VBS? We could have our VBS at 8 AM or have it at 3 pm. Is this a major doctrine or will this have a major impact onr our church. The reality is, issues we may disagree with, but we need to seek unity regardless of whether I agree because it is not a major doctrine with a massive impact on the church.
How s
A church also should have unity in our faith.
So we ought to agree with one another on the major doctrines of the Bible while preferring one another on the wisdom issues of the church.
But unity is not just having a common direction.
The one another passages really provides a great snapshot of what it means to be like-minded as a church.
***********Back of Bulletin is list***********************
Love one another ()
Honor One another ()
Serve One another ()
Submit to One another ()
Carry Each other burdens ()
Compassionate towards one another ()
Encourage one another ()
Patient with one another ()
Forgiving one another ()
Pray for one another ()
Pray
Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs to One Another ()
Instruct one another ()
You see, unity is not just about adoring, glorifying, and proclaiming Christ. (The Great Commission)
Sure that is the big picture, but it is also in what we do for one another.
We have unity when we do for one another what God has called us to do in these passages.
May this church be known for it’s unity because are purposed in carrying out the Great commission with encouragement, patience, forgiveness, compassion, and the proclamation and instruction of the Gospel.
Encourage
That is what Biblical unity is…and may we as a congregations strive to have that kind of unity.
Be changed by the Gospel so that we can say we have unity of mind.
We also should have

b) Sympathy

Pray
The ESV says, “Sympathetic”.
Submit
This is difficult word to communicate. It has the idea of displaying all kinds of emotions.
This could be translated “understanding”, but it flattens out the emotions of this word.
So the word is calling us to be united in feeling the emotions of others, being sympathetic.
We ought to be as a church sympathetic towards one another.
When one of us hurts,
we ought to be concerned enough with our fellows Christians to hurt also.
When one of us struggles,
we ought to feeling concerned for our fellows Christians.
When one of us falls into sin,
we each ought to grieve with them.
When one of rejoices,
we each ought to share in that rejoicing.
ILLUSTRATION:
As you guys know,
I graduated about a year ago. And that graduation was not just a rejoicing on my part, but rejoicing by many of my fellow church members.
Why?
Because when I was hurting,
my church hurt with me.
When I struggled with my classes,
they struggled with me.
When I struggled to be the husband I should be, under the weight of classes
they grieved with me.
So when it came to graduation,
They rejoiced also because through the process of life,
they sympathized and shared in those situations.
This is what this word means.
Now we are a small congregation, and one of the blessings is that we are close enough to really sympathize with one another.
That is:
hurt when one another hurts.
Grieve when one another sins
Rejoice when one another rejoices.
Forgive one another
We each ought to sympathize with the joys and struggles of our fellow church members. We ought to be changed and united so we sympathize with one another.
We also ought to

c) have brotherly love.

Often we call our church our church family. And that is a great way to look at what a congregation should be.
This is a noun and not a verb. It is a compound word combining friend and brother.
So it could be translated, friendly-Brother.
What is a friend?
Someone we:
love
spend time together
care for one another
What is a brother?
A brother we may not have the same things in common. In fact, how often are brothers complete opposites.
- My brother does diesel mechanic and welding.
- I am a pastor who wouldn’t have a clue how to do either then those.
but we love each other because:
We share common blood.
We shared common parents.
And We shared a common childhood.
So we are brothers.
What Peter has done is taken the two extremes,
a friend
AND
a brother
And put them together.
We are to be friend-brothers.
But what is our commonality.
We love each and spend time with each other, chiefly because we both love Christ.
We are sisters and brothers, fellow heirs of the riches found in Jesus Christ.
What we have in common is that Christ is our savior and it is the bond that brings us together
It should make us friend-Brothers.
ILLUSTRATION:
ILLUSTRATION:
Many of you have had a dear friend.
Maybe you were friends in high-school or college.
Maybe you were friends who had children who played with one another.
These are the people you go to the park with, work on your house with, and go camping with.
These are the people who watch your kids when you rush mom to the Hospital unexpectedly.
They are your close friends.
May I suggest,
That we as a church should have this kind of fellowship.
Why?
Who in this world should we have more in common with?
Who should we spend more time with than the congregation we learn and worship with?
Who should be there to lend a hand more than the church who is commanded to love and bear one another’s burdens?
Who should have better relationship than two Christians who have been transformed by the Gospel?
- There is nothing more disheartening then a church who does not love his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
- There is nothing more disheartening than a church with anger and strife.
Because we should be a congregation changed by the Gospel into Christian brothers and sisters.
May we strive to love one another as friend-brothers and friend-sisters .
We also ought to

d. Be tenderhearted.

Tenderhearted is one of those words we really don’t use much anymore.
It has the idea of being tender towards one another.
You might call it compassionate for one another.
When one of our brothers and sisters suffer,
we ought to be compassionate.
It is one thing to be sympathetic, that is grieve when your brother or sister is hurt.
It is another thing to do something about it.
In my opinion,
sympathy has the idea of compassion with understanding. I understand what my fellow Christian is going through.
Tenderheartedness is compassion to help your brother. How can I help carry that load.
That might mean:
Bringing a meal.
Helping someone do a difficult project.
Having a coffee to encourage them in them with Scripture.
ILLUSTRATION:
I remember getting ready to leave Hawaii.
We had been packing up and getting things ready and about a month before we left, we had an unexpected flood in our house.
Somewhere on base, a 150 lb pressure valve failed shooting water through everyone’s water heaters.
I came home from the beach, ironically in Beach clothes, to find a inch of water throughout most of the house.
One of the things I appreciated was how our church family helped.
We had a couple people come over and watch our kids; giving us the chance to go through all of our stuff.
Then about 2-weeks before we left our car had some grinding noise that turned out to be a ball bearing going out. The cost exceeded the cost of the car.
So someone let us barrow a vehicle for a couple of weeks.
And especially,
I remember the encouraging Word, as people prayed for us, and shared Scripture with us during that time.
That is an example of what a church family does.
We are compassionate on the needs of one another.
Just like any family,
We are in this together.
And because we care for one another, we have compassion on one another.
We ought to be changed to have compassion with one another.
Finally, we are told to have humility.

e) Humble Minds

Humility seems odd in comparison with the rest of the statements.
But what is the greatest obstacle to having:
Unity of mind
sympathy
brotherly love
a tender heart
These first 4 characteristics will require us to:
prefer one another (Romans 12:10)
serve one another
bear one another
and forgive one another.
And each of those require us to be humble.
Can we have unity of mind - if we are always demanding our way.
Can we be sympathetic or tenderhearted - if we are demanding our way.
Can we have brotherly love - if we are demanding our way.
And the answer is no, we will have to humble servants like Christ did,
in order to be what God has called us to be.
So often it is our pride that makes us uncaring and hurtful.
So often it is our pride that causes us to not forgive.
ILLUSTRATION:
I remember one of Pastor’s would say, a hurting person is a hurtful person.
His point is that we need to recognize why someone is doing what they are doing. - It is often because they hurt.
It might be bitterness, guilt, anxiety … but we fail to be humble ourselves because we are hurting.
And then the cycle continues … when we fail to respond to the hurting person in Christ like way.
Whether we a
In whatever we do, may the body of Christ be known for it’s humility.
- If we are faced with a hurtful person, then let’s be humble and seek unity, sympathize, love them like a brother, and have compassion.
- If we are the one’s hurting others, may we surrender our pride and seek unity, sympathize, love them like a brother, and have compassion.
Understand, humility has a 2-sided coin aspect to it.
May we apply humility as Christ applied humility.
Christ,
the God of this universe,
allowed himself to taken human form, becoming a Baby,
born to die for our sins.
If he could do it, should we not?
We ought to be a humble people, changed by the Gospel.
CONCLUSION:
To bring together what Peter is demanding of believers.
Before the Gospel,
we would have been:
divided, - Every one demanding he have his own way.
unsympathetic, - having no compassion or care for the hurting
haters of one another - having contempt for those we are close too.
with hardened hearts - uncaring about the concerns or suffering of others.
and with arrogance. - boasting in our greatness, whether position, or knowledge, wealth, skill, …
And unfortunately, is that not what many congregations act like.
ILLUSTRATION:
I knew one Pastor who related his first ministry experience as I was getting started in ministry.
He arrives at the church and has his first business meeting.
Unlike ours thankfully, it starts out with 1-half of the congregation yelling at the other half of the congregation.
And they are screaming and yelling.
When I first moved here I meet a Pastor. To clarify I am not speaking of Pastor Skaggs.
What is that congregations problem?
We might be able to say many things, but at least one thing we could say is they have failed to allow the Gospel to change them.
They are living like unsaved people, but they are the church in a church business meeting.
ILLUSTRATION:
I have known other Christians who have completely enclosed themselves with bitterness.
I remember in Hawaii, having a close friend.
Only to find a couple of years latter that friend literally refusing to speak to multiple people in the congregation.
What was that believers problem?
They have failed to allow the Gospel to change thier relationship with their fellow church members.
By definition they were the opposite of this passage.
They were:
divided, - Every one demanding he have his own way.
unsympathetic, - having no compassion or care for the hurting
haters of one another - having contempt for those we are close too.
with hardened hearts - uncaring about the concerns or suffering of others.
and with arrogance. - boasting in our greatness, whether position, or knowledge, wealth, skill, …
But remember that New birth Peter told us about way back in .
1 Peter 1:23 ESV
23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
That means, we as a congregation we should be changed by the Grace of our new life in Jesus Christ.
That is, we as a congregation should strive for:
Unity of Mind
Sympathy
Brotherly love
Tender-hearts
and Humble minds.
This doesn’t happen by accident.
These are t he five Characteristics that should humble us.

2) Our Response to Persecution should be changed.

- It requires us to invest and sacrifice in our relationships.
- It requires us to love one another and be patient with one another.
Like our Marriage,
Our relationships require hard work.
But what is the reward?
You earn a family who is unlike any other family, who loves in ways, that could only be imagined by the riches of the Gospel.
I plan to use this list in meditation’s this week and I encourage you to do the same.
Consider your church family and consider whether you can say you have these 5 characteristics.
And if not, let’s renew our minds and relationships with these characteristics.
That is why we study God’s word. To renew our mind with the Truth of Scripture.
Many of you have invested heavily into our VBS. And I thank you.
Invest in that same way, in your everyday relationships with one another.
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