Morning Bible Study
How many of you are using our app? Open up your phone and load the app. Do you see the things mentioned on the first
page? It’s the same as what’s in a paper
bulletin, including the flyers.
We’d like to be migrating away from paper, and
If you’d like to be a part of that, then when you come in on a Sunday, let
the greeter know that you don’t need a paper bulletin because you’ve got the
As some of you are aware, Wednesday is Christmas…
From Rome, the apostle Peter writes this letter to the Jew and Gentile
believers that are living throughout the province known as Asia Minor, or,
It is AD 64. Caesar Nero is beginning to unleash his persecution of
Christians back in Rome, where Peter is.
The believers in Rome faced torture, being burned alive, and death by
animals in the Coliseum.
The main themes that we will see woven through this tapestry of difficulty
Submission – an unusual response to suffering, learning to “yield” to God
rather than “fight” the problem.
Relational Evangelism – the way we go through our difficulties and yet
still cling to God can be a light to those who are going through dark times of
3:8-12 The Blessing
:8 Finally, all of you
be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be
tenderhearted, be courteous;
:8 finally …
Some of us preachers like to say
“finally…” about 20 minutes before we end a sermon. It’s a trick of ours to
make you think we’re about to end. We probably can blame it on Peter who says
“finally” in the middle of his letter.
A congregation was having
trouble with the preacher preaching far too long. They had a business meeting
about the matter and it was decided that they would
buy a gavel and after one hour, someone would tap on the pew to signal that
time was up. The preacher agreed to this tap arrangement. The first night a
young boy wanted the honors of keeping time and tapping on the back of the pew
in front of him. After one hour, the boy was too embarrassed to make the noise
of tapping on the pew. The preacher continued to preach on and on, and all the
eyes of the congregation became focused on the boy. They all began to mouth the
words to the boy, “Go on, go on.” He became angry and tried to hit the pew with
a loud knock; however, as he came down with the gavel, he hit the person on the
head sitting in front of him. The wounded member as he was falling over in his
seat said, “Hit me again, I can still hear him!”
finally – τελος telos – end; the
Peter isn’t finishing his letter here; he’s finishing his ideas about submission
(though he’ll have one last comment in 5:5).
He’s talked about submission to:
Masters (bosses) (2:18-25)
Now we get the summary of what all
this “submission” is about.
What’s the “aim” or “purpose” in
submitting to others?
If you don’t
understand what verses 8-9 are about, then you are not going to understand
These are the “ingredients” to
what a person’s life looks like when they are trying to learn “submission”.
:8 be of one
one mind – ὁμόφρων homophron (“same”
+ “mind”) – of one mind; harmonious; live in harmony
It’s not that we are all
supposed to become robots who think and act exactly the same.
It’s about unity that comes
humility – from putting others before yourself.
2:2–4 NLT) —2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing
wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with
one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to
impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in
In the Lord of the Rings, all
the heroes are gathered to talk about how to take the “ring” to Mordor. They start arguing about how impossible it
Unity doesn’t mean that we’re
all the same.
Some might be hobitses, dwarves, elves, or men.
We are all different people with
different strengths and weaknesses.
We may argue sometimes.
But we are united in one thing,
We are all different
parts of the Body of Christ, but we all follow the same King.
:8 having compassion for one another
having compassion one of another – συμπαθής sumpathes (“with” + “suffer”) – suffering or
feeling with another, sympathetic
It’s interesting to get people together who have been through similar
When I hear people’s stories and the things they have been
through or are still suffering with, I like to point them to someone and say,
“Hey, you should talk with so-and-so, they’ve been through something just like
Something lights up inside of people when they are aware that the other
person knows what they’ve been through.
Ultimately Jesus is the best with this. He knows what we’re going through –
(Hebrews 2:18 NLT) Since he
himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is
able to help us when we are being tested.
We ought to learn to feel what others are feeling even if we haven’t gone
through their circumstances.
Sometimes we can make the mistake of having “compassion” with everyone else
around us, but not with those who are the closest to us.
Do you know what your spouse is going through? How about your boss? Or your parents?
:8 love as brothers
love as brethren – φιλάδελφος philadelphos
–loving one like a brother
For some folks I know, loving someone like your brother doesn’t sound too
good. Siblings aren’t always nice to
But in most healthy families, there is usually one person you can count on
… your brother (or sister).
John tells us that loving God and loving your fellow believer (your
“brother”) go hand in hand.
John 4:20–21 NKJV) —20 If someone says, “I love God,” and
hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he
has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this
commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his
Our love for one another is a big part of our witness to others. Jesus
13:34–35 NLT) —34 So now I am giving you a new
commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each
other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my
:8 be tenderhearted
Have a heart
tenderhearted – εὔσπλαγχνος eusplagchnos (“well” + “bowels”) – having strong
bowels; compassionate, tender hearted
While our modern culture likes to think that our emotions come from our
“heart”, the ancients used to think that strong emotions came from the “gut”,
from your “bowels”.
We still use the phrase, “I have a gut feeling about
I think this insight into Christian love shows us that healthy
relationships in the church ought to involve feelings.
Sometimes we get to thinking that Christian “Love” is all
in the brain and has nothing to do with the heart.
eusplagchnos is all about
William Barclay writes,
“We can, for instance read of the thousands of casualties
on the roads with no reaction at all within our hearts, forgetting that each
one of them means a broken body and a broken heart for someone… Pity is the
very essence of God; compassion is of the very being of Jesus Christ; a pity so
great that God sent His only Son to die for men, a compassion so intense that
it took Christ to the Cross.”
Paul links something important with being “tenderhearted” …
(Ephesians 4:32 NLT) Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
The words translated “forgive” are the words for
“grace”. Forgiveness shouldn’t be
something that someone “earns” for you to give it.
I think it is okay that we hold off a little on “trusting”
someone until they’ve shown themselves trustworthy, but forgiveness can be a
grace. Forgiveness doesn’t have to be
Jesus was motivated by His “gut”. He was motivated by compassion.
9:36–38 NKJV) —36 But when He saw the multitudes, He
was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered,
like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The
harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into
:8 be courteous
courteous – philophron (“love” + “mind”) – friendly, kind.
It’s not a bad thing to learn good manners.
Here’s a video for teenagers on good manners from 1954:
But sometimes our manners tend
to be a little more like…
Some of the modern translations talk about “humility” here.
The modern translations have “humble in spirit” (another Greek word, tapeinosphrones) here.
I think there’s a bit of a connection between “humility” and being
When you cultivate humility, you learn to think about
others before yourself.
:9 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.
:9 not returning evil …
The word for “returning” carries the idea of “payback”
returning – ἀποδίδωμι apodidomi – to deliver, to pay off, we might say,
present active participle
When someone does something evil
to you, you don’t play “tit for tat” and do something evil in return.
When someone hurls insults at you, you don’t reply
with an insult.
Olga and Sven and been fighting all their married life until Olga one day
said, “Sven, we been fightin’ and fightin’
these many years I think we should pray about this together.” When they knelt down to pray, Olga interupted
Sven before he had three words spoken. “Dear Got, Sven and I have been fightin’ and fightin’ these many
years. It is time that one of us should go to Heaven. Then I can go live with
evil – kakos – of a bad nature; not such as it ought
to be; wrong, wicked; troublesome, injurious, destructive
reviling – loidoria – railing, reviling; saying unkind
:9 but on the contrary blessing
on the contrary – tounantion – on
the contrary, contrariwise
blessing – eulogia – praise,
laudation; an invocation of blessing, benediction
Some of us aren’t quite sure what a “blessing” is.
During the holidays, families often get together, and someone is asked to
“say the blessing” over the meal.
Does that look like your family?
blessing – εὐλογέω eulogeo – to praise, to ask God’s
blessing on a thing
present active participle
Peter says that when someone causes us trouble, we ought to “bless” them.
This goes against our nature.
When someone does something bad to us, or says something hurtful to us, we have
a built-in reflex that wants to give back what someone gave to us.
Video: Three Stooges – slaps, eye
pokes, head conks
The disciples struggled with
this. When Jesus passed through a
village of Samaritans, the Samaritans didn’t want to have anything to do with
(Luke 9:54–56 NKJV)
—54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said,
“Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume
them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and
said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son
of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they
went to another village.
come to kill people, He came to save them.
When Judas showed up with troops
in the Garden of Gethsemane to have Jesus arrested,
NKJV) —10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high
priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your
sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
let Peter take vengeance on His behalf.
NKJV) —43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor
and hate your enemy.’ 44 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,
Blessing others not only involves our prayers that bring
God’s blessing on others, but doing good to them as
:9 that you may
inherit a blessing
God’s desire is that we be a
Peter is going to share with us
where he learned these principles.
Verses 10-12 are a direct quote
from Psalm 34:12-16.
NKJV) —12 Who is the man who desires life, And loves many
days, that he may see good?
(or, wants God’s blessing?)
13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from
evil and do good;
peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears
are open to their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against those who do
evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
:10 For “He who would
love life And see good days, Let him refrain his
tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.
:10 He who would love
Are you a person who wants to
love life and see good days?
Then be careful how you speak.
If you are “reviled” (v.9), then
don’t revile back. Don’t try to deceive
would – thelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be
resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do
a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure
present active participle
refrain – pauo – to make to cease or desist; to
restrain a thing or person from something; cease, to leave off; have got
release from sin; no longer stirred by its incitements and seductions
aorist active imperative
speaking – laleo – to speak
aorist active infinitive
deceit – dolos – craft, deceit, guile
:11 Let him turn away
from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.
If you are a person who wants to
love life and see good days…
Then do good, like some of the
things we’ve been talking about.
Seek peace with others.
12:18 NKJV) If it is possible, as much as depends on you,
live peaceably with all men.
Of course we all
know that this is not always possible.
But we should
give peace a chance.
turn away – ekklino – to turn
aside, deviate (from the right way and course); to turn (one’s self) away, to
turn away from, keep aloof from one’s society; to shun one
aorist active imperative
do – poieo – to do, to make
aorist active imperative
seek – zeteo – to seek in order to find
aorist active imperative
pursue – dioko – to make to run or flee, put to
flight, drive away; to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run
after; to press on: figuratively of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the
goal; metaph., to pursue; to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavor to acquire
aorist active imperative
:12 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.”
:12 the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
This is how we “inherit” a
blessing. We learn to do these kinds of
The Blessed Life
This is what’s in our
“inheritance” (v.9) from the Lord.
It’s written in His “will”.
When we read that His eyes are
on the righteous, we might want to fall back on our “righteousness” coming from
trusting in Jesus … and there is truth to this.
But Peter is quoting David, who gives
us five commands (imperatives) in vs. 10-11.
These are things we are to “do” that leads to the inheritance of
Refrain your mouth from spouting out evil or
Turn away from evil
commands are fleshed out back in verses 8-9 when Peter tells us to learn unity,
compassion, love, etc.
Please don’t misunderstand me –
our salvation comes from the grace of God when we place our trust in Jesus.
But there are additional
blessings that come when we learn to walk that path of obedience, when we learn
to respond to the Spirit of God working in our life.
When I read about the “eyes”,
“ears”, and “face” of the Lord, I think about the blessing that Aaron spoke
over the people.
NKJV) —24 “The Lord bless you
and keep you; 25 The Lord make His
face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you
We may pray these
words for ourselves and for others, but let’s learn to add a multiplier into
Learn to put
David’s spin on it and learn to grow in this life of obedience that’s connected
I want to play a clip for you
that might seem awfully close to how some of your family gatherings might go
In case you’re not familiar with
the Avengers movies, Thor and Hulk are friends.
They unexpectedly find themselves fighting against each other. This clip
is from “Thor Ragnarok”.
Video: Thor Ragnarok – Main
Event Fight Scene.
Ok. So Christmas is in a
couple of days. Some of you are going to
be spending time with family and friends.
You may not be quite sure what
it’s going to be like.
Is it going to be a dinner among
Is it going to turn into an epic
How will you respond if things
Maybe take some
time to meditate and think on the things we’ve covered today.
Be a light to
Be the one who
brings the blessing.