(i) Conduct Within The Church (1 Peter 3:8-12)

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The Seven Activities Of The Righteous To Be Ready For Suffering From Outside (1 Peter 3:8-9):

Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Peter 3:8-9.

1 Peter 3:8-9 shows the seven important activities the Church must engage in within it's own walls in order to be ready for suffering from outside.

ACTIVITY ONE : Be of One Mind. (Verse 8a)

This is the mind of Christ (See 1 Peter 4:1).

Think about what it means for a group of believers to be of the same mind. It is that quality that enabled the Spirit to descend in power on the day of Pentecost and enable the early Christians to endure sufferings together joyfully.

What practical actions need to be taken by a group of Christians to be of the same mind ?

For related verses see Acts 2:1; 4:32; Romans 12:16;15:6; 1 Corinthians 1:10 and Philippians 3:16.

ACTIVITY TWO : Having Compassion For One Another. (Verse 8b)

Literally the Greek word 'sumpathes' (compassion) means 'to sympathize with' or 'to suffer with'. This is the quality of our actions towards other in the Church who are suffering. When one member suffers then all should have compassion and suffer with them.

What are some of the practical actions you can think of in order for us to show this kind of compassion ?

For related verses see Zecheriah 7:9; Matthew 16:33; Luke 10:33;Romans 12:15; 1 Corinthians 12:26 and James 2:13;3:17.

ACTIVITY THREE : Love As Brothers. (Verse 8c)

This is 'philadelphos' love (from 'phileo') - it is the quality of love displayed between pure brothers. Think about specific activities this would mean between God's people.

Read also this article on Brotherly Love.

For related verses see Romans 2:10; Hebrews 13:1; 2 Peter 1:7; 1 John 3:14;3:18-19;1 Peter 1:22 and 1 Peter 2:17.

ACTIVITY FOUR : Be Tenderhearted. (Verse 8d)

This literally means to be full of pity in the innermost parts for others. This is similar to 'having compassion for one another'.

For related verses see Psalms 103:13; Proverbs 28:8; Matthew 18:33;Ephesians 4:32; James 5:11.

ACTIVITY FIVE : Be Courteous. (Verse 8e)

This literally means 'to be humble-minded' - to be humble towards others. Can you think of practical actions that would demonstrate this word ?

For related verses see Acts 27:3;28:7; Philippians 4:8-9 and Colossians 3:12.

ACTIVITY SIX : Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling . (Verse 9a)

This literally means not retaliating when others do evil (literally 'worthless', opposite of 'kind, graceous and useful') deeds towards you or slanders/is abusive towards (reviles) you.

For related verses see Matthew 5:39,44; Romans 12:19-21; 1 Cor 4:12-13 and 1 Peter 2:23.

ACTIVITY SEVEN : Blessing knowing that you were called to this that you may inherit a blessing. (Verse 9b)

This is 'contrawise' to activity six. It is acting in the opposite Spirit which is what we are called ('kaleo'- invited) to. Indeed since Abraham's time all the Godly seed is called to such blessing (See Genesis 12:1-3).

For related verses see Genesis 12:1-3 and Matthew 19:29;25:34.

The Equation For A Good Life In The Midst Of Suffering (1 Peter 3:10-12):

Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Peter 3:10-12.

Look at the equation diagram and you will see the elements that make up a person who will ('thelo' - to desire, delight in') love life and will see (experience) good days (See 1 Peter 3:10.).

This whole section is a quote from Psalm 34:12-16 - Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on Psalm 34:11-22 for the context of this quote that Peter uses (it was actually written when David pretended madness before Abimelech ( 1 Samuel 21:10-15) and is in the context of a suffering saint.

Click here to view the Good Life In Suffering Equation again.

In verse 10b we see this kind of person is one who refrains his tongue from evil ('worthless conversation') and doesn't speak deceit('trickery or craftiness in speech').

1 Peter 3:11a - They are the ones who turn away (to deviate, shun, eschew, turn aside) from evil (worthlessness) and do (literally 'abide in') that which is good (literally 'of benefit').

1 Peter 3:11b - Also this kind of person will seek (desire) peace (harmonious relationships/ rest and contentment in spirit) and pursue (follow after - the same Greek word is also used for 'persecution' as in 2 Timothy 3:12) it.

Click here to view the Good Life In Suffering Equation again.

1 Peter 3:12 - For related verses on the eyes of the Lord being on the righteous see Deuteronomy 11:12; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Psalm 11:4; Proverbs 15:3 and Zechariah 4:10.

God sees our hearts in times of suffering and will give us 'good days' if we are upright in these times before Him.

For related verses on God hearing the prayers of the righteous see Proverbs 15:2,9; John 9:31 and James 5:16.

God turns his eyes and ears to the godly but His face (countenance) to the wicked (See Leviticus 20:3).

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