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Sermon 1Peter 3v8-12

loving life and seeing good days

Good morning friends, well it is good to see you here again after some of the challenging things we have been learning from 1 Peter. Sean did say it might upset some of us. It isnt easy to deal with principles that arise from the slaves and masters passage which you can put into practice out in the workplace. Submit to your boss, even when you and everybody else knows things could be done a better way it rattles your cage a bit. Probably not half as much as what Peter says, what God says in verses 1-7 about relationships between husbands and wives. But this morning we are going to look at verses 8-12 of chapter 3 and I want us to consider What is it thats going to give you a full life and good days? Lets pray So what is it that is going to help you live life to the full and see good days? In the last few months the media have been consumed by the economic crises worldwide and how that affects us. A few years ago we had an economic depression, then a Global financial meltdown, and now following on from that the economies of Spain and other European countries faltering, and then Americas credit rating being downgraded. Our share market has been on a roller coaster. Many retirees have seen the worth of their investments drop by $25000 to $50,000 and some even to $200,000 and the amount they get to live on drop dramatically. For some retirees this nest egg has consumed their attention and been deeply concerning. Its a concern for those who are still working in that they keep on getting told they will need more than they have to retire and then it gets whacked. Sometimes what we are consumed with highlights where we think our good life is going to be provided for. Sometimes, its seen by people working long hours to grab that bit of extra cash and pay off the mortgage quicker, and squeezing in running around for the kids and caring for all our possessions. For some the good life would be better health and being pain free.

For even more it is that their spouse would understand them! But in the end, the guy who had everything, money and houses and servants and wealth and food and even health, said that he hated life because everything was futility and striving after wind. Eccles 2:17. That was King Solomon! Wild Hoggs Woody tells Doug You hate your life. In our passage Peter lays out for us how one can really love life and see good days. See verse 10. That word for love there is the strongest word for love we have in the Greek language. It comes from the word agape and is used of Gods love towards us sinners. That He does for us what is in our best interests. And it stands for strong willed love. Its used here with the Greek word zoe life which isnt the word bios which is also a greek word for life that he could have used. We get the word biology from bios and has to do with living stuff and dead stuff, but zoe used here has to do with the fullness of living, the richness of your life. So Peter is again talking about important stuff that involves our day to day living! Lets start in verse 8 where he gives 5 attitudes. He is talking about right attitudes here. He says finally all of you. And that leaves none of us out. Remember how already in 1 Peter he has declared us to be a holy nation a people belonging to God. That phrase a holy nation is a holy ethnos, we are no longer Aussies, no long Greeks,

or Hungarians or English, we are a holy group of people. Set apart by God and for God. So as a holy people, those who are aliens and strangers in this world, what 5 attitudes does Peter lay out for us? He says in verse 8, live in harmony with each other. The word is literally be like minded. We are to think along the same lines, not same minded but like minded. It could best be illustrated by a choir where we all have the same mind of singing a song together and yet some are baritones, some sopranos, some sing an echo and together they produce a song that is full and rich and blended. Theres no discord here, no disunity, no Im going to do it my way and sing my own choice of song.! We are likeminded in our standing in Christ, in the teachings of Jesus, in what the bible teaches and its centrality to our life. In what it means to obey our Lord Jesus. Then he speaks of being sympathetic, it means to come alongside another person who is suffering and suffer with them! To be moved by their loss, their anxieties, their burdens, their sin and to be sympathetic. Did you realize how the writer to the Hebrews says we have a sympathetic High Priest in Jesus because He was tempted in every way just like me! Jesus is sympathetic, and so we are to be with each other. Thirdly he says here we are to love as brothers. And the word is philadelphoy, I find it intriguing that Peter doesnt use the word for family love here, storge, but rather phileo, and I think its because he isnt speaking of that natural love that a parent has towards their biological children, but rather the bond that exists between children in the family, children that did not choose their brothers and sisters, and likewise in Gods Church we dont choose out brothers and sisters in Christ. Christ has chosen them for you!

That hits home a bit doesnt it? Sometimes we are a bit selective in who we associate with in the body of Christ! We gravitate towards those we feel comfortable with and those who have similar interests and so on. But its not to be we are to love each other as brothers. I was thinking about this recently and how the local church has been provided for by God with people of differing gifts. Paul uses the example of a body to describe it one a hand, another a foot and another a mouth and an ear and so on. And in that body each is whole by the contribution of all the others. And that means that when we meet together, and during and after the service all the mouths get over in that corner and chat, and all the ears in another corner and all those that serve meet in the kitchen! We need to serve one another, all of the body, and that means involvement with each other! But that is a whole other sermon today I just want us to pick up on Peter saying we are to have the attitude that we are to love each other as brothers and sisters. Fourth Peter says here we are to be compassionate, that means tender hearted like in Ephesians 4:32 Paul uses the same word to talk about forgiving one another. So when you have been hurt, wronged, sinned against, forgive! Not easy. Many of us have been hurt by our brothers and sisters in the church but we are to be compassionate, and that involves forgiving. Not easy yet it is calling here for that gut response. We are moved by compassion towards another person. Lastly he says we are to be humble! It is literally humble-minded. That means putting others before ourselves. Not asserting our rights and status but seeking to elevate others. Perhaps this is seen best in the example of Jesus when he said in Matthew 11:29 take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart.

So here Peter gives us 5 attitudes that are to be evident in our Christian character. Fortunately I am encouraged that in the face of the lack of some in my life they are things that come about by growth after all in Romans 12 we are informed to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and our attitudes are part of that renewal. Its an ongoing process involved in becoming more like Christ.

But in addition to the 5 right attitudes theres the right response in verse 9. Do not he says repay evil for evil. In other words dont retaliate. Not saying Christians are to be wimps but we dont retaliate. Not saying they shouldnt stand up for the defenseless, the widow orphan and destitute and abused, but we are not to retaliate. I think of how Peter was a strong earthly guy a fisherman, very impetuous remember how he grabbed a sword and cut off the priests servant when they came to arrest Jesus. No more evil act that arresting the Messiah and bringing false accusations. But did you ever notice in John 18 that it was Peters own sword? In those days many carried swords for protection from robbers, but Peter had his sword and knew how to use it and was ready to and yet here in 1 Peter he tells us do not repay evil for evil That Peter says it puts a powerful edge on it doesnt it? You can be strong and not repay evil for evil. But instead give a blessing. Sounds a bit strange to our ears but the word for blessing is eulogy. Its what we do at funerals, speak well of the person! We praise them for one thing. We give thanks for them. We appreciate them and say so! So why would you do that? Because as peter tells us here in verse 9, to this, this sort of behavior, this type of transformed life, you were called! You were chosen to live this sort of transformed life. You didnt choose it, but rather God chose you! Remember 1:1-2. You were chosen so you might inherit a blessing! My mother died a couple of years ago and I received an inheritance. I didnt earn it! I didnt merit it. It was hers to give to whom she chose.

So also for us, we are chosen by God and inherit a blessing in that seeking to serve and obey the lord Jesus by having these right attitudes and right responses they eyes of the Lord are upon us. Two things can be said about verses 10-12. They are a direct quote from Psalm 34 and in effect Peter is saying this is confirmed elsewhere by the very Word of God. This carries Authority. The Authority of God himself. But notice what he says in verse 12. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous. In the Old Testament the eyes of the Lord refer to Gods care towards His people. The Creator of this Universe, the Sovereign Lord cares about you. And likewise in the Old Testament in contrast to this the face of the Lord is against those that do evil. And again throughout the Old Testament, the face of the Lord stands for his judgment, His displeasure and Judgment upon people. Now today I want us to take home with us two things in the light if all this. This is not easy to put into practice yet as 1:2 told us, it is the sanctifying work of the Spirit, The Holy Spirit, who is at Work in us. He empowers, He helps us respond with right attitudes and right responses. But not only that, but remember Peters readers. They were facing trials and persecution and suffering. 1:6; 2:11, 20-21 And Peter has written here, that you, you who are facing those things, if you want to love life and see good days, then you dont do it by filling your life with possessions, hobbies, achievements. They wont give it. As Solomon told us you will hate life seeking it there. His point to his readers is that You can have life to the full and see good days irrespective of the circumstances you find yourself in.

It is by cultivating these attitudes and responses. And get this, it begins in the family of God. With each other. And that means it begins with people chosen by God, and therefore right with Him. It begins when we see the people here as our brothers and sisters in Christ. As people to love, to stand by, building relationships. Deep relationships. Not ones that are surface relationships or shallow. How can you truly sympathize with a brother or sister in Christ when you dont know what they are going through? Their doubts their frustrations? Their anxieties? These attitudes hes spoken of in verse 8 just cannot take place in a vacuum. That would be like asking a person to breath fresh air while submerged under water. Impossible. What Peter has spoken of, What God has spoken of today to us means involvement with each other. Not just a friendly smile after church over coffee, not even just when we get together for home group to study the bible and pray for each other. But it means fostering relationships where you ask a person, hey come round for coffee on Saturday or a BBQ, or lets meet for coffee at lunchtime in town on Thursday. When we live out this good life, when our attitudes are changed it will be clear to everyone in the church, And that is a great thing.

but more than that, attitudes like this cannot be hidden, they will also spill over into the way we relate with the world. A changed life is just that a changed life! A person can offer silly arguments and even blatantly contradict themselves when we declare to them the good news of Jesus, but theres no answer to a changed life!

Lets pray. Help us Lord Jesus to deal with what you say here in 1 Peter, to not shirk it off, not get caught up in the pressures and curve balls the world throws at us. But to seek to have right attitudes and right responses characterize our lives to your glory. Amen.