1 Pet 3:8,9
INTRO: Reading this list of necessary qualities in Christian character and behavior, I note that there is no great thing demanded. In a world where the macho image is so stressed people might tend to think of these qualities as weak and sissylike. But the truth is that the control of ones spirit and self is a greater accomplishment than the taking of a fortified city (Prov 16:32). Because the church - as is the family - is a close fellowship of people, special qualities greater than brute strength are necessary to its well being. Thus, Peter tells us how to live with fellow Christians.
I. WE MUST BE ALL OF ONE MIND
A. May I begin with the word all (Ps 133:1)
1. note Phil 4:2in the remarkable Philippian church are two women in disagreement...their disunity threatens the whole church! resolve it quickly (Paul begs them)
2. there should be remarkable unanimity in the church
B. One minded like minded
1. 1 Cor 1:10; Phil 3:16; Eph 4:3
2. unity out of one mindedness a great N.T. theme
3. one rule of faith among people who have truly submitted their lives to the Lord should (will?) result in unity
C. How can we be so different yet so alike?
1. we all have opinions - likes & dislikes, etc.
2. where the Bible speaks, my opinions must confirm
3. in opinion areas relating to the church, God has given the church elders to produce orderliness
4. in other opinions, we must keep love, harmony uppermost in mindto lose a brother over an opinion is tragic!
II. WE MUST BE COMPASSIONATE
A. This comes from same word as sympathy
1. suffering or feeling the like with another
2. so, Rom 12:15 Rejoice with ... weep with ...
3. this speaks powerfully of the interweaving of lives in the church family (1 Cor 12:26)
B. But sympathy is desire to help born out of feelings
1. it is not an empty display of any sort
2. Gal 6:2 bearing puts one directly into picture
3. Heb 13:1-3 what a wonderful description of sympathy
III. WE MUST BE LOVING
A. The word here speaks of brotherly love
1. this is affection, bond of closeness
2. we must learn to enjoy one another
3. Rom 12:10 kindly affectioned...with brotherly love
B. Love is an important test of discipleship
1. Jno 13:34,45 by this shall all men know
2. now, this is not love for the lost, the world ... this is the love which should prevail abundantly in churchfamily
3. 1 Thes 4:9,10 appearing as it does in the context, this quality becomes a governing quality in our relationship with each other
IV. WE MUST BE TENDERHEARTED
A. This is the faculty of really feeling for others
1. compare Heb 4:15
2. have we heard so much about the unfortunate that we do not have feelings for their plight? just a news item?
B. Only tenderheartedness will keep us sensitive, caring
1. to have a feeling of sorrow or care well up inside of us will provoke us to action, to doing
2. makes the difference in the quality of our relationship with brothers and sisters in Christ
V. WE MUST BE COURTEOUS AND FRIENDLY
A. The A.S.V. uses the word humbleminded
1. there is no place for pride, arrogance in the church
2. such a personal trait puffs up in feelings of self-importance (1 Cor 13:4)
B. The proper spirit of a Christian? Mt 23:11
1. there is no unimportant Christian!
2. each child of God is worthy of, deserving of the kindness, courteousness, friendliness of the other!
CLOSE: Verse 9 says simply that Christians must rise above human actions and reactions. Being people who have received Gods blessing, we must be people who bring blessings into the lives of others.
Cecil A. Hutson
28 October 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)