Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Who said it was about you?

Just as we have seen from Paul and James; Peter gives us (the believers) some "marching orders". Or better put, some fruit we will see in our life if we are truly born of the Spirit. It doesn't always happen overnight, but the life of Christians should be continually moving toward holiness, which is in part, the list given by Peter in chapter 3:

  1. Be of one mind. The focus of all Christians should be to glorify God. We shouldn't break fellowship over non-eternal debates with other believers that are bearing the fruit of regeneration. We can be of one mind in the very simple Truth of the Gospel.
  1. Show sympathy for the brethren.
  2. Genuine love for your brothers and sisters in Christ should manifest itself in your life. I have noticed this in ways that is impossible to explain. I will just meet another follower of Christ and although I just met them, there is a genuine love for them. To be honest, this is very strange for me because I am not very loving by nature (except toward my kids)
  3. Be tender hearted. Many times we get very callous in our approach to others; I know I am guilty of this. We need to constantly remind ourselves that we need to see others as God sees them. We need to let the goodness of Christ show in our life so people will be pointed to the One that made the transformation in our life happen.
  4. We need to be of humble mind. The King James and the New King James version translate this as being courteous. When we have a humble heart and a humble mind we can't help but be more courteous. When we think of others more highly than ourselves we develop an attitude of courtesy and service to others.
  5. Do not repay evil for evil. That is simple to say; extremely hard to put in to practice....right? It is easier to be rude to the rude, and respond to others in the same nasty way they treat us. Who ever said following Christ was easy? Who ever said it was about us? If God is most glorified when we repay evil with good, then that is our directive; don't make exceptions.
  6. Keep your tongue from evil. Evil being defined as slander, gossip, profanity, crude joking, etc.
  7. Keep your lips from speaking deceit. This isn't just flat out lies, but speaking with the intention of deceiving another. Half truth about a product you sell, partial disclosure about a used vehicle, etc.

Right on the heels of this list from Paul he says, "the Lord's face is AGAINST those who do evil. In chapter 4 Paul will expand a little further on the contrast between someone who is regenerated versus an evildoer. The lengthy list of the characteristics of those that practice sin is very clear, likewise, God could not make the fact that He will oppose those who practice sin any more clear:

1Peter 3:8-12 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."

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