More on Christian Living (Part 2)
1 Peter 3:9-12
I will continue our topic on Christian living which we were talking about last week. Christ have shown us the best example and the standard which we have to follow. So here Peter have written us an exhortation.
I. Not rendering evil for evil.
A. Rendering means to give away, to give back, deliver (again), recompense.
B. The issue here is retaliation.
C. We Christians should never retaliate for any bad treatment done against us.
D. Christ have taught us to love our enemies and retaliation is prohibited in the Bible.
E. Old Testament as well as the New Testament is very clear about this.
1. Forbidden by our Lord. Lev. 19:18; Pr. 24:17,29
2. Christ an example for His longsuffering. Isa. 53:7; 1 Pet. 2:23
3. Reproved by Christ. Lk. 9:54-55
4. Inconsistent with Christian spirit. Lk. 9:55
5. Proceeds from a spiteful heart. Ezek. 25:15
F. Peter gives two reasons why we are to react in this way:
1. We are called to follow the example of Christ – 1 Pet. 2:21-23
2. That we might receive a blessing from God – Lk. 6:35.
Illustration: The Worst of Criminals
At one point early in Julius Caesar’s political career, feelings ran so high against him that he thought it best to leave Rome. He sailed for the Aegean island of Rhodes, but end route the ship was attacked by pirates and Caesar was captured. The pirates demanded a ransom of 12,000 gold pieces, and Caesar’s staff was sent away to arrange the payment. Caesar spent almost 40 days with his captors, jokingly telling the pirates on several occasions that he would someday capture and crucify them to a man. The kidnappers were greatly amused, but when the ransom was paid and Caesar was freed, the first thing he did was gather a fleet and pursue the pirates. They were captured and crucified…to a man!
Such was the Romans’ attitude toward crucifixion. It was to be reserved for the worst of criminals, a means of showing extreme contempt for the condemned. The suffering and humiliation of a Roman crucifixion were unequalled.
II. Refrain his tongue from evil.
A. To refrain means to stop, restrain, quit, desist, and come to an end.
B. The concern here is evil speaking.
C. To speak evil is to slander; to call for mischief or injury to fall upon; to blaspheme; to swear; to utter impure words; bitter, wrathful speaking.
D. The types of evil speaking are found in four key N.T. passages.
1. Col. 3:8-9 – blasphemy, lying, filthy communication, wrath.
2. Eph. 5:4 – filthiness, foolish talking, jesting.
3. Eph. 4:31 – bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour.
4. James 3:10 – cursing.
E. What Christian must do according to the Word of God?
1. Guard your tongue. (Col. 4:6, Eph. 4:29, Prov. 21:23, Prov. 4:24).
Illustration: Great Testimony
Bruce Goodrich was being initiated into the cadet corps at Texas A & M University. One night, Bruce was forced to run until he dropped — but he never got up. Bruce Goodrich died before he even entered college.
A short time after the tragedy, Bruce’s father wrote this letter to the administration, faculty, student body, and the corps of cadets: “I would like to take this opportunity to express the appreciation of my family for the great outpouring of concern and sympathy from Texas A & M University and the college community over the loss of our son Bruce. We were deeply touched by the tribute paid to him in the battalion. We were particularly pleased to note that his Christian witness did not go unnoticed during his brief time on campus.”
Mr. Goodrich went on: “I hope it will be some comfort to know that we harbour no ill will in the matter. We know our God makes no mistakes. Bruce had an appointment with his Lord and is now secure in his celestial home. When the question is asked, ‘Why did this happen?’ perhaps one answer will be, ‘So that many will consider where they will spend eternity.’“
Our Daily Bread, March 22, 1994
III. Eschew evil and do good, speak peace and ensue it.
A. Eschew evil means to shun, to avoid, to decline.
B. We must avoid all kinds of evil.
C. We are told to do good.
D. We do good because of our relationship with Christ.
E. Good works is the fruit of being a Christian. Good works can never save us.
F. We are to speak peace with other people.
G. Christians have already peace with God (Rom. 5:1)
H. The peace here means good or well-ordered relationship.
I. We can still have peace with other Christians even though we differ in a lot of things.
IV. Motivation to do these things:
A. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous.
B. This means His gracious eyes watches over us all the time.
C. He watches, provides, and protects us. He knows our problems and the troubles that lies ahead.
D. His ears are open to our prayers.
E. Christian’s prayers will be heard by the Lord. This is true with our sufferings. Sufferings is the main theme of this Epistle.
F. God hears everything we say.
G. His face is against them that do evil. Evil deeds will always be punished
Do you want the Lord Jesus Christ to watch over you? Do you want Him to hear your prayers? Then do the things written in the Word of God as the Apostle Peter penned in this short Epistle. Obey Christ, obey His words.