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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #14
Posted: December 7, 2006

I PETER 3:8-22

Let us turn our attention for the next couple of weeks to verses 8-22 of Chapter 3 in I Peter.  Have your Bible open and in hand so I will not take up space to quote our text here.

In these verses we are confronted with a proper behavior in various relationships in our life.  We are often told that one’s beliefs do not matter as long as they are sincere.  We find in this text that one’s beliefs control their behavior.

Let us look first of all to verse 8 where we are taught about a proper behavior In Our Relationship To The Saints.

The word ‘finally’ doesn’t signal the end of the book.  It does tell us this is the last time Peter will deal with the subject of a proper behavior toward others.  We see in these verses five responses that suffering will produce in us that lead to proper behavior toward others.

The first response is “…be ye all of one mind,” The phrase has the idea of being like-minded.  This doesn’t mean that we agree upon every minute detail but upon the major beliefs about Christ.  It will cause us to see things from His perception.  Paul told us in Philippians ‘to let this mind be in us, which was also in Christ Jesus’.  We were admonished to esteem others better then ourselves by a lowliness of mind.  This is the opposite of high mindedness.  It is having a lowly view of one’s self.  This mind can only be gained as we let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly.  Oh, how suffering drives us to the Word.  The Word will change our beliefs and our beliefs will change our behavior toward others.

The next response Peter deals with is that of “…having compassion…” The word ‘compassion’ used here means to be affected by something so as to feel, to have feelings stirred up within by some circumstances from without, to have fellow feelings or the same feelings as another.  To feel another’s joy or sorrow is not always an easy task.  Romans 12 says, “Rejoice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep, be not high minded but condescend to men of low estate’.  Jude tells us that having compassion will make a difference.  It is often much easier to weep with one in sorrow than it is to rejoice with them in the blessings of prosperity.  Proper behavior toward other saints in our suffering will always include our having compassion.

The next response of proper behavior is that of “…love as brethren,” The phrase in its translation is an adjective word used to describe.  Literally it says, be brethren who are loving.  The love mentioned is not the love God produces as a fruit of the Spirit but a human affection or fondness for other Christians.  Peter call it in 1:22 ‘unfeigned love’ or love without a mask.  We should love other believers because we see in them a reflection of the same one who dwells in us.  How can we say we love Christ when we don’t love the brethren?  Suffering will let us see it is true brethren who will be there for us.

The next response is ‘…be pitiful,” The word is being filled with pity.  The word means tender hearted.  Oh how the world can make us cold to the plight of others.  Suffering can tenderize our hearts to the needs of others.

The last response is “…be courteous:” The phrase means be humble in mind or to have a low opinion of ones self.  It is very interesting that Peter in dealing with beliefs that change our behavior in suffering would start and end the list by talking about the mind.  To fill the mind with the Word of God is to change our behavior.  Let us fill our minds with the Word long before the days of suffering come