First Peter 3:8-12
Charles e Whisnant, Pastor/Teacher, Expositor
Having the Right Attitude
verse 10, "Let him who means to love life and see good days." We're trying to get a handle on this idea of living and loving the good life. How do you learn to love life and see good days?
The whole value system seems geared toward the good life and the good life is basically synonymous with sin. Sin is the good life, over-indulgence in everything.
The good life, the life that is full of good days is the life that remembers God, the life that is set on Him.
Peter here is quoting the Old Testament. That particular phrase, and the rest of the section from verses 10 through 12, is taken from Psalm 34. We're going to be looking at that in just a moment. So Peter is really taking a scripture out of the Old Testament, letting us know that those in the Old Testament also wanted to love life and see good days. That's always been the pursuit of man. But how and where is that accomplished?
Peter writes to them and says, "Now if you mean to love life and see good days in spite of this, here's
what you need. First of all, you must come to life with the right attitude. It is only a question of attitude, not possessions." Verse 8: "Your attitude should be one of harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted humility." That's the right attitude.
Having The Right Response
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. Vs. 9
Then in verse 9 he says, you should learn to make the right response when you're mistreated
So if you want to love life and see good days, then approach life with the right attitude. Number one, you have that harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted humility.
And secondly, you don't retaliate. No matter how unjustly you might be treated you do not retaliate. Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. You leave the equity matters to God. You don't try to get your pound of flesh in your own way. Clearly this is an Old Testament principle. If you go back to chapter 19 of Leviticus, way back in the Pentateuch in verse 18, the Bible says, "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." God says don't you hold a grudge, don't you retaliate. Don't you pay back. Don't you avenge.
First Peter 3:9 NOT RETURNING EVIL FOR EVIL: (1Peter 2:20, 21, 23; Pr 17:13; 20:22; Mt 5:39,44; Lk 6:27, 28, 29; Ro 12:14,17,19, 20, 21; 1Cor 4:12,13; Eph 4:32; 1Th 5:15)
Returning (591) means to pay or give back, implying a debt. This word carries the idea of obligation and responsibility for something that is not optional. The prefixed preposition apo (off, away from) makes the verb mean “to give off” from one’s self. To give back or pay back or to do something necessary in fulfillment of an obligation or expectation. Retaliation was strongly condemned by Jesus in His sermon on the mount.. Matthew 5:38-42 Romans 12:17
.Evil (2556) (kakos) is a word which basically, denotes a lack of something. Evil, bad, destructive, damaging, unjust
- Don't let your flesh rise up and try to "get even"...this is good advice but necessitates guarding one's heart and being alert so that you remain under the control of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) Beware of your fallen flesh, for it will always try to defend itself and use "righteous indignation" as justification. Instead remember the "example" of Jesus Who...and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously I Peter 2:23 Leviticus 19:18; Proverbs 20:22; Luke 22:47-53 Acts 4:23
RAILING FOR RAILING OR INSULT FOR INSULT: e loidorian anti loidorias:
Insult (3059) reviling, railing, one who reviles as in 1Cor 5:11) describes verbal abuse, reproach and/or vilification. Reviling implies a scurrilous, abusive attack prompted by anger or hatred. Railing (against) means scolding someone using harsh, insolent, or abusive language.
- How do we reply to injury? Do we bless when we are cursed, or do we retaliate with hot and indignant words? Are we willing to leave our vindication with God? Psalms 34:12-14, Hebrews 4:16,18
BUT GIVING A BLESSING (continually speaking well of) INSTEAD):
Giving a blessing (2127) (eulogeo from eu = good + lógos = word) when used by men toward men it means to speak well of with praise and thanksgiving (English "eulogize"). It means to invoke God’s blessing upon them.
- is in the present tense indicating we are to continually eulogize others (not while dead but alive) but not patronizing. How could we bless them? praying for their welfare, protection, truly pitying and loving them.
We must always be reminded of our calling as Christians, for this will help us love our enemies and do them good when they treat us badly. We are called to “inherit a blessing.” The persecutions we experience on earth today only add to our blessed inheritance of glory in heaven someday (Matthew 5:10; 11; 12)