Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1 Peter 3:7-12– Seek Peace and Pursue It

Lesson 12 -- Written by Marcia McCance
1. What it says:
8 ¶  Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
9  not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
10  For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain 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 prayers;      But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil."
2. What it means:
8 ¶  Finally, all of you be of one mind,
What would it mean to be of, say, two minds?
What does it mean for all of us to be of one mind? 
Paul’s lesson on how to be of one mind:
Phil 4:1-9 Therefore, my beloved and longed–for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.  And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy––meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
The things that Paul tells them:
1.        Stand fast in the lord (this is the basis, the foundation, the prime directive)
2.        Be of the same (one) mind in the Lord (trust in the Lord, together) -- be true companions
3.     Help each other
4.     Rejoice in the Lord
5.        Again he says Rejoice in the Lord   (this is his perfect example of being of one mind!)
6.        He tells us to let your gentleness be known to all men – not your rough exteriors – be kind, be gentle, be patient – have compassion.
7.     Wake up! The Lord is at hand!
8.        Paul’s  recipe for being of one mind is:
a.        Be anxious for nothing!
b.        in everything
c.         by prayer
d.        and supplication,
e.        with thanksgiving,
f.         let your requests be made known to God           We are not to try to impose our will on others, or get from them what we desire through arguments and turmoil. We are to take our requests to God -- with thanksgiving.  You do not have to be anxious, ask the Lord, and trust Him, for He is Able.
9.        The promised result will be the peace of God – not the strife of man – the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
10.    And what will the peace of God do?  Guard your heart   and   your mind   through Christ Jesus!
having compassion for one another;
What is “compassion?”                                                                   
love as brothers,
How do brothers love?                                                                  
be tenderhearted,
“Tenderhearted” means:                                                                  
be courteous;
“Courteous” means?                                                                     
9  not returning evil for evil
Define “evil”                                                                           
The last time you returned “evil for evil” what were you feeling in your heart?                                                                                                                    
Makes me think of the statement made by Ghandi: “An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind.”
or reviling for reviling,
What is “reviling”?                                                                      

The last time you returned a “reviling for reviling” what made you do it? 
but on the contrary blessing,
We are instructed to be contrary!!  What does “contrary” mean?                                         
What are we to be contrary towards?                                                         
And how is our “contrariness” to be expressed?                                                  
Remember that feeling you had when you returned “evil for evil” or “reviling for reviling” – that is the feeling that we need to take notice of. When you get that feeling, what should you do?                                            

Jas 1:20  for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
What would you need to pray for, in order to give a blessing to your brother in the face of his reviling

knowing that you were called to this,
What were we called to?                                                                  

Matthew 5: 44-45  "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
that you may inherit a blessing.
If we go contrary to the world when we are reviled, and give a blessing, then we will inherit a what?                    
Peter now describes the blessing(s) we shall receive for following in the footsteps of Christ. ( Psalm 34:11-22):
10  For "He who would love life And see good days,
What does “love life” mean?                                                                
What does “see good days” mean?                                                           
This is the blessing from returning good for evil, and a blessing for reviling: to love life and see good days (sounds like: peace)
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
What does it mean to “refrain” your tongue?”                                                    
What “evils” are we to keep our tongues from?                                                    
And his lips from speaking deceit.
What is deceit?                                                                       
John 17:17 "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
What does “Sanctify ” mean?                                                              
From this we see that we are sanctified, or made holy, by the word of God – which is truth – so deceit is turning away from God.
11  Let him turn away from evil and do good;
There are two instructions here: 1. Turn away from evil, and 2. Do good.
What action do we take when” turning away?”                                                   
From what are we to turn away?                                                             
What are we to do instead?                                                               
One thing that comes into my mind is the thought of “The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. 
Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
I had never before figured out why that was such a big deal. I knew that God didn’t like it and it caused the fall, so it must have been a "doozie" –  and I pictured the “fruit” as an apple!  Well it was a "doozie" because they CHOSE to KNOW EVIL. This is the “Biblical know,” meaning “to be intimate with evil! “ The tree bore the fruit of the knowledge of both good AND evil.  But God is only good. This is our dilemma: we know good and evil – but God is only good and separates Himself from evil.
Jeremiah 31:14  I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD."
In Galatians Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit and he also lists the fruit of evil.    Read Galatians 5:13-26
What instruction does Paul give that will help us to turn away from evil and do good? (see verses 16, 25)                      
Paul used the word “contrary” also. What did he say is contrary  (opposed) to one another? 
Those feelings we listed previously are the lust of the flesh.  What must we do with those feelings in order to “walk in the Spirit?” (Verses 24-25)                                                                        

What does “crucify the flesh” mean to you?                          
List the fruit of evil from Galatians 5:                            

List the fruit of the Spirit (of Goodness)                                                                                                                            

We know that God is only good. Yet Adam and Eve chose to eat of the Tree of the knowledge of good AND evil.  That was the sin!   It is absolutely amazing that God has chosen to redeem us!  God is so Good!!
Romans 2:4  Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Romans 11:22  Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
Romans 6:11  Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“To reckon” is a thought process. We must choose to KNOW that In Christ Jesus we are dead to sin (and thereby, turn away from evil) – and in Christ Jesus we are alive to God (and thereby, do good). We cannot draw near to God and continue “to do” evil. We cannot draw near to Him at all, unless He permits it.
John 6:65  And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
Psalms 16:2  O my soul, you have said to the LORD, "You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You."
Give an example from the Bible of someone turning away from evil and doing good:                       

Let him seek peace
What does “seek” mean?                                                                 
What does it mean to seek peace in a situation?                                                                        

and pursue it.
What does “pursue” mean?                                                               
How do you pursue peace?                                                                 
If we were to seek peace but not pursue it, what might be the result?                       
If we were to pursue peace, but not seek it, what might happen?­   ­        ­­­­­­­­­              

Do you see that we must both seek and pursue peace?  We are seeking God’s solutions, and God’s path. If we were to seek peace but not pursue it, what would be the benefit? Our lives would be no different. We’d have more learning, but no better results in our lives. That is called being a hearer of the word, but not a doer.  
James 1: 25-26 (HCSB) But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts—this person will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks he is religious, without controlling his tongue but deceiving his heart, his religion is useless.
If we were to pursue our idea of peace, without first seeking God’s idea of peace, we’d end up in one of the philosophies of the world. We’d think it is important to be “politically correct,” rather than to live as Christ teaches us to live. That is called being zealous for good without knowledge of God who only is good.
Romans 10:1-4 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
We must both seek (look for) and pursue (practice) peace. The peace that comes from having compassion, from turning away from evil, and doing good for His sake. And taking our concerns to God. The reward for this is loving life and having good days!
12  For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
Albert Barnes commentary: Verse 12. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous. That is, he is their Protector. His eyes are indeed on all men, but the language here is that which describes continual guardianship and care.
Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
By our faith in Jesus Christ and His work we are called the righteousness of God!
2 Corinthians 5:21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Romans 4:3-8  For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin."

And His ears are open to their prayers;
Albert Barnes commentary: And his ears are open unto their prayers. He hears their prayers. As he is a hearer of prayer, they are at liberty to go to him at all times, and to pour out their desires before him.
But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil."
Psalms 34:16  The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
3. What I learned from this study:
(Believe, Trust, Conform)                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ­Read again: 1 Peter 3:7-12, at the top of this study – and in another translation
Definitions and Synonyms:
1.      All – every one, each and every one, every part of, the entire, the complete, the whole, altogether, completely, entirely (“all” means: all)
2.      Compassion – sympathy, empathy, concern, kindness, consideration, care; (Antonym: coldness)
3.      Contrary – opposing, different, differing, divergent, dissimilar, opposite, converse, reverse, obstinate, uncooperative, defiant, difficult, awkward, perverse, stubborn, self-willed (Antonym: cooperative, similar)
4.      Courteous – polite, well-mannered, considerate, chivalrous, civil; (Antonym: rude)
5.      Deceit – dishonesty, treachery, deception, trickery, sham, pretense, cheating, duplicity, falseness, guile, fraud (Antonym: honesty)
6.      Evil – wickedness, sin, iniquity, vice, immorality, criminal, foul, vile, nasty, horrible, unpleasant, revolting, disgusting, obnoxious (Antonym: good, pleasant)
7.      Inherit – come into, be left, accede to, succeed to, become heir to, take over
8.      Knowing – deliberate, intentional, intended, conscious, calculating, aware, perceptive, shrewd; (Antonym: innocent, unconscious)
9.      Pursue – follow, chase, hunt, trail, track, tail, shadow, practice, engage in work at, go in for, take up
10.  Refrain – desist, abstain, avoid doing, cease, renounce, (Antonym: persist)
11.  Reviling – insult, abuse, scorn, condemn, censure, despise, berate, disparage (Antonym: praise)
12.  Sanctify -- 37. agiazw hagiazo hag-ee-ad’-zo; from 40; to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate:— hallow, be holy, sanctify.
13.  Seek – look for, search for, try to find, hunt for, seek out, ask for, inquire about, request
14.  Tenderhearted – kind, gentle, compassionate, sympathetic, soft, tender, sensitive, benevolent, indulgent; (Antonym: hardhearted)