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                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"

                   Our Duties To Each Other (3:8-12)


1. So far in his epistle, Peter has defined the Christian's duties in 
   various relationships...
   a. Our duty in relation to those of the world - 1 Pe 2:11-12
   b. Our duty in relation to governmental authorities - 1 Pe 2:13-17
   c. Our duty in a servant-master relationship - 1 Pe 2:18-25
   d. Our duty in wife-husband relationships - 1 Pe 3:1-7

2. Beginning now in verse 8 of the third chapter, Peter defines our
   duty to each other as brethren in Christ...

[Peter will provide motivation to fulfill our duties to one another in 
verses 10-12, but let's first consider what these duties are...]


   A. TO "BE OF ONE MIND" (NASV, "harmonious")...
      1. That is, to be united in the same purpose, the same goal
      2. Jesus prayed for this kind of unity in Jn 17:20-21
      3. A church that demonstrated this "oneness of mind" is that of 
         Jerusalem - Ac 4:32
      4. How can we have this "oneness of mind"?
         a. It is attainable only to the extent that we all submit to 
            the will of God
         b. Therefore, we all need to make God's Will our will, His 
            Purpose our purpose
         c. Even as Christ did while on earth - cf. Jn 5:30

      1. This means to have pity, a feeling of distress toward the ills
         of others
      2. It is that disposition which is moved by the problems of 
         others (like sickness, hardships, etc.)
      3. This is the attitude manifested by Jesus...
         a. During His earthly ministry - Mt 9:35-36
         b. During His heavenly ministry - He 4:15
      4. Such compassion can only come from a tender, loving heart, 
         which may be why Peter goes on to say that we need...

      1. Literally, this means to be "brother lovers"
      2. This attribute is essential, if we are to...
         a. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ - 2 Pe 1:
         b. Convince the world that we are truly disciples of Jesus - 
            Jn 13:35
      3. Are you a "brother lover"?  If not...
         a. You are not a lover of God, either! - 1 Jn 4:20
         b. You do not even know God! - 1 Jn 4:7-8
      4. Here is one way to know if you are a "brother lover"...
         a. Ask yourself this question:  "Do I even know my brother?"
         b. If you don't, how can you honestly say that you are a 
            "brother lover"?
   D. TO "BE TENDERHEARTED" (NASV, "kindhearted")...
      1. It is this kind of heart that is compassionate, capable of 
         loving our brethren
      2. The opposite would be "cold-hearted", where we are insensitive
         to the needs and feelings of others
      3. Even if we start out as "cold-hearted", in Christ Jesus we can
         and must undergo a transformation, in which we develop a 
         "tender heart" - cf. Ep 4:22-24, 31-32; Co 3:8-10,12
      4. Have you considered what kind of heart you have?

   E. TO "BE COURTEOUS" (NASV, "humble in spirit")...
      1. Literally, to be "friendly of mind, kind"
         a. Such courtesy would imply a humility of spirit
         b. For an arrogant or proud spirit does not bother to be 
      2. Christians are to imitate their Lord and Savior, and not think
         so highly of themselves that they cannot be kind and courteous
         to others - cf. Ph 2:3-5

      1. When someone (e.g., a brother) does us evil, we are to respond
         with a blessing!
      2. While this may go against "human nature", Peter gives two 
         reasons why we are to react in this way:
         a. We are called to follow the example of Christ - cf. 1 Pe 
            3:9 with 1 Pe 2:21-23
         b. That we might receive a blessing from God - cf. Lk 6:35

[These are six duties that we have one toward another.  They are part 
of what constitutes the Christ-like character that we are to develop as
His disciples.

Being saved, then, is not the end of God's plan for us; He would have 
us become like His Son (cf. Ro 8:29).  To motivate us in fulfilling 
these duties, Peter quotes from the 34th Psalm...]


      1. Everyone wishes to enjoy life as they experience it from day 
         to day...
         a. But too often, many make their own lives miserable by their
            own self-seeking, self-destructive attitudes
         b. Constantly complaining, contentious, retaliating to evil 
            with evil, they only aggravate the situation
      2. But David in his psalm gives the secret to loving life and 
         seeing good days:
         a. Refrain the tongue from evil, and lips from speaking guile 
            - 1 Pe 3:10
            1) I.e., don't engage in slander, backbiting, complaining, 
               lying, murmuring, and grumbling
            2) It doesn't solve difficulties, but only makes them worse
         b. Do good, seek peace and pursue it - 1 Pe 3:11
            1) I.e., do the very kind of things mentioned by Peter in 
               1 Pe 3:8-9
            2) Only then will your life be pleasant, for the qualities 
               described by Peter...
               a) Make the best out of difficult situations
               b) Make good situations even better!

      1. Only by doing the will of God (as found in 1 Pe 3:8-9) can we
         ensure that...
         a. His gracious eyes will watch over us
         b. His ears will be open to our prayers
      2. On the other hand, the Lord's face is against those who do 
         evil, and will not hear their prayers
      3. Indeed, consider the list of abominations found in Pr 6:16-19
         and notice how many are the direct opposite of how we are to 
         a. We are to be courteous (humble) - but the Lord hates a 
            proud look!
         b. We are to be compassionate - but abusing the innocent is an
            abomination to the Lord!
         c. We are to be tender-hearted - but the Lord hates a cold 
            heart that thinks evil of others!
         d. We are to return good for evil - but those who respond 
            quickly with evil, the Lord abhors!
         e. We are to be of one mind - but if we sow discord by 
            murmuring and complaining, we are abominable in God's 


1. So if we want the Lord to watch over us, if we want Him to heed our 
   prayers, let us be sure to fulfill our duties to each other as 
   brethren as outlined by Peter in verses 8-9

2. In so doing, we will enjoy life to its fullest, and see many good 
   days during our pilgrimage here on earth!
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