PHBC April 26, 1998
Series: First Peter, Ser. #49
HOW PILGRIMS CAN LOVE LIFE AND SEE GOOD DAYS (Part I)
Scripture: I Pet. 3:1-12
TEXT: 1 Peter 3:8-12 8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
INTRO: In past messages we have looked at the matter of submission. Then we considered verse 8 of the passage that I have chosen as our text verses for this message. We saw how unity in the home, the church, and even in society can be achieved or enhanced by single-mindedness, compassion or sympathy, brotherly love, being pitiful toward others, and through courtesy, especially Christian courtesy.
Having dealt with the positive side of this, Peter then turns to deal with the negative. He tells us some things Pilgrims should not do if we are going to live and see good days. If you are going to truly enjoy life and love the life you live as a child of God, there are some things you cannot do.
Our subject is "HOW PILGRIMS CAN LOVE LIFE AND SEE GOOD DAYS." Some people think that to really live you have to have a lot of pleasure in your life. They give themselves to attending sports events, concerts, shows, and anything that is considered pleasure and satisfying to the flesh. Paul said that such people are actually dead while they live. 1 Timothy 5:6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
God's word, in various places, gives us the real key to living. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (Jn. 10:10). The abundant, meaningful life is NOT one that is filled with the pleasure this world offers. That is a dead life; that is the poorest quality life one can have. It is cheap. It is vain. If that is what living is to you, you are missing the real meaning of living. I am reminded of the words of God concerning Moses. Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaohís daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
I. IF WE WOULD LIVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS AS CHRISTIANS WE MUST NOT RENDER EVIL FOR EVIL
A. The Greek word used here is kakos (kako") which refers to anything that is bad.
1. Jesus taught that we should do exactly the opposite. "Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Mat 5:44).
2. The word that is translated good in this verse is kalo" which is the exact opposite of the word for evil in our text.
3. If someone does something bad against us, Jesus said that we should do good toward them.
4. Paul admonished the same thing in his letter to the church at Rome. Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
B. Paul also admonished those to whom he wrote that they refrain from rendering evil for evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
C. Solomon advised that we wait for the Lord to deal with the matter when someone does something bad to us. Proverbs 20:22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
D. Let us always remember that God will take care of things as they ought to be cared for; we will just make a mess of things if we try to avenge ourselves when others wrong us. Romans 12:19-21 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
1. God, in the law, instructed Israel to avoid seeking revenge against their brethren. Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
2. The wise man Solomon instructed us to not rejoice when an enemy falls. Proverbs 24:17-20 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: 18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. 19 Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; 20 For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
3. God may render severe judgment upon those who take his vengeance into their own hands. Ezekiel 25:12-14 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them; 13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. 14 And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord GOD.
4. God uses various instrument is executing his vengeance.
a. In the instance we just read about in Ezekiel he used Israel as his instrument.
b. Sometimes he uses the officers of the law. Romans 13:4-6 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are Godís ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
II. IF WE WOULD LIVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS AS CHRISTIANS WE MUST NOT RENDER RAILING FOR RAILING
A. The Greek word for a railer is loivdoro".
1. The word is also translated reviler.
2. Matthew Henry defines railing as "to revile another in bitter, fierce, and reproachful terms."
3. It may also have the idea of hurting the reputation of another by false, harsh, and bitter accusations.
B. Some examples of railing.
1. Men railed on Jesus while he was on the cross. Matthew 27:39-40 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
2. The Jewish leaders railed on the blind man whom Jesus healed. John 9:28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Mosesí disciples.
C. When we are railed upon, we are not to rail back; when others harshly and falsely accuse us we are not to lash back in a similar fashion.
D. Jesus set the example. 1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
E. Paul and his co-workers also set us an example. 1 Corinthians 4:12-13 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
F. Another reason to avoid rendering railing for railing is the fact that a railer is subject to church discipline. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
G. I should also warn that a person who is given to railing on others may very well be unsaved. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
H. In light of these last two passages it would also be well to point out the bad class of persons into which Paul puts the railer. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
1. If you have a tendency to lash out at others please consider the company with which inspired men group you.
2. If you have the tendency to rail on others or to render railing for railing, you ought to examine yourself whether you are in the faith or not.
3. It is certain you cannot live and see good days if you are a railer.
III. IF WE WOULD LIVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS AS CHRISTIANS WE MUST RENDER A BLESSING FOR EVIL AND RAILING
A. Peter did not say this would be easy but he did say for us to do it. 1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
B. Jesus taught this same treatment of those who treated us badly. Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
C. Paul taught the same thing. Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
D. We should do it because Jesus taught it.
E. We should do it because inspired men commanded it.
F. We should do it because we are called of God to do it.
G. We should do it because there is a blessing promised for those who do follow these instructions.
H. We should do it if we want to live and love the life we live.
IV. IF WE WOULD LIVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS AS CHRISTIANS WE MUST REFRAIN OUR TONGUE FROM ANYTHING THAT IS EVIL AND OUR LIPS FROM SPEAKING GUILE
A. The Greek word from which refrain comes is pauvw and means "to make to cease or desist." It means "to restrain a thing or person from something."
B. This control of the tongue is essential to living and loving life.1 Peter 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.
1. Peter tells us to make our tongue to cease and desist from speaking any evil.
2. He tells us to make our lips cease and desist from speaking guile or deceit.
C. An uncontrolled tongue is evidence of vain religion. James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this manís religion is vain.
D. A controlled tongue is a sign of a well disciplined person. James 3:2 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
E. If we would love and live life as Christians we absolutely must refrain our tongue from evil. James 3:3-10 Behold, we put bits in the horsesí mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
1. The uncontrolled tongue is a fire that is kindled by hell.
2. The uncontrolled tongue defiles and affects our entire body.
3. The uncontrolled tongue is an unruly evil that is full of deadly poison.
CONC: It is sad that there are some who say are Christians who think they can let their tongue rail, speak evil, and can let their lips speak guile and still live a godly, enjoyable Christian life. It is not possible. Let us arrest our tongues and make them cease and desist from evil and railing if we would love and really live.
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