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Impossible Living

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1 PETER 3: 8-12

I.                    Introduction

a.       What are some of the supernatural things Jesus did while on the earth?

                                                               i.      God still does the supernatural.

                                                             ii.      Isaiah 53 (led like a sheep to slaughter, reviled he did not revile in return)

1.      He did not assert His “rights”

b.      Overview

                                                               i.      Peter sums up this section that focuses on excellent behavior among the Gentiles that God would be viewed as desirable.

                                                             ii.      He has touched on a few life situations where his readers might have had questions:  Relat w/ govt, w/ masters, husbands/wives.  Especially when treated unfairly.

c.       Scriptural Considerations:

                                                               i.      2 Peter 1:3; Colossians 2:10

1.      Profound truth.  Upon belief in Christ one is made complete, lacking nothing.

                                                             ii.      Important to understand as we learn that Peter is calling us to do the impossible.

1.      W/o the nature changing seed of God w/I us we cannot do what this text says.  Though some can fake it very well.

2.      People we cannot be on our own, contrary to human nature

a.       Requires the supernatural.

II.                 5 traits of the new creation

a.       To sum it all up. 

                                                               i.      Brings to a conclusion the instruction on submission.

                                                             ii.      Notice who this is addressed to.

1.      Regardless of whether someone else is doing it.

b.      5 Characteristics

                                                               i.      C.S. Lewis: Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.”

                                                             ii.      Harmonious: A common mindset, united in spirit, having the parts agreeably related.

1.      Not considered a virtue in Greek world.

2.      Symphony is a good example

                                                            iii.      Sympathetic

1.      To suffer with.  Affected like another

a.       Hebrews 4:15

b.      There is an implied nearness in this word

                                                           iv.      Brotherly: do not view one another as strangers or distant relatives.

1.      View one another as family though there may be squabbles.

                                                             v.      Kindhearted: A deep-seated affection. From the bowels.

1.      Belly laugh.

                                                           vi.      Humble in spirit: a correct estimate of oneself. Understanding we are completely dependent upon God for each breath, our strength etc.

c.       To truly exhibit such characteristics is rare, and requires a work of God. But the person who is born again will as they trust in God will have such traits worked in them by the living God.

III.               Living as a New Creation: Out of this inner transformation live a certain way.

a.       Do not return evil for evil: take revenge or retaliate nor cursing for cursing

                                                               i.      Statement assumes evil and cursing have been done to you.

                                                             ii.      Remember Peter is writing to a hated group of people. 

b.      Be a blessing:  You were called to this purpose. 

                                                               i.      Cf 2: 21: Here is your calling:  To endure innocent suffering and bless those who inflict such upon you.

1.      Luke 6:27-28; Romans 12:14, 17,19-21, 1 Cor 4:12-13, I Thes 5:15

                                                             ii.      God has not called us to passivity but to action.

                                                            iii.      How do you respond to the person who infuriates you and slanders you?

1.      Do you call down fire from heaven or God’s gracious power

c.       Augustine:  If you are suffering from a bad man’s injustice, forgive him lest there be two bad men.”

IV.              Living the Good Life.

a.       Preliminary thought:  there is a type of life that God blesses and one that He opposes.

                                                               i.      Do you want to enjoy life?  Follow God.  This is antithetical to the world and even some preaching.

b.      Evil Speech:  Stop telling lies, cease from malicious verbal activity, speech that results in downgrading or shame.

                                                               i.      Deceit:  underhanded treachery, one of the most heinous sins in OT.

1.      Genesis 27:35, 34:13: Jeremiah 9:6; Amos 8:5)

                                                             ii.      Down talking:  Against husbands, wives and others

1.      Such views are not for public discussion.

2.      “So and so is upset w/ you because…” why are they telling you.

c.       Turn from Evil, Seek and Pursue

                                                               i.      Imperatives: 

                                                             ii.      Review: 4 things necessary to live the good life.

d.      Result: For

                                                               i.      The good life is one where God looks favorably upon you (regardless of circumstances), He hears your prayer.

1.      Why doesn’t God answer my prayers? 

2.      He is against those who do evil

V.                 Conclusion

a.       Romans 5:6-10

                                                               i.      While we were ungodly, sinners, powerless and His enemies

                                                             ii.      He pursued peace w/ us, sympathized w/ us, sent His Son, spoke blessing, and reconciled us.

1.      No longer enemies, ungodly or strangers.

b.      This is the life we have been called to.  It requires supernatural power, but it is already in you, for you have all that you need for life and godliness. 

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