Listen to this Sermon: 07012012FirstPe3.8-12DonRuhl

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To Be Blessed, Be a Blessing

Do you want to see good days?

First Peter 3.8–12

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 1, In the year of our Lord 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Lake – First Peter 2.11, 12


  1. The world says life is a beach, but 
    1. life is an orange, because
    2. you only get what you can squeeze out of it.
  2. The New Testament is a sponge, and the Old Testament is the water, and 
    1. even as a sponge works best when wet,
    2. so the New Testament works best when dipped in the Old Testament.
      1. If you read First Peter 1.1–3.7, and
      2. if you listen to my sermons today, covering 3.8–17, you will see this truth.
        1. The apostle wonderfully brings the two together,
        2. showing the usefulness of
          1. the New Testament and the Old Testament
          2. to give us an orange out of which we can get true life.
  3. Earlier in First Peter, the apostle had said,

    11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation (1Pe 2.11, 12).

    15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— (1Pe 2.15).

    1. He will now expand upon these things.
    2. Sincere Christian living
      1. silences some of our enemies, and
      2. converts others of them.
    3. But above those things,
      1. we live as the Scriptures teach, because
      2. we follow the instructions of the Holy Spirit.


  1. First Peter 3.8, 9 – Love One Another

    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 (1Pe 3.8, 9).

    1. “Finally, all of you…”
      1. He told everyone to submit to government (2.13–17).
      2. He told house servants or employees to submit to employers (2.18–25).
      3. He told wives to submit to their husbands (3.1–6).
      4. He told husbands to honor their wives (3.7).
        1. Now, he speaks to everyone in the church,
        2. that if we want to inherit a blessing, we must bless.
    2. Here is how we bless one another.
      1. First, Peter listed the positive actions toward our brethren and others.
        1. We are to be of one mind.
        2. We are to have compassion for one another.
        3. We are to love as brothers.
        4. We are to be tenderhearted.
        5. We are to be courteous.
      2. Second, Peter listed what we are not to do, and what we should do instead.
        1. We are not to return evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but
        2. we are to return a blessing.
    3. Think of what verses 8 and 9 imply.
      1. Sometimes your own brethren will do you evil or revile you.
        1. Many become very upset about that and leave the church.
        2. Others stay, but retaliate.
      2. Do not concentrate upon the insult done to you,
        1. concentrate on being Christ-like, winning that brother or sister, for
        2. we are not here to win arguments, or to have a life of ease.
          1. We are here to inherit a blessing, but
          2. only if we bless.
      3. Remember what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount,

        39 “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” (Matt 5.39).

        44 “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…” (Matt 5.44).

        1. Commit that aggravating person to the Lord, and
        2. let Him deal with that person.
    4. Never forget why He called us.
      1. Peter said earlier in this letter,

        22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth…in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart (1Pe 1.22).

        1. Peter brings that teaching back up, for
        2. remembering why God left us on the earth after saving us,
          1. will help us to do the right thing
          2. when dealing with difficult people.
    5. Christianity is not about seeing how much God will bless us, but
      1. it is about seeing how much we can bless
      2. even as God has blessed us.
        1. God did not save us to be served, but
        2. He sent Jesus to die for us that we might serve.
      3. Everyday this week, ask God:
        1. God, how can I bless you today?
        2. God, how can I bless my neighbor today?
    6. Peter wrote of love, because
      1. love for one another will keep us from harming one another,

        8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Rom 13.8–10).

        1. We do not want to live on Satan’s level, returning evil for good, and
        2. we do not want to live on the world’s level, returning evil for evil, but
        3. we want to live on God’s level, returning good for evil.
  2. First Peter 3.10–12 – Love Life

    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.”
    (1Pe 3.10–12)

    1. To back up his teaching, Peter quoted Psalm 34.12–16a.
    2. Peter used Psalm 34 frequently, either quotes, allusions, or similar language.
      1. Psa 34.1 ➡ 1Pe 1.3
      2. Psa 34.19 ➡ 1Pe 1.6
      3. Psa 34.5, 7 ➡ 1Pe 1.17
      4. Psa 34.22 ➡ 1Pe 1.18; 2.16
      5. Psa 34.8 ➡ 1Pe 2.3
      6. Psa 34.5 ➡ 1Pe 2.6
      7. Psa 34.9, 11 ➡ 1Pe 1.3, 4; 3.9
      8. Psa 34.12–16 ➡ 1Pe 3.10–12
        1. Therefore, read Psalm 34 this week and
        2. see what you can learn.
    3. He spoke to Christians who were
      1. either suffering persecution or were about to suffer it, yet,
      2. he spoke to them of loving life!
        1. How can we love life in the midst of suffering, or persecution?
        2. Think of who wrote Psalm 34, and when and why he wrote it,

          0 A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed (Psa 34.0).

          1. King Saul tried repeatedly to kill David, and
          2. finally he fled to the Land of the Philistines, but
            1. the Philistines reminded their king
            2. of a song the Israelite women sang of David
              1. after defeating the Philistines in battle,

                5 “Is this not David, of whom they sang to one another in dances, saying:

                ‘Saul has slain his thousands,
                And David his ten thousands’?”
                (1Sa 29.5)

              2. David pretended insanity that the king might him away.
                1. David was about to lose his life, yet,
                2. he wrote Psalm 34, speaking of loving life, and
                  1. Peter uses that to speak to Christians
                  2. who could very well lose their lives.
            3. David began Psalm 34,

              1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
              His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
              (Psa 34.1)

    4. Peter quoted Psalm 34.12–16a, an Old Testament text,
      1. to show us how to live,
        1. that we have to refrain from speaking evil,
        2. that we have to refrain from doing evil,
        3. that we have to do good, and
        4. that we have to seek peace.
      2. The reason those things lead to seeing good days is
        1. that the Lord watches us, and
        2. that the Lord hears our prayers, whereas
          1. He fights those who do evil.
          2. He gives good days to the righteous and bad days to the wicked.


  1. Therefore, when you experience troubles, persecution, and other trials 
    1. do not complain, but
    2. know that God watches you and man watches you.
  2. What the world tells us to think are bad days, 
    1. turn out to be good days for those who follow the teachings of David and Peter.
    2. Peter did not teach some kind of psychological delusion,
      1. tricking ourselves into believing that things are good when they are bad.
      2. No, we know what the Spirit said through Paul,

        28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8.28).

  3. Much of what Peter taught us in verses 8–12
    1. has to do with the things we say.
    2. We can destroy lives or build lives,
      1. both the lives of others, and
      2. our own lives,
        1. by the things we say.
        2. Let us do what another psalmist did,

          3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
          Keep watch over the door of my lips.
          (Psa 141.3)

  4. If you want to look for trouble, 
    1. you will find it, and
    2. it will find you, but
      1. if you want to love life and see good days,
      2. set your heart on doing what Peter said and see what happens,
        1. remembering that doing such does not mean
        2. you shall never experience trouble, or that everyone will be kind to you.
          1. You are going to get out of life
          2. what you put into life,
            1. so that even during persecution or other forms of trials,
            2. you can still experience good and love life; life is an orange.
  5. “Won’t people take advantage of us if we live that way?” 
    1. Do people take advantage of you now?
    2. Well, obviously living worldly does not work.
      1. The question is not what people will or will not do to us.
      2. The question is, or the questions are,
        1. What will glorify God?
        2. What did Jesus do?
        3. What shall save souls?
        4. What shall build up my brethren?
        5. What is the right thing to do?
          1. Remember God watches both us and them.
          2. Can I trust Him to do the right thing, so that I can obey Him?
  6. Remember that Peter relied upon Psalm 34 for his letter. 
    1. Does Psalm 34, which speaks of loving life and seeing good days,
    2. show that David lived a trouble-free life?
      1. v. 4 – He spoke of fears.
      2. v. 6 – He called himself a poor man.
      3. v. 6 – He had troubles.
      4. v. 7 – He spoke of the need for deliverance.
      5. v. 17 – He spoke of troubles again.
      6. v. 18 – He wrote of a broken heart, and a contrite spirit.
      7. v. 19 – Even has him saying, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous…”
      8. v. 22 – The Lord redeems His people, because they need to be redeemed.
        1. Where do people get the idea
        2. that if you “go to church” you will not have any problems?
          1. I do not know what they are reading, but
          2. it is not the Bible.
            1. I do not know to whom they are listening, but
            2. it is not the Holy Spirit.
    3. If you ever hear someone say such a thing, show them First Peter and Psalm 34.
  7. You cannot live life to the fullest without the Creator running your life! 
    1. Did you know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Creator?
    2. This is why you have either read in the Bible or heard people say
      1. that you must believe on Him to be able to go to heaven.
      2. He gave you life here, and
        1. He wants to give you life there, but
        2. you have to recognize Him for who He is, and
          1. you have to obey Him.
          2. This is so grand that you will need to start life over.
            1. The Bible calls this being born again.
            2. We will bury you in water, and
              1. bring you up and
              2. you will then have a new life.