1 Peter 3:8-9 ESV
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
Unity of Mind
Unity of mind is unity of mind with the Lord Jesus and then it is unity of mind with other believers in Jesus who are also of unity of mind with Christ.
For, not everyone who claims to be a believer in Jesus is united in mind with Christ. Many are still of their own minds or they are united in mind with the world and/or with the worldly church and its leaders. And, they are united with the government and with big business.
So, when you are being encouraged to unite with other believers in Jesus in mind and heart, make certain first of all that you and they have the mind of Christ and not the mind of the world, or of the flesh of man, or of marketing schemes of men who are building earthly kingdoms.
Love and Humility
As followers of Jesus, we are to be humble people, not proud, not arrogant, not full of ourselves and of our own self-importance. We are not to think too highly of ourselves or too lowly. For, self-abasement is not humility, for it still is about self.
We should be those who share Jesus Christ with others, which may include personal testimony from time to time, such as what Paul did. But the focus is to be on Jesus and on what he did and is doing in our lives and through our lives for his glory, honor, and praise.
And, if we share Christ and his gospel with others with confidence and in the power of God’s Spirit within us, it doesn’t mean we are prideful or that we are self-righteous. It means we care about other people and we love Jesus and we are doing what he has called us to do.
For, having brotherly (and sisterly) love for one another isn’t just about showing pure and proper affection for one another. It is caring enough to speak the truth in love to see others be free from sin’s captivity and to see them walk in holiness and purity of devotion to Jesus Christ as their only Lord (master).
No Evil but Blessing
We, as followers of Jesus, are never to be vengeful people. We are not to trade tit-for-tat. We are not to keep a record of wrongs so that we can get even with others for what they did to us. Instead, we are to return their hate with love and their evil deeds with forgiveness.
We are to love our enemies, pray for them, do good to them, and say what is beneficial to them, for that is what it means to bless. We don’t bless people by coddling them in their sin, for our Lord doesn’t bless us in that way, either, for that is not love.
If we want to truly bless people, we need to tell them the truth. For it is the truth which will set them free from their bondage to sin if they will listen, and if they will obey the truth. We should never lie to people and say things to them to make them feel good in their sin.
For, to bless is to speak reason to others which will, in turn, be beneficial (helpful, useful) to them, which is how God blesses us. So, we share with them the love of Jesus, and we tell them how he died on a cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we can now live in holiness and righteousness.
1 Peter 3:10-12 ESV
“For ‘Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’”
The reason Jesus Christ died on that cross for our sins was not just to forgive us our sins so we could escape hell and so we could go to heaven when we die. The reason he died on that cross was so we could die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24).
In other words, he gave his life up for us not just to forgive us but to transform (change) us. He died to turn us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18).
So, coming to faith in Jesus Christ means that we don’t live like we did before we believed in Jesus. That old life of sin is done away with, and now we are given a new life in Jesus to be lived for him and for his glory. Thus, we are now to honor God with our lives (Eph 4:17-24).
So, if we used to be those who spoke evil and who told lies as a matter of habit, we now become people who tell the truth and who speak what is good and what is beneficial for others so that they can come to know Jesus, too.
If we used to be people who were mean and of evil intent in how we treated others, by God’s grace we can now be people who love others, and who do good to them and not harm, and good includes speaking the truth in love and not lying to people to make them feel good (Eph 4).
For, to be righteous in God’s sight is not merely positionally righteous by faith in Jesus Christ, but it also means that we live righteously, for that is why Jesus died. And, we no longer live according to our sinful flesh, but we now live for the glory of God (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
So, we must know here that if we continue living in sin, continuing to do what is wicked and evil in God’s sight, as a matter of practice (habit), that the face of the Lord is against us, not for us. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, not live with Christ for eternity (Rom 8:1-17).
So, don’t take God’s grace for granted. Don’t buy into the lies which console you in your sin and which tell you that you can keep on in your sin and still have heaven guaranteed as your eternal destiny. For we will all reap what we sow, and those who sow to the flesh will reap destruction (Gal 6:7-8).
So, follow Jesus Christ with your life. Submit to the Lordship of Christ. Leave your lifestyle of sin behind you and follow Jesus in obedience to his ways.
When I Was Walking
An Original Work / January 16, 2020
When I was walking along the way,
My Lord was with me, and He did say,
“My child I’m with you. I hear you pray,
‘Oh, help me, Lord! Need You today!’”
He is my friend, near to the end.
Gently leads me. His servant be.
He helps me pray – knows what to say.
He’s all I need. On Him I feed.
When I am wond’ring of what to do,
He gently leads me to what is truth.
He is my helper. He strengthens me.
When I’m in want, supplies my need.
He comforts me with all His love.
Gives me His grace from heav’n above.
I heed His call to watch and pray,
To guard my heart throughout each day.
When He is calling to come to Him,
To let Him lead you, trust Him within,
How will you answer to Him today?
Will you say, “Yes, Lord, have your way”?
Do not neglect to let Him in,
Cleanse you from sin, made new within.
Leave all your sin, obey your Lord,
Trust in His Word – His mighty Sword.