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                                                  For Those Who Desire Life

                                                           Cory Landolt

 

SUBJECT: Righteousness

TITLE: For Those Who Desire Life

TEXT: 1 Peter 3:8-12

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

A.) There are people all around us that live in a world of hatred, violence, curses, and anger.

B.) Contrast that way of life with the words of Peter - 1 Peter 3:8.

            1. In the eyes of Peter, life goes along a different path.

            2. As the children of God, we are very familiar with this path.

D.) In doing so, we have been born again into His kingdom.

            1. "You were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing" Peter said.

            2. We do not have to wait until the return of the Lord to enjoy the kingdom - Luke 17:20          -21.

E.) Peter provides us three formulas that will help enjoy the kingdom...

 

DISCUSSION:

I. REMEMBER TO BE KIND

A.) Kindness is love in the little things.

            1. Visiting someone who is lonely or sick; offering a smile; helping an elderly woman learn to                read again; comforting another person; and the list goes on...

            2. Kindness is a first cousin to politeness and courtesy.

B.) Our world today has twisted the meaning of kindness:

            1. They say, "If you can't tolerate same-sex marriage then you're just an unkind person!"

            2. Kindness has nothing to do about toleration; rather its about showing generosity.

C.) Usually we are generous, thoughtful, and polite when there is an audience.

            1. But we usually reveal our real selves in unguarded moments, do we not?

            2. Kindness is not just obedience to an occasional command; it is built into the fabric of life!

D.) Peter used words that spoke about the simple kindness of the Lord:

            1. Acts 10:38

            2. The leper who came begging - Marks 1:40-41

E.) We do not have to wait for heaven to be kind.

            1. The kingdom is here and now!

            2. The kingdom is realized when Christians live kindly.

 

II. RETURN GOOD FOR EVIL

A.) 1 Peter 3:9

            1. Earlier in his letter, Peter had referred to the suffering of Christ like this: ...and while being                reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting                    Himself to Him who judges righteously - 1 Peter 2:23

            2. Years before He hung dying on the cross, Jesus stated, But I say unto you, love your enemies              and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in                                 heaven; - Matthew 5:44.

B.) The "Law of Retribution," often expressed in Latin, lex talionis.

            1. The OT expresses it as an eye for an eye - Lev. 24:19-20.

            2. But in the kingdom of God, people live by a different rule, a rule that says evil should not be                        repaid for evil - Romans12:19-21

C.) Peter was not addressing national, state laws.

            1. He was talking to his audience as individuals... "Don't let vengeance eat you up!" Peter was              saying.

            2. No person will have life if getting even dominates his interest.

D.) What joy does one imagine that revenge would give them?

            1. Many lay in their beds at night meditating injustice.

            2. Minds in such a realm are far removed from the kingdom of God - Hebrews 6:4-6.

E.) It is a blessed state of mind when a person is able to allow an offensive word slide off.

 

III. RESTRAIN YOUR TONGUE

A.) As Peter further continues, he then makes an appeal to Psalms 34:12-13.

            1. James explains in James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in               what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.

            2. In Matthew 12:36-37, Jesus says But I tell you that every careless word that people speak,                   they shall give an accounting for it in the day of Judgment. For by your words you will be                   justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

B.) Controlling the tongue is an essential step in the path of peace - 3:11.

            1. Controlling the tongue begins by measuring the way we speak about God

            2. Just take Paul's advice in Colossians 3:8, Remove all filthy communication from                                   your mouth...

C.) Restraining our tongue means to keep ourselves from deceit.

            1. It also means to keep ourselves from those matters that have the appearance of evil - 1                       Corinthians 15:33.

            2. This will help us to seek the things that make for peace - Romans 12:18

 

CONCLUSION:

A.) In the midst of the world's misery and pain there can be found a people who know the way to life.

            1. Their families, the way others speak about them, the smiles they wear...

            2. All of it testifies to the peace and joy of life.

                        i.) Remember to be Kind

                        ii.) Return Good for Evil

                        iii.) Restrain your Tongue

B.) If there's a soul here whose not in the kingdom, then obey the Gospel before it's too late.