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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 10 - DEFEND THE FAITH (1 PETER 3:8-22)

INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK OUR STUDY IS 1 PETER 3:8-22.  LETS REVIEW
A BIT.  THE LAST THREE WEEKS WE HAVE LEARNED HOW WE SHOULD SUBMIT,
BECAUSE OF CHRIST'S EXAMPLE, AS CITIZENS, SERVANTS, WIVES AND
HUSBANDS.  PETER FINISHES UP THAT THEME THIS WEEK AND MOVES ON TO
A RELATED THEME AND THE CENTRAL ISSUE OF THE REST OF HIS LETTER:
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING.

I. SUBMISSION TO FELLOW CHRISTIANS

     A. READ 1 PET 3:8.

          1. FIRST PETER TELLS US TO LIVE IN HARMONY (ONE MIND)
HAVING SYMPATHY (GR. "SOOM-PATH-ACE'")(KJV "COMPASSION")?
          
               a. HOW DO WE DO HAVE SYMPATHY? ANY IDEAS?
               b. DO THESE OTHER CHARACTERISTICS THAT PETER 
               DESCRIBES HELP US TO HAVE SYMPATHY?

                    (1) LOVE AS BROTHERS
                    (2) BE COMPASSIONATE
                    (3) BE HUMBLE
                    
               c. THE LAST TIME SOMEONE WAS SYMPATHETIC TOWARDS
YOU, WHAT DID THEY DO? (THE SECRET LIES IN RELATING SO CLOSELY TO
OTHERS THAT WE FEEL WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM IS HAPPENING TO US.)

          
     B. READ 3:9.  PETER SEEMED TO START OUT SPEAKING TO CHRISTIANS
IN v.8.-- HAS HE NOW MOVED ON TO THE WORLD AT LARGE?  OR IS THIS
HOW WE SHOULD ACT WITH FELLOW CHRISTIANS?

          1. WOULD A FELLOW CHRISTIAN CAUSE US EVIL OR INSULT? (I
THINK THAT HE HAS GONE INTO A WIDER CIRCLE THAN JUST THOSE IN THE
CHURCH. IF READ ON IT WILL BE CLEARER.)

     C. READ v.10-12 THIS IS A QUOTE FROM PS 34. AND IT IS CLEARLY
SPEAKING ABOUT HOW TO CONDUCT OURSELVES IN THE WORLD.  LETS BREAK
THIS DOWN.
          1. WHAT IS THE REWARD THAT IS PROMISED HERE? (LOVE LIFE-
SEE GOOD DAYS v.10; LORD KEEP AN EYE ON US AND LISTENS TO OUR
PRAYERS v.12.)

          2. HOW MANY OF YOU WANT THAT?

          3. SO, HOW DO WE ATTAIN THIS?

               a. KEEP TONGUE FROM EVIL;
               b. KEEP LIPS FROM DECEITFUL SPEECH;
               c. TURN FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; and,
               d. SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.

          4. (GO THROUGH EACH AND ASK WHAT THINK MEANS)
          
     D. SUUMARIZE IN YOUR OWN WORDS WHAT PETER IS SAYING? (PETER
PUTS A VERY HIGH VALUE ON WHAT WE SAY.)

     E. NOTICE THE POSITIVE PART OF THIS. PETER HAS BEEN TELLING US
TO SUBMIT, AND BE NICE, SO THAT WE WILL WIN OTHERS TO CHRIST.  THAT
IS GOOD FOR THE OTHER PERSON, RIGHT?  BUT DOESN'T DO MUCH FOR US
EXCEPT TO KNOW THAT WE HELPED SOMEONE TO COME TO CHRIST.
          --BUT HERE PETER SAYS YOU TOO ARE GOING TO GET SOMETHING
          GOOD OUT OF IT-AND NOW!

II. SUFFERING
     A. READ 13-14. DOES PETER SAY THAT IT IS LIKELY THAT WE WILL
SUFFER? (NO).

          1. WHY? (HE HAS JUST TOLD US TO RETURN GOOD FOR EVIL. 
YOU NORMALLY ARE NOT HARMED IF YOU FOLLOW THAT RULE, RIGHT? GOV'TS
NORMALLY DO NOT PUNISH THOSE WHO DO RIGHT, MASTERS DO NOT NORMALLY
PUNISH SLAVES THAT OBEY, SPOUSES NORMALLY APPRECIATE SOMEONE WHO
HAS THEIR BEST INTRESTS AT HEART.)
          
     B. BUT, DOES PETER PROMISE SUFFERING WON'T HAPPEN EITHER? (NO)

     C. DO YOU THINK THAT PETER IS JUST SAYING THAT IF YOU FOLLOW
THIS PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE, ODDS ARE THAT YOUR LIFE WILL BE BETTER?  
          1. OR IS HE SAYING MORE THAN THAT?

          2. WHAT ABOUT v. 12 WHERE HE SAYS THAT THE EYES AND EARS
OF THE LORD ARE ON THE RIGHTEOUS AND HIS FACE IS AGAINST THE
WICKED?  DON'T WE HAVE SOMETHING BETTER GOING FOR US THAN THE ODDS?
(PAUL SAID IN ROM 8:31: "IF GOD IS WITH US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?" 
IN JOHN 17:15 JESUS SAID, "MY PRAYER IS NOT THAT YOU TAKE THEM OUT
OF THE WORLD, BUT THAT YOU PROTECT THEM FROM THE EVIL ONE.")

     D. IN LIGHT OF THE SUFFERING OF THE DISCIPLES, WHAT DOES THIS
MEAN?
     E. IS SUFFERING THE OPPOSITE OF BLESSING? (COMPARE MT.5:11)
          1. HOW DOES THE STATEMENT IN v. 14 FIT IN THAT SAYS, "IF
YOU SUFFER YOU ARE BLESSED?" AND, "DO NOT FEAR WHAT THEY FEAR?"

(IN JOHN 16:33 JESUS SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES, "IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL
HAVE TROUBLE, BUT TAKE HEART!  I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD." JESUS
HAS OVERCOME THIS WORLD AND WILL ULTIMATELY MAKE EVERYTHING RIGHT
IN THE NEXT WORLD TO COME!!)

          2. BY THE WAY, WHAT IS IT THAT THE WORLD FEARS THAT WE
ARE NOT TO FEAR? (MAN.  WE NEED NOT FEAR MAN BECAUSE GOD IS IN
CHARGE.)

          3. WHAT PRACTICAL DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE IF WE FEAR GOD
INSTEAD OF MAN? (WE WOULD NEVER BE EMBARASSED ABOUT BEING
CHRISTIANS.  WE WOULD ALWAYS OBEY GOD INSTEAD OF MAN. THE
DIFFERENCE IN PETER IS SEEN WHEN HE FEARED MAN AND DENIED CHRIST
THREE TIMES, AND THEN SHORTLY LATER WHEN HE FEARED GOD AND TOLD THE
SANHEDRIN THAT HE MUST FEAR GOD INSTEAD OF MAN (ACTS 5:29) 

     F. LETS READ ON: READ v.15. IN THE MIDST OF PERSECUTION, PETER
SAYS THAT WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO TELL OUR PERSECUTORS WHY WE BELIEVE
WHAT WE DO.  WHAT IS THE KEY TO BEING ABLE TO DO THAT? (STUDY NOW.)
     
          1. AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, WOULD YOU GO THROUGH
PERSECUTION IF YOU WERE NOT TOO CERTAIN WHY YOU WERE DOING IT? 

     G. NOTICE HOW PETER SAYS THAT WE SHOULD SPEAK TO THOSE WHO ARE
CHALLENGING OUR FAITH?  HOW SHOULD WE SPEAK?  AND WHY? (PART OF
THIS SAME LIFESTYLE OF RETURNING GOOD FOR EVIL. EVEN IF THE PERSON
PERSECUTING YOU IS A LOWLIFE, YOU TREAT THEM WITH GENTLENESS AND
RESPECT!)(NOTE PHOBOS-AND DISPUTE OVER TRANSLATION. PROBABLY REFERS
BACK TO FEAR OF GOD.)

     H. LETS FIND THE REASON IN v. 16. READ. (ONCE AGAIN. THE SAME
REASON FOR SUBMITTING TO UNJUST AUTHORITIES AND UNBELIEVING
HUSBANDS--THEY MAY SEE THE TRUTH.) 

     I. READ v.16-17. PETER NOW MOVES FROM WHAT WE SAY TO WHAT WE
DO.  WHY DOES HE CALL ON US TO HAVE A "CLEAR CONSCIENCE?"  AND WHY
DOES HE SAY THAT IT IS BETTER TO SUFFER FOR DOING GOOD INSTEAD OF
EVIL? (HIS POINT IS SIMPLE. HOW CAN YOU STAND IN FRONT OF THE
AUTHORITIES GIVING THE REASON FOR YOUR HOPE WHEN YOU LIFE SHOWS
THAT YOU DO NOT ACT THAT WAY?  THAT YOU VIOLATE THE LAWS?  YOU MUST
HAVE A CONSISTENT LIFE.)

     J. READ v. 18-22.  PETER TELLS US THIS FOR TWO REASONS:

          1. IF YOU ARE SO AWARE OF YOUR EVERY SIN THAT HIS
DISCUSSION OF A CLEAR CONSCIENCE HAS YOU TROUBLED, HE SAYS THAT THE
KEY TO A CLEAR CONSCIENCE IS AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS.

          2. IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING AND DIFFICULTY, WE MUST TOO
MUST TURN TO THE FOOT OF THE CROSS TO REMEMBER AGAIN HOW CHRIST
SUFFERED, BUT ALSO HOW HE AROSE AND OVERCAME AND WILL GIVE US THE
VICTORY!! 
          PRAISE GOD!!

III. NEXT WEEK: 1 PETER 4:1-11.
UFFERED, BUT ALSO HOW HE AROSE AND OVERCAME AND WILL GIVE US THE VICTORY!! PRAISE GOD!! III. NEXT WEEK: 1 PETER 4:1-11.