Saturday in the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Peter 3:8-12

The Virtues that Adorn the Christian Life

Beginning with “Finally,” the Apostle summarizes his message up till now.  These next few verses define for us once again some of the basics of living the Christian life (which has been Peter’s subject from the beginning), and the virtues which should adorn every man and woman professing faith in Christ Jesus.  They are not natural; indeed, the natural man would find them impossible.  These virtues would never propel a Fortune 500 Company that survives on the basis of profit, do not belong to social media, and are completely antithetical to any culture on earth.  But they must garnish a local church.

And it seems to me that it is the local church that Peter is primarily referring to; after all, believers may only have unity of mind with other believers, and it is Christlike unity of mind of which the Apostle speaks.  Indeed, each one of these—unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind—all speak to the underlying manner in which a local church should ever operate.  This is not to say that there will never be disagreements among the beloved, but only that when there are, these are the virtues which should animate such discussions, not only within the church walls but at home as well; that is, we should not play the hypocrite.  And the Christian should never ever return cursing for cursing.  Indeed, the quintessential mark of the believer is that he blesses when cursed since he shall inherit a blessing.  Why should we care that pagans curse us when our Father blesses us?

And the Apostle quotes Scripture to buttress his point, and for Peter, Scripture meant the Old Testament, and in this case, Psalm 34:12-16.  The words of David in this psalm have a broader application than those Peter has just penned as David’s applies to behavior a Christian should manifest even before the world.  So, if a believer wants to live a good life, one that he will enjoy, he is not encouraged to seek wealth but to guard his tongue from deceit and speaking evil, be it gossip, slander, sarcasm (a ubiquitous sin of our day), or anything unwholesome.  And then there is the admonition to “turn away from evil.”  This should go without saying but each of us has his besetting sin from which we need to turn away once and for all—so we can work on the next besetting sin.  And then we are to “seek peace and pursue it” knowing that the Lord hears the prayer of the righteous but opposes the wicked.  So let us fill our lives with these virtues and know the peace that passes all understanding walking with Him.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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