Grace Reformed Network Conference

Grace Group Lesson 05/01/2024

GRC Grace Group 05/01/2024

Blessings for Curses

1Pet. 3:8 ¶ Finally, all of you have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

"Finally," Peter returns to what Christ did for us on the cross. Christ is our example of what it indeed looks like to love someone else. We use his grace in our lives as motivation to give grace to others. I want us to pay close attention to the idea Peter presents to the church––they are to live with each other within the body of Christ in a certain way.

  • Unity of mind
  • Sympathy
  • Brotherly love
  • Tender heart
  • Humble mind

What is required for all of these to be practiced within a church? The physical presence of the body. Peter assumes the church would live together to accomplish the mission they were called to in their city. Unity of mind is only possible if they are spending time together. All five of these instructions require physical presence. This is a common instruction given to churches throughout the NT. To do the work given to the believer, they need to be within a body of believers with whom they can be encouraged and build one another up.

POINT: To live out our calling as "living stones" and "royal priests," we will need each other to strengthen and build each other up!

QUESTION: What are some ways that you have seen help applying Peter's instructions?
QUESTION: What causes us not to trust Peter's commands and live in opposition to his instructions?  
1Pet. 3:9 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.
What are Christians called to? We are not called to protect ourselves but to be examples of the grace and forgiveness we have received. Instead of seeking payback, we offer them not only forgiveness but seek to bring a gift to them, a prayer of God's favor upon them. Peter reminds us that it is part of our kingdom's work; we are called to live this way. Why?

1Pet. 3:15 But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

As we respond to those who hurt us with love and kindness, we pray that they ask us why. Our reply is Christ, our hope, the gospel! Our suffering is for advancing the light to those who are lost! It has a purpose.

QUESTION: Why do we struggle with revenge instead of grace?
QUESTION: Why is it hard to see that God wants us to see this as part of our life's calling?

Peter says at the end, "that you may obtain a blessing." Based on how Peter opened his letter, I think a better translation is, "because we have received a blessing." Several other translations provide this insight. This would be a perfect connection with:

1Pet. 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pet. 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

Why should we embrace the suffering in our world? Because of what we have already received. We are not providing others the same rescue and freedom that we now enjoy. The gospel always motivates us to love and serve the king. Here are a few points from the sermon that would encourage each of us as we are refreshed in our souls about our salvation and the work Jesus has called us to do. Read through the list and encourage each other with the reality of our freedom in Christ. How do these verses bring hope and encouragement?

  • Freedom from guilt. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1).
  • Freedom from shame. "Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame" (Rom. 10:11).
  • Freedom from fear of death. "But has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10).
  • Freedom to approach God. "Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus" (Heb. 10:19).
  • Freedom to relate to God as His child and His heir. "Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ" (Gal. 4:7).

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  • What can you offer to the Father in praise?
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