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First Peter
Chapter 3
verses 8-11
King James Version

8)Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as
brethren, be pitiful, be courteous;
9)Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing;
knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10)For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue
from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
11)let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

Ross’ Updated Paraphrase

8)Finally, you all be of one mind, having compassion on one another, love as
brethren, have pity, be courteous:
9)Not returning evil for evil, or railing for railing: but on the other hand
blessing; knowing this is why you were called, that you should inherit a
blessing.
10)Because he who will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his
tongue from evil, and his lips that they should not speak bitterness.
11)Let him eschew evil, and do good: let him seek peace, and pursue it.

Unity is the “mystery of the gospel.”

Jesus prayed for unity.

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come
to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast
given me, that they may be one, as we are… Neither pray I for these alone,
but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they
all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may
be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the
glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even
as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in
one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved
them, as thou hast loved me.” (KJV – John 17:11,20-23)

Paul pleaded for unity.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye
all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that
ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of
the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say,
that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas;
and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye
baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but
Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own
name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not
whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to
preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should
be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish
foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (KJV – 1
Corinthians 1:10-18)

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the
vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with
longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one
baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in
you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of
the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led
captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it
but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that
descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he
might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and
some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the
saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till
we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried
about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in
love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that
which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the
measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of
itself in love.” (KJV – Ephesians 4:1-16)

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye
have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-
ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I
wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my
knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made
known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and
prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the
same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I
was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me
by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least
of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the
unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the
fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been
hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now
unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by
the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose
which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and
access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint
not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my
knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in
heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the
riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner
man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and
grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the
breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ,
which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of
God”. (KJV – Ephesians 3:1-19)

Jesus knew it was love that would bind his disciples together. A theme that
John repeats throughout his Gospel and his epistles.

“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should
love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his
brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and
his brother's righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We
know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the
brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth
his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life
abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down
his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But
whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth
up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and
in truth.” (KJV – 1 John 3:11-18)

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his
Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought
also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one
another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we
that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the
Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God,
God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the
love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth
in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have
boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath
torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because
he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar:
for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God
whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he
who loveth God love his brother also.” (KJV – 1 John 4:10-21)

Love is only love when it is seen in action. Understanding and compassion
are to be exercised. Longsuffering and forebearance are part and parcel of
what is due our brethren, especially babes in Christ. But as Jude said, “And
of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear,
pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”
(KJV – Jude 22,23)

Be full of pity. Compassion and empathy should characterize the Christian.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Stop to think how they feel. Stop to
think why they do what they do. This is not condoning what is wrong, but
understanding what the other person is going through. Each and every one
of us has sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

This is the attitude Paul spoke of in reconciling an erring brother:

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore
such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be
tempted.” (KJV – Galatians 6:1)

Courtesy goes a long way in developing and maintaining good relations and
unity. I remember a little diddy from Captain Kangaroo when I was a little boy
– “There are two little magic words that will open any door with ease, one
little word is thanks, and the other little word is please.” It is amazing what a
few little words, and a few little actions can do. It is love in action.

For Christians that courtesy extends not only to brethren, but also to our
enemies.

Jesus taught: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them
which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children
of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil
and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye
love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans
the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than
others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your
Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (KJV – Matthew 5:43-48)

Paul said: “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice
with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same
mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of
low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for
evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much
as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not
yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is
mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him;
if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on
his head.” (KJV – Romans 12:14-20)

If you wish to trulyl love life – enjoying what you are doing and having, as we
used to say “the joy, joy, joy down deep in your heart” – “the peace that
passeth understanding” (Philippians 4:7-9) – purify your speech. Do not
allow bitterness to come over your lips.

Eschew evil. When we chew, we swallow – when we eschew, we spit out, or
throw up. Evil should make Christians sick. But, it is not enough to stay
away from evil – we must do good. Too many times people think they can
just stop doing evil and that is satisfactory; however, that only half o what
need to be done. If evil is vacated and nothing replaces it, the vacuum will
such in whatever. Good needs to replace the evil. Christians arise to walk in
newness of life, not arise and lay, or arise and sit.

“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry
places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my
house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty,
swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other
spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the
last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto
this wicked generation.” (KJV – Mathew 12:43-45)

Good does not just happen – you must seek it, you must pursue it. Christians
are to be zealous of good works (Titus 2:11-15). Want to do right. Look for
the opportunity and seize it.

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
(KJV – James 4:17)

Peace does not just happen. It takes effort. Want it. Look for ways for it to
happen.

Paul said, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk
worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and
meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring
to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (KJV – Ephesians 4:1-6)
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (KJV
– Romans 12:18)

“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto
their cry.
The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the
remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all
their troubles.”
(KJV – Psalm 34:13-17)