We’ve been working our way through 1 Peter lately, focusing on how the church should think about our relationships with those outside of Christ.
In the text for tomorrow, Peter sums up his emphasis of the last section. You may remember how he’s just encouraged Christians to submit to “every human institution,” servants to submit to their masters, wives to submit to their husbands, and husbands to honor their wives. In 3:8-12, though, he’s careful to emphasize that he’s talking to the whole church (not a subset): “Finally, all of you, . . .”
He first emphasizes how Christians ought to relate to one another (unity, sympathy, brotherly love, compassion, and humility). Then he urges the church to “bless” the ones who revile them because of their faith. When we do this, we’ll be eternally blessed.
Couple of thoughts: as we think about how to engage the world for Christ, we need first to remember the importance of loving one another. If there’s disharmony and conflict in the church, we’ll never positively impact the culture for Christ.
And Peter also returns to a theme that’s important to him: Christians must not strike back when the world insults or hurts us. We bless unbelievers, no matter what they do to us.
This, Peter says, is what we were called to do. And when we do, God will use us to help people outside of Christ to know him.