In the Same Way
I have been spending a lot of time in the book of 1 Peter lately. In chapters 2-3, Peter writes to a church that is on the threshold of persecution. These believers are living in a world that is increasingly hostile to their newfound and newly growing faith. Sound familiar?
Peter’s letter could well be written to the Body of Christ in our day—and in a way, they are. How do I, as a child of God, take the commands of Christ and live them out in this world in such a way that God is both reverenced and honored? And more importantly, how can I do this in a way that He alone receives the glory, praise, and response that He deserves as King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
How do I, as a child of God, take the commands of Christ and live them out in this world in such a way that God is both reverenced and honored?
In a couple of thoughts, I want us to be both instructed and encouraged on how we can live our faith with the focus on accomplishing this goal: “May God be honored in all that I do.”
First, Peter writes in chapter 2:18-25 about believers who find themselves in less-than-desirable positions. Peter writes to household servants who didn’t have godly masters, or bosses. These servants were paid wages for their work. Peter explains that the issue isn’t the “boss” but the believer. Peter exhorts them to submit (literally, “arrange yourself under your overseer”), whether the boss is good or perverse, and to do so with their focus on God. “Taking it” when deserved? Even an ungodly person can do that. Peter writes, “Take it when it is undeserved, and do so because you are seeking to live under the favor of God.”
You might say, okay, but how? I’m not wired that way! I get it. But the one who inspired this Scripture is the one who wired us in the first place (Psalm 139:13-16). So how do we do it? Chapter 3 begins with the words, “In the same way….” In what way? We have to look back at how Peter finished what we know as chapter 2 (remember, the chapter and verse breaks were not in the original text).
In verses 21-24, Peter describes Christ. We are called to follow His example (literally, “to write under”). The word describes how a person would be taught to write or draw. An image would be placed on a sheet above an easel, and the student would copy the pattern until it was correct. This describes the life of the child of God. Write under Christ, how He lived. “Suffered leaving you an example…”—“No deceit was found in his mouth…”—“When he was insulted, he did not insult…”. Get the picture? He bore our sins—so that we might live for righteousness. What a powerful example.
So, “in the same way…” And it isn’t just for those who are outside our own families. Peter gets even more detailed in his instructions to both husbands and wives. I often try to remind the people I am privileged to pastor that there are eternal principles that apply to everyone. In the first seven verses of chapter 3, Peter addresses wives. One phrase describes the way that “wives” are to live. In verse six, Peter writes, “Just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord….” Ask yourself the question: If my wife called me lord, or wives, if you called your husband lord in front of your friends, would they believe you meant it? But more importantly, If I call Christ Lord in front of the same people, would they believe that I mean it?
And to husbands, Peter writes, “…as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” Two thoughts on that. First, as we all walk this life of faith, especially in a home where both husband and wife are believers, we walk it as partners. Second, we are to show honor. Showing honor means giving out value to those around us.
How I see others is the key. It isn’t easy, but it is central to our walk of faith. Will I see others, whether believers or not, as people created in the image of God? They may be marred, but they are still created in His image.
How I see others is the key. It isn’t easy, but it is central to our walk of faith. Will I see others, whether believers or not, as people created in the image of God?
In 3:9, Peter challenges this church, which is headed for rougher days ahead, to demonstrate the right level of the life of faith. Peter tells these believers in what is now modern-day Turkey to “pay back” evil with a blessing. “Giving a blessing….” A literal translation would be: All of you (y’all in Texas) right now and consistently and continually, even while the very act of abuse is taking place, speak a blessing of wellness back.
The writer of the New American Commentary outlines it this way: Paying back evil for good is satanic. Paying back good for good and evil for evil is human. Paying back good for evil is divine. Jesus said it this way, as recorded in John 13:34-35—“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” (CSB).
Paying back evil for good is satanic. Paying back good for good and evil for evil is human. Paying back good for evil is divine.
The world is watching. The “Great Day” is coming. And we have been given the task of being peacemakers between God and man, for we have been “given the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18). Let’s commit today to live our faith “in the same way.” Know truth, share truth, and pass it on.
Copyright © 2023 Shawn Brewer. All rights reserved.
Bio: Dr. Shawn Brewer has been the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Paradise, Texas since January 2021. He has been in ministry since 1984 and has pastored four different churches in Texas during that time. He has been a member of The 6:4 Fellowship since 2016 and is now the Regional Director of the Central Southwest Region. Additionally, Shawn serves as a Renewal Coach for the 6:3 Discipleship. He has been married to Lauri since 1/9/88, and they have three adult children and four grandkids!