1 Peter 3:8-18
- What does this passage say?
- What does this passage mean to its original audience?
- What does this passage tell us about God?
- What does this passage tell us about mankind?
- What does this passage demand of me?
- How does this passage change the way I relate to people?
- How does this passage prompt me to pray?
Pastor Kevin noted that Peter is writing to a church living in divided times. The nation in power, Rome, was the dominant military, economy, and society of its time. Not unlike where we find ourselves today in America. While our nation is much friendlier toward Christians than Ancient Rome, faithful followers of Christ then, like today, have been called to a way of living that cuts across the grain of the dominant culture.
8. Around what things does the Church, no matter its location or time in history, have unity? Why is it important for the Church to have unity? Practically speaking, how do you have “unity of mind” (v8) with other believers with whom you disagree?
9. Sympathy in this passage says ‘I want to understand you, so I can help you/love you.’ What are some questions you can ask or steps you can take to understand someone with whom you disagree or find yourself in conflict?
10. When we experience conflict, it is natural to be on guard or put up defenses. Why might these guards and defenses make it difficult to treat those who oppose us with brotherly/sisterly love? In a family situation, how SHOULD we deal with conflict or disagreement? How can we translate that to people criticizing our faith or questioning our strongly held beliefs?
11. Have you ever dealt with someone whose heart is cold or hard? What character traits define that type of person? What character traits then define someone who is tender hearted?
12. Why is the phrase “I could be wrong” so powerful? Is it enough to say it or do you actually have to mean it? How do you respond when you find out you are, in fact, wrong? How should you respond?
13. What happens when the believer separates God’s call for personal holiness from God’s call for personal humility? Why is it important to keep these aims combined together?
14. Pastor Kevin said that holiness begins not with us or our actions, but with putting Jesus above all else, exalting him, and fixing our eyes on him. Why might this initial step put us on better footing for living a holy life?
15. Verse 15 says to be prepared to make a defense of your faith “to anyone who asks you”. Do you know a believer who doesn’t wait to be asked, but runs their mouth a little too often, maybe to the point of turning people off to relationship or conversation? How can we best position ourselves to be asked for a defense of the hope that we have in Jesus?
16. Write down a few topics that in Christian circles might lead to different views/arguments/accusations (not essentials like salvation, but secondary issues). What is your view and what is its aim? What is an opposing view and what is its aim? Where is there overlap in these views? How can you bridge the gap between your view and someone who holds the opposing view?
17. Pastor Kevin used a can of tomato sauce as an illustration for seeing from someone else’s perspective (we looked at the label, he looked at the ingredient list). He also mentioned that former staff member and current missionary Korban Miller used a visual illustration of moving chairs to highlight this same idea of humility. Click here to watch Korban explain this illustration in humility back in February 2021 (it’s about 4.5 minutes). Why is it sometimes easier to keep arguing rather than move our chair? What benefit is gained from moving our chair? Is there a situation in your life that would have been more quickly de-escalated had you just moved your chair or turned around the can of sauce?
18. Pastor Kevin observed what is evident to most of us: that in our current climate of division, every word we speak, every word we write, every thought we express is politicized. That is the immediate lens our culture uses for interpretation. He urged us to instead seek to “Kingdomize” every word spoken, written, or expressed – to compare them to the Word of God, the truths of Jesus, or God’s will for his people. Is there an example of a current topic where the view from God’s Kingdom is in conflict with the political view you hold? Can your view be reconciled with God’s view without diluting God’s view? If not, will you ask God to change His view or will you adjust yours?
19. Pastor Kevin called the Church to be “a melting pot of unity”. What do you imagine when you hear this phrase? How might Blackhawk be even MORE impactful as a body of believers if it strove to fit this description?
20. We are called to address the world with clarity AND compassion, grace AND truth. How are you doing at this? Do you tend to tilt to one side over the other? Why is it important to keep these two sides in balance?
21. When we are being opposed by the world or our views are being questioned, we are to be ready with a defense of truth done with gentleness and respect. Reading 1 Peter 3:16-18, why might it be worth it to endure the slings and arrows of the world? How might looking to Jesus as your example of endurance help you? How does the promise of life in the Spirit help you endure?