1 Peter 3:8-12
Focused Text: 1 Peter 3:9
Salvation comes through faith in Jesus. When we trust in him and the totality of what he’s done in his life, death, and resurrection, God the Father forgives our sin, grants us right standing before himself, takes us as his own children, and pours out his Spirit into our very hearts.
However, our obedience still determines our quality of life in this world. Paul, even after rebuking the Galatians for seeking justification before God by obedience to the Jewish law, reminds them of this principle. He says that whatever we sow in this life we will also reap, be it corruption from sowing according to our sin natures or a quality of life that only comes from sowing according to God’s design (see Gal. 6:7-10).
Peter, in laying out the guidelines for our relationships with others, gives a similar foundation. He tells us not to seek revenge against those who wrong us, but rather to “bless” them in order to receive further blessings from God (3:9). When we give in to our natural (sinful) desires for revenge, we put ourselves in the place of God as judge. This throws everything out of perspective and brings great frustration into our lives. However, when we acknowledge before God that he is the only righteous judge, yet has shown us great mercy, the only proper response is grace towards others. This gospel-centered response to interpersonal tension brings us into alignment with God’s design for living, and thus we reap blessings.
Take some time to think or talk through the following questions with a view to applying the passage in your own life.
- Who in my life am I tempted to seek justice from for the way they treat me?
- How can I prepare myself to respond to ill treatment in gospel-centered grace rather than man-centered justice?
At our Crossing Campus in Pleasanton, our church family is going through a Sunday sermon series 1 Peter: The Sojourner’s Hope. (Audio sermons available online.)
We sincerely believe that the more we interact with and apply God’s Word, the greater impact it will have on our hearts and in our lives. Therefore, we encourage you to make use of these devotionals in your personal or family devotion times as well as small groups.
You can download the full devotional (16 weeks) on our church homepage or pick one up at our Information Desk on Sundays.