Pursue Peace with Doves and Dragons

"Peter’s letter prepares us to live in hard times, especially if we face unjust persecution and hostility because of our faith. He has shown us how to testify for Christ in our actions, attitudes, and words in the society at large and in our homes. Now, he instructs us how to live in the church, as one family, one community. Peter knows we will desperately need each other for support if we are called to stand or suffer for Jesus.” - Sue Edwards

Read: 1 Peter 3:8-12

First Quality of the Ideal Church

What is the first quality listed in 1 Peter 3:8 for a healthy church?
When you hear this term, what comes to mind either in music, i.e. an orchestra or choir, or in interpersonal relationships?

Think about when you have been wounded, or wounded someone else, in the Christian community. What harm can this do to the church?

Biblical Harmony

Read Matthew 18:15-17. The Greek term for brother in Matthew 18:15 can mean “fellow believer” or “fellow Christian”.

Observe how Jesus says to settle disputes. According to verse 15, what is the desired result? Why would the second step be to involve a few other people?
Why take this step before going to the entire church? What are the benefits and problems of getting more people involved?

The Second Quality of the Ideal Church

What is the second quality listed in 1 Peter 3:8? What does that look like in church life?

Are you naturally sympathetic, or is this a struggle for you?

The Third Quality of the Ideal Church

The third quality of the church is brotherly love. The Greek word used here is “phileo” which indicates sibling love or friendship. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Read these passages:
Romans 12:10
Romans 15:7
Romans 16:16
Galatians 5:13
Ephesians 4:2
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Study one, or more, of these verses. Think of practical ways to live out that command.

Fourth Quality of the Ideal Church

What is the final quality listed in 1 Peter 3:8? Why is humility crucial for the church to enjoy peace?

Read Luke 18:9-14 - The parable of the Pharisee and tax collector.
Observe what true humility looks like. Why can humility be a concern for believers? How does the Holy Spirit help us achieve humility?

Inherit a Blessing

What are the instructions in 1 Peter 3:9? What is our reward for acting in this way?

In verses 10-12, Peter quotes Psalm 34:12-16. Read the Psalm passage.
Find four instructions in the Psalm.

Consider how the Lord views the righteous, as opposed to those who do evil.

Final Thought

What joys result from a church free of dissension, back biting, gossip, and strife?

As the outside world observes the Christian church, why is this so important?

Thank you for joining in this study. Please let me know if you have any questions

Pastor John

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