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The Virtuous Church

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Peter extols virtues that should typify all Christians and therefore the church.

Text: 1Pet. 3:8-12
Date: 02/02/2020, the Evening service.
Series: "Peter's Epistles: The Sojourners Handbook" Part 17

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As Peter wraps up his section on respecting authority, and then transitions to a continued discussion of Christian behavior, he maps out a list of attributes that are virtuous in the eyes of the Lord. He gives us five positive virtues and two negative admonitions to help establish the expected behavior for those who are followers of Christ. But this passage is not just focusing on the individual Christian, but also on the fellowship of believers known as the church. And so we have a formula for the ideal church-- a church that no matter how big or how small will reflect the mind and heart of Christ. After analyzing each attribute, we will discuss both the responsibility and the calling of each church member, as together we seek to establish the virtuous church.

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, 1Pet. 3:8-12.
A. Context
B. The ideal behavior of the virtuous church.
1. Five attributes of a virtuous church, vs. 8.
a. Focus on the whole church.
b. Be "like-minded".
i. What it does not mean.
ii. United in Christ, Phil. 2:2, Rev. 1:12-13.
iii. Celebrating our differences.
iv. When dis-unity is necessary, Rev. 2:29.
c. Be "like-hearted", Rom. 12:15.
d. Love your brothers and sisters, John 13:34-35.
e. Be "tender-hearted".
i. Have compassion for the broken, Matt. 9:36, Isa. 42:3.
ii. The analogy of the falls.
f. Be "humble-minded".
i. The humility of Christ, John 13:14-15.
ii. The paradox of humility.
2. Churches that are "blessed blessings", vs. 9.
a. What a virtuous church should not do.
i. Do not return evil for evil, Matt. 5:38-44.
ii. Do not return insults for insults.
• Watching our tongues, Luke 23:34.
• An "ad hominem" illustration.
iii. Summing up the admonition.
b. Be a blessing to receive a blessing.
i. Called to a different standard.
ii. Reasons for blessing those who persecute us.
• It is our calling.
• A constant eye on evangelism, 1Pet. 3:1-2.
• To receive a blessing ourselves, Matt. 6:19-21.
3. Finding affirmation in the Psalms, vs. 10-12.
a. Living the "virtuous life".
i. Controlling the tongue, James 1:26, 3:5-10, Matt. 12:34.
ii. Turn away from evil, Phil 4:8.
iii. Seek peace.
b. Reasons for the virtuous life.
i. Blessings for the virtuous.
• God's blessings for righteousness, James 4:7, Rom. 8:31.
• Open lines of communication, 1Pet. 3:7.
ii. Trouble for the evil-doer.
III. Application
A. The responsibility of the church family.
B. The calling of the church family.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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