Finding Joy In Not Being A Jerk

The following text comes from my teaching notes from this session. The audio is available via the podcast at The Blue Thread and in the player below. The video is from a Facebook Live feed.

Bible Overview – super summarize

  • The Bible
    • 66 books…
    • One book, One Author, One Story. The OT wouldn’t make sense without the NT and the NT wouldn’t make sense without the OT.
    • I really really believe it!
  • The OT, can be a misleading label. The Beginning of the Testament, Covenant, Gospel. Everything in the OT points ahead to Jesus.
  • The NT, also a misleading label. The Completion of the Testament, Covenant, Gospel. Everything in the NT is built on the foundation of the OT.
  • The OT and NT are not arranged primarily chronologically. They are organized in a way that a librarian might organize them.
    • We are going through 1 Peter which is a General Epistle, or Letter. It’s not addressed to any one individual, city, or region. It is directed basically to Christians who have been scattered over a wide area.
    • This means that…

The Gospel

  • Most of what you hear today won’t make sense to you unless you unless you are a Christian. Not because you’re dumb, but because it’s going to sound dumb.
  • A guy named Paul who wrote most of the letters in the NT wrote that
    • the message of the cross, and consequently everything connected to it like what we are going to look at today,
    • is foolishness to someone who doesn’t know Jesus, who doesn’t have the HS living in them, which that right there might sound foolish.
  • This stuff only makes sense to someone as the Holy Spirit highlights it for them, connects the dots. I call them “aha moments.”
  • I want to take a moment and do what many teachers/preachers to at the end; I want to tell you what it means and what it takes to be a follower of Jesus.
  • Romans Road plus Oreos.
    • If you think that you probably don’t deserve Heaven but for sure don’t deserve Hell, then you really don’t believe in God, you don’t believe in Jesus; you believe in yourself.
    • The gospel is not “be a good person, or better than bad people.” Because that’s still trusting in yourself.
    • There is this cultural misunderstanding of the gospel that is “Jesus died for you so you’d better be good.” Completely misses the point.
  • If you did that, welcome to the family. What you are going to hear this morning is going to light you up.
  • If you didn’t, well, maybe the Spirit will use today to see what’s up.

1 Peter 3:8-12 context

  • Stretch dealing with believers dealing with unbelievers primarily, context.
    • 1 Peter 2:11-12, superior conduct, not attitude, Jesus did to save and as an example to us.
    • 1 Peter 2:13-17, submit yourselves to an unbelieving government, Jesus did to save them and as an example to us.
    • 1 Peter 2:18-21, submit yourselves to your masters (bosses), Jesus did to save them and as an example to us.
    • 1 Peter 3:1-6, wives cooperate with our unbelieving husbands, in a sense that is consistent with scripture Jesus did to save us and as an example to us.
    • 1 Peter 3:7, husbands sacrifice for your unbelieving wives, Jesus did to save us and as an example to us.
    • BTW unbelievers aren’t the enemy, they are our mission.

1 Peter 3:8-12

  • Read the passage.
  • My title for this message is “Finding joy in not being a jerk.” Do you see why? If you have an attitude toward… , if you are returning reviling for reviling and evil for evil, you are being a jerk and cannot experience joy.
  • Let’s zoom in really close now and see what’s up.
  • 3:8
    • finally –
      • concluding section beginning in 2:11. Coming back to idea of needing one another in times of trials.
      • “Finally” is a culmination. Not “lastly.” The final expression of all of this…
        • Like ROtJ culminates that series of movies.
        • The Super Bowl is the finale of the season.
        • Like the preparation of a good meal.
    • WORD ORDER RE-ARRANGEMENT. Greek and Yoda-speak.
      • These are adjectives,  not verbs unto themselves.
      • What do they describe?
      • “not returning” Returning evil for evil, reviling for reviling is what we tend to do in all of the previous relationships, is it not?
      • It’s also what we as Christians do to one another, otherwise, Peter wouldn’t be saying “one another.”
    • Isn’t returning blessing instead of reviling/evil enough? No, because that mindset focuses on an external thing that we can fake. These things are internal.
    • Instead, what does it look like (adjectives, describing words)? How does it work?
    • WRITE THESE DOWN, YOU WILL NEED THEM AT THE END. 7 things.
    • all of one mind, all one-mindedly (adverb) don’t return
      • Think the same way, have the same understanding, same mindset.
      • What mind? Whose mind? How do we have it?
        • Mind of Christ! Among other things, it’s something we put on.  Sometimes it’s just natural. Sometimes it’s a choice, just like a lot of what following Jesus is.
        • Romans 12:2 we are transformed by the renewing of our minds in Jesus.
      • We should all have a Jesus filter through which we experience life and it should be the default.
      • If we are all putting on the mind of Christ, if we are all being transformed, we will all act one-mindedly.
    • having compassion for one another – one word; sympathy, sympathetically don’t return
      • I feel what you feel, which can be scary.
      • Resonance. Brass quintet and piano in band room. This is what it looks like.
      • As followers of Jesus, submit/Cooperate with the unbelieving government, boss, husband, Sacrifice for the unbelieving wife, and all y’all Sympathize/resonate with one another, because we’ve all been through stuff and continue to go through stuff.
      • The gospel not only allows you to be sympathetic to others, it compels you to be because you were once where others are, have done what others are doing (sin, addiction, etc), and have gone through what others are going through.
      • love as brothers – brotherly-lovingly don’t return because we are family, all my brothers sisters and me
    • tenderhearted – strong-bowel-ledly don’t return. The idea being geed feelings from deep within which are genuine and can’t be faked.
    • courteous – humbly, with humility, don’t return
    • All of these require surrendering yourself, submitting yourself, sacrificing yourself, sympathizing with others, just as Jesus did.
    • To not do these things, whether it’s to believers or unbelievers, is a defense mechanism. There are dangers to doing the right thing, which is addressed in the section of the letter after this.
    • Doing what’s in these verses brings personal and communal joy. It’s also only possible for a saved and spirit driven person.
    • Sure, not-saved people can be nice, kind, even self-sacrificing. But to be able to do so when you are treated unfairly like God is treated unfairly, like Jesus was treated unfairly, takes the Holy Spirit.
  • 3:9
    • not returning – repaying as if you owed it to someone. Again, all the previous adjectives describe this verb, what this looks like in the hearts and minds of believers.
    • evil – bad, harm, wrong. kaka original usage, a cowardly soldier who retreats. That weakens the army. Don’t weaken others if they weaken you.
    • reviling – railing. This is what our natural selves want to do. Old nature.
      • This was Peter pre-Holy Spirit. Who’s going to sit at Jesus’ right hand? Cut off guy’s ear at Jesus’ arrest. Denied Jesus 3 times cursing himself!
      • After the Holy Spirit very different Peter. Bold but not a jerk. The heart in these letters.
      • Stephen killed didn’t revile.
      • This change still occurs! You? Me? Stories of forgiveness and transformation in this room.
    • contrary – do the opposite repay evil and reviling with
    • blessing – The other main verb in this passage. Not just actions, WORDS. HARD!
      • Jesus describes what this action word looks like best. Matthew 5:43-48.
      • When others inside and outside your fellow followers of Jesus do something kaka against you, when they rail at you to your face, if you let the Holy Spirit take the wheel of your mind and heart, on the inside
        • you will be of one mind with Jesus and others if not the person throwing kaka at you,
        • you will be sympathetic with where this person has been that has led them here because you were once like this AND MAY BE AGAIN IN THE FUTURE,
        • you will love them as family,
        • these feelings will come from deep within because the Holy Spirit has filled you down to your depths,
        • and you will be humble as Jesus was humble, even to the cross.
      • On the outside,
        • you will speak goodness to them, and not kaka.
        • You might even offer to pray for that person right then and there.
        • You will love them as Jesus loves you.
      • There is never a degree to which anyone can say, “I have done this enough.”
    • Why, apart from it’s what Jesus in you would do? Because you also get something amazing out of it.
    • knowing – “I see” How did they know? A knowledge of what we call the OT.
    • called – beckoned over to do this. By Jesus as we read, by others in the NT. Specifically by David in Psalm 34 where the next two verses come from.
    • inherit a blessing – just what it is. Someone has to die for there to be an inheritance.
      • Luke 9:23 DTS!
      • Galatians 2:20
  • 3:11-12
    • People illustration of who is facing God. To be in God’s sight who has to move? But we can’t do this ourselves from the start. Jesus takes us there, but we need to choose.
    • What is the blessing that we inherit? God’s attention!
    • In the eyes of the God who made you, loves you, died and rose again for you.

Next Steps

  • Take the list of seven things from these verses
    • one-minded
    • sympathetic
    • brotherly love
    • tenderhearted
    • courteous / humble
    • not returning kaka or railing
    • bless with your words
  • and every day for the next seven days write each one of these on a sticky note and somehow keep it in front of you at all times, and do it.

Finding Joy In Not Being A Jerk || https://corbys.link/notajerk

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© Corby Stephens 2005-2018