Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
(1 Peter 3:8-12 ESV)
Peter details duties to various classes of believers earlier in his book, to church members in general in the present passage. He forbids contention and trifling with the peace of the church. As OPC church members, we have vowed to keep the peace and purity of the church. We are to love as siblings, being children of the same Father. We are to be tender-hearted and humble, counting others as more significant than ourselves. We are not to repay evil for evil, from within as well as from without the church.
The church has always been a mix of believers and unbelievers. Persecution can come from inside as well as outside the church. Fraternal strife between true brothers is also possible in the church.
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