This study features notes from Enduring Word.
1. Peter turns his attention to addressing everyone. What does it mean to be of one mind, or like-minded?
Our common mind is to be Jesus’ mind. How? The word of God shows us the mind of Jesus. This also concerns unity.
2. What kind of love should be shown among God’s people?
Compassionate, brotherly, tenderhearted, polite. Jesus didn’t command us to like our brothers and sisters in Christ, but to love them.
3. What’s our natural response when someone wrongs us? How can we break this cycle of returning evil for evil?
To retaliate. Only the love of Jesus for our enemies can break the cycle. It’s easy to love those who love us. The real test of love is to demonstrate compassion to our enemies.
4. What’s the outcome?
By blessing those who have wronged us, we will inherit a blessing.
5. What does the quote from Psalm 34:12-16 show? How does it relate to what Peter is saying?
It demonstrates the blessing that comes to those who turn away from evil and do good.
6. Why is doing good often difficult?
As a general rule, evil is rewarded immediately and the reward of doing good is often delayed. The rewards of good are better and far more secure than the rewards of doing evil.
7. How is Peter encouraging his readers?
He knew that people often repaid good with a response of evil. There is a blessing for us when we suffer for righteousness’ sake. God will care for us, especially when we suffer unjustly.
8. What should we do instead of being afraid or frightened?
Give a special place to God in our hearts and always be ready to explain our faith with a right attitude.
9. What can stand in the way of revering Christ in our hearts (or giving a special place to God in our hearts)? How can we avoid this?
Our own selfish desires, the opinions of others, worldly wisdom, can all cause us to turn away from our allegiance to our one Lord. At the centre of life there is to be one Lord, Jesus Christ.
10. How can we be ready to give a defence?
Know the Bible. Rely on the Holy Spirit.
11. Why is it better to suffer for doing good?
Our good conduct will prove others wrong in their opinions about us and it will make them ashamed for speaking against our godly lives. None of us want to suffer, but if we must, may it be for doing good and not evil.
12. How is Jesus the perfect example of suffering for doing good?
He suffered for all of us who are the unjust and the purpose of it all was to bring us to God, to restore our broken and dead relationship with him.
Jesus was raised by the Holy Spirit. The Father raised Jesus (Romans 6:4) and Jesus raised himself (John 2:18-22). The resurrection was the work of the Triune God.
[It’s likely that the spirits in prison were demonic. The days of Noah were a time of gross sin for both demons and humans, when there was an ungodly mingling of humans and demons (Genesis 6:1-2). Jesus preached a message of judgment and final condemnation in light of his finished work on the cross; his triumph over evil.]
13. How is Noah an example of salvation in the midst of difficulty?
What saves us is the answer of a good conscience towards God, made good through the completed work of Jesus.
14. What attitude should we have?
The commitment God calls us to have is nothing greater than the commitment Jesus had in enduring suffering for our salvation. We need to have a commitment to God that will endure through great struggles.
15. What’s the challenge in living for the will of God for the rest of our earthly lives?
We need to follow Jesus, otherwise we won’t be able to live for God. We should no longer live in sin. We should consider how to live the rest of our time.