Let Him Refrain

1Peter 3:8-13 Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called, that you should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good?

‘Be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous’ twelve commands are given here for Christians: Be one of mind (3:8; Eph. 4:1-3). Have compassion on one another (3:8). Love as brethren (3:8; 1Cor. 13:1-13). Be pitiful (tender-hearted, 3:8). Be courteous (friendly, 3:8). Not rendering evil for evil (3:9). Not railing for railing (3:9). Be a blessing to others (3:9). Control the tongue (3:10; Jas. 3:1-18). Do not be deceptive (3:10). Shun evil and do good (3:11). Seek peace and pursue it (3:11). ‘Be one of mind’ to take the Word of God as the final authority and not have one’s own opinion or ideas of what you think He could have meant.

‘For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile’ quoted from Psalm 34:12-16 where eighteen conditions of a long life are given: Freedom from fear (Ps. 34:4); quickening from God (Ps. 34:5); boldness – freedom from shame; freedom from troubles (Ps. 34:6); divine deliverance (Ps. 34:7); partaking of God’s life (Ps. 34:8); absolute trust in God; fear of God (Ps. 34:7-9); freedom from want (Ps. 34:9-10); seeking God first (Ps. 34:10, 15; Matt. 6:33); godly teaching (Ps. 34:11; 2Tim. 3:15); control of tongue (Ps. 34:12-13); godliness – departing from evil [sin] (Ps. 34:14-16); consecration to doing good (Ps. 34:14); seeking and pursuing peace; brokenness and humility (Ps. 34:18); salvation of the soul (Ps. 34:22); prosperity – freedom from worry.

Three warnings about speaking evil: Commands against it (Ex. 22:28; Eph. 4:25-31); shortens life (3:9-10; Ps. 34:13); brings sure judgment (Ps. 12:3-4; Matt. 12:36-37; 1Cor. 6:10). Death and life are greatly determined by the power of the tongue, and he who uses this power rightly shall live because of it (Pro. 18:21).

‘For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil’ three blessings are noted here for the righteous: God’s eyes are over them; He hears their prayers and defeats their enemies.

‘But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil’ God will look upon the wicked to abhor and to punish them for their sins.

‘And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good?’ No one can harm us when we are IN Christ – in union with Him. ‘Followers’ [Greek: mimetes] imitator – we must be imitators of Christ: live as He lived while on earth (1Thess. 1:6: 2:14; 1Pet. 2:21-23; 1Jn. 2:6).

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