1 Peter 3:8-12
Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brothers, be pitiful, be courteous:
Peter had, so this passage suggests, well learnt the lesson about forgiveness to which he had listened as he heard the sermon on the mount, and he had equally well drunk in the spirit of the great intercessory prayer he had heard in the upper room, "That ye all may be one." For he is here gathering up all his teaching about social life in the strong words now before us: "Finally," etc. He is enjoining, in simple detail and with a sublime motive, unity between Christian people.
I. WHEREIN DOES UNITY BETWEEN CHRISTIAN PEOPLE CONSIST? St. Peter, as Leighton suggests, here denotes five graces, of which "love" is the stalk, having two on either side. "Like-minded;" not simply what our word "mind" usually means - thought, opinion; but judgment, purpose, affection. "Compassionate," or sympathetic; i.e. feeling with others. "Loving as brethren." True family life is a model of Church life. "Tender-hearted;" insensitiveness disqualifies for Christian life. "Humble-minded;" the old version has "courtesy; ' this is the genius or secret of courtesy. The lowly temperament makes little of itself and much of others: its possessor, and he alone, is the gentleman.
II. HOW IS UNITY BETWEEN CHRISTIAN PEOPLE MANIFESTED? The tone of social relationship here enjoined is pitched in a far higher key than the prevalent one, "retaliate," etc.; it is in harmony with the sermon on the mount. "Not rendering evil for evil, nor reviling for reviling." The first excluding all the actions, the second all the words, of resentment. "But contrariwise blessing. This is a distinct reminiscence of the sermon on the mount.
The sandal tree perfumes, when riven,
The axe that laid it low.
Let him that hopes to be forgiven,
Forgive and bless his foe."
III. WHAT IS THE METHOD FOR ATTAINING THIS CHRISTIAN UNITY?
1. There is first of all a direction as to the detail of speech. "Refrain," etc.
2. There is then a wide and deep precept applying to the whole of life. "Turn away from evil, and do good." The negative and the positive are here.
IV. WHAT ARE THE MOTIVES FOR DOING ALL AND BEING ALL THAT WILL ENSURE THIS UNITY?
1. The Christian man is called to inherit blessing.
2. The cultivation of the essential spirit of Christian unity ensures the summum bonum of individual life. "Love life; see good days."
3. The relationship of God is the great determining condition and motive in all that leads to this Christian unity. "The eyes of the Lord... face," etc. - U.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: