1 Peter 3:8-12 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. What is the first great and overarching commandment Peter gives to the church? See 1 Peter 3:8a (printed below) Note: The apostle Paul elaborates on this same theme in Romans 15:5-6 (printed below). What guidelines does Paul provide to assist us in carrying out the apostle Peter’s command?

Finally, may all of you live in harmony. Be sympathetic, love one another as brothers, be compassionate, be humble-minded. (1 Peter 3:8)

Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus; (6) so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

In the name of the Lord Jesus, Peter exhorts us to live in harmony with one another. In Romans 15:5-6 the apostle Paul provides some guidelines that assist us in carrying out the command given by the apostle Peter. We are to be focused on the one great goal of “glorifying the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We must look to the example of Christ as He sought to please the Father who sent Him rather than seeking to please Himself (Romans 15:5b). We must look to “the God of patience and of comfort” for grace.

2. How are we to respond to personal mistreatment? See 1 Peter 3:9 (printed below)

Do not repay evil for evil or insult for insult; on the contrary, bless each other; for this is part of your calling, so that you may inherit blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)

Peter exhorts us, “Do not repay evil for evil, or insult for insult.” To retaliate for personal injury is not the example of Christ our Savior (note 1 Peter 2:21-23); an attitude that seeks revenge and retaliation is contrary to our Christian calling (note Romans 12:17,21). In positive terms, we are to “bless each other.” This was the purpose of Christ’s coming (note John 3:17) and this is how Christ instructs us to live among men (note Luke 6:27-28,31-33,35-36).

3. What is the first reason Peter gives as to why we are to minister blessing to each other? See 1 Peter 3:9 (printed above under question #2)

Note the thrust of Peter’s words: “Do not repay evil for evil or insult for insult; on the contrary, bless each other; for this is part of your calling.” As Christians, it is our God-given calling to demonstrate and exhibit the grace and goodness of God to men and to minister that grace and goodness to them, and to do so especially to our brethren in Christ.

4. What is another reason as to why we are to minister blessing to one another? Again, see 1 Peter 3:9 (printed above under question #2)

We are to seek to live in such a way that we bring blessing to one another not only because this is part of our Christian calling, but also we are to live in this way so that we may “inherit blessing.” Scripture teaches that it is the Christ-like life that receives the blessing of God. Speaking of Christ, the writer to the Hebrews testifies: “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (Hebrews 1:9)

5. What is significant about the fact that Peter speaks of “inheriting” blessing rather than “earning” blessing?

The Christ-like life is not the result of our personal efforts and endeavors to conform our lives to the life of Christ. On the contrary, the Christ-like life is the result of the grace of God operating in us, transforming us into the likeness of Christ our Savior (note 2 Corinthians 3:18). It is not a matter of Christ merely being our example or model, and the exhortation for us to try hard to become like Him; rather, Christ, by His Holy Spirit, is dwelling in His people, and we must yield ourselves to Him, allowing Him to re-shape us into His image (note Ephesians 5:25b-27). Thus, we inherit the divine blessing as children of God who are living out the Christ-like life that the Holy Spirit reproduces in us.